BIRMINGHAM, AL (astateredwolves.com) – Arkansas State University men's and women's track and field is ready to compete for the Sun Belt Conference Indoor Championship that will take place Monday and Tuesday inside the Birmingham CrossPlex.
"In track and field our year is geared toward the championship meets and we have been preparing since September for the Sun Belt Conference Championships," said A-State head coach Jim Patchell. "Our team seems to be rested and mentally prepared. The SBC is very competitive and three teams on both sides have a real chance. If we compete hard and limit mental errors, we have a chance at good outcome."
The meet begins at 9 am Monday with the 60-meter hurdles, long jump, shot put and high jump of the heptathlon. Clint Ligon (3rd), David Phillips (4th) and Dalton Romero (8th) are in prime position on the Sun Belt Performance list to get the A-State men's team off to a good start.
Field event finals begin at 10 a.m. with the men's weight throw followed by the women at 12 p.m. The men's (3:30 p.m.) and women's (12:30 p.m.) long jump along with men's pole vault (4:00 p.m.) and women's high jump (3:00 p.m.) will also be contested Monday.
Preliminaries on the track begin at 4:15 p.m. with the women's 800-meter run and the day winds down with the distance medley relays at 8:30 p.m.
Tuesday will feature field event finals in men's (12 p.m.) and women's (2:30 p.m.) triple jump, men's (1:00 p.m.) and women's (3:00 p.m.) shot put, women's pole vault (1:30 p.m.) and men's high jump (3:00 p.m.).
Finals on the track begin at 12:30 p.m. with the women's mile run. The day concludes with the 4x400-meter relays at 4 p.m. and 4:15 p.m., respectively, with awards presentations scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
The A-State men look to defend their 2015 Sun Belt Conference Indoor Championship. The Red Wolves enter the meet with 17 top-eight marks in the SBC performance list. Roelf Pienaar is the only student-athlete leading an event as he ranks first with a long jump of 7.82m (25-08.00). Pienaar is second in the triple jump and is joined by Jaylen Bacon (200m), Rickus Jacobs (5000m) and Tiaan Steenkamp (high jump) with performances that rank second.
Texas State is the returning women's team champions as they laid claim to the 2015 team title with 147.5 points. Arkansas State is the men's returning team champions as the Red Wolves won the men's title with 132.5 points.
This season the Red Wolves women's squad has the most student-athletes ranked in the top three of each event with nine total, led by sophomore standout Kristina Knott. Knott has the top time in both the 60-meter dash and 200-meter dash as well as the best leap in the long jump.
Knott was the individual champion in the 200-meter dash and the runner-up in the 60-meter dash. Additionally, A-State's Keturah Smith (400-meter dash), Erin Farmer (Weight Throw) and Samone Thompson (Pentathlon) each have the best mark in their respective events.