May 14, 2014
RUSTON, La. - During the indoor season, Louisiana Tech's men's track and field team was projected to finish seventh and rallied for a second place finish. The Bulldogs hope to repeat that magic this week as LA Tech opens competition at the Conference USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships Friday in Houston.
This time around, the Bulldogs enter the conference meet projected fifth while the Lady Techsters are also slated for a fifth-place finish.
To make that move up the ladder, both teams will attempt to do it in familiar territory. Rice is hosting the conference championship meet in Houston and LA Tech's coaching staff made good use of that knowledge in planning out the 2014 schedule as Tech competed in five meets in Texas this season with a sixth coming not far away in Baton Rouge.
Both the men's and women's teams are primed for success as most of the student-athletes top marks of the season came at the April 19 meet in Baton Rouge and the April 26 meet in San Marcos, Texas.
All-American sprinter Trey Hadnot won four gold medals at last year's Western Athletic Conference Championships but for the first time in his career, he enters a conference meet NOT the favorite in the 200m dash. With a season-best time of 20.43, Hadnot trails Tulsa's Bryce Robinson (20.30) in the event and will have to upend Robinson to claim the third 200m gold medal in his outdoor career (a hamstring injury prevented gold in 2012, when teammate Dennis Richardson won top honors).
Additionally, a streak will be put on the line in that event as a Bulldog has claimed gold in the outdoor 200m every year since 2006. Hadnot will attempt to make that eight-year reign extend to a ninth year. Meanwhile Richardson won gold the last two years in the WAC in the 100m dash but also trails Robinson as the conference leader in the event (with Hadnot a close third).
Jarvis Gotch enters with a conference-leading mark of 26-0.25 (7.93m) in the long jump, holding almost a foot lead over East Carolina's Cameron Hudeson but that mark came more than a month ago in El Paso. He will have to replicate that success on a humid May day in Houston to claim gold.
On the women's side, all eyes will be drawn to the Francis-Jackson rivalry that has led the league this season. The two seniors have traded the league's top times in the 100m dash and 100m hurdles and both enter the meet with the top times in those events - Jackson in the dash and Francis in the hurdles. Jackson edged out Francis in the 60m hurdles at the indoor championship meet but Francis enters this week with a three-hundredths of a second (0.03) edge over Jackson in the 100m hurdles performance list. Both are top 10 in the nation in the hurdles and that race promises to be close.
Action for the Bulldogs and Lady Techsters will begin on Thursday afternoon with the hammer at 2 p.m. followed by the 10,000m run at 8:45 p.m.
Saturday's action will start at 3 p.m. with the long jump while track events will begin at 5 p.m. beginning with the men's 1,500m run. The championship meet wraps up on Sunday starting with the men's triple jump at 2:30 p.m. and the 4x100m relay at 4:30 p.m.
Live results will be available at LATechSports.com while @LATechTandF will have updates throughout the meet on Twitter.
For complete coverage of Tech Track and Field and Cross Country, please follow @LATechTandF on Twitter or visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com.
|Projected Women's Finish|
|Projected Men's Finish|