The University of Central Arkansas will the 2014 Southland Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championship beginning Friday at the Bill Stephens Track Complex.
The meet, which UCA will host for the first time, begins with field events at 1 p.m. Friday and concludes at approximately 5 p.m. Sunday.
Stephen F. Austin is the defending men’s and women’s team champion. Lamar has the most men’s titles in history with 10, while SFA has six women’s titles. UCA’s women finished fifth in 2013 while the men were ninth.
UCA sophomore Brooke Cassar, the 2013 Freshman of the Year, paces the Southland in the 5,000-meter run this season with a time of 16:39.56, while senior teammate Erika Setzler of Conway ranks second in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (10:28.73). Cassar won both the 5,000 and 10,000 meters at last year’s championships while Setlzer took home gold in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and was sixth in the 5,000.
Other returnees on the women’s side for UCA include Khadijah Smith, who was eighth in the 400 meters; Kayla Nehus, who was fifth in the 1,500 meters and Jean Black, who was sixth in the 100 hurdles and seventh in the 400 hurdles. UCA’s 4x400 relay team of Black, Smith, Jasmine Johnson and Jordan Chadwick finished eighth.
For the men, UCA returns Chance Tanner, who finished second in the 400 meters and seventh in the 200 meters a year ago, while Corentin Louis was fifth in the 1,500 meters. Amos Gerber turned in a seventh-place finish in the 10,000 meters. UCA’s 4x400 relay team of Tanner, Kelton Ray, Powell Bryant and Dustie Smith was third. The 4x100 team of Tanner, Ray, Roy Lowery and Trey Carter finished eighth, while Carter was third in the decathlon and sixth in the javelin.
The championship meet will start Friday with the men’s pole vault at 1 p.m., followed by the 100-meter hurdles in the women’s heptathlon at 2 p.m. The men’s decathlon gets underway with the 100 meters at 2:30 p.m. and the women’s hammer throw is slated to start at 3 p.m.
Day 1 of the championships concludes with the men’s and women’s 10,000 meters beginning at 8 and 8:45 p.m. On Saturday, multi-events will commence at 10 a.m. with field events starting 3 p.m. Preliminaries for running-only events are slated for 5 p.m. On Sunday, field events wrap up starting at 10 a.m. while running event finals begin at 2:05 p.m.
Team championship trophies and the meet’s top male and female high-point scorer will be presented at about 5 p.m. Sunday.