Track Resumes Indoor Season With Honors

After more than a month off from competition, the A-State track and field team will resume its indoor season this weekend when Coach Jim Patchell takes approximately 30 members of his squad to Lexington to compete in the annual University of Kentucky Invitational Meet.

"We're just taking the ones that we feel we need to get 'em out there and get 'em started on the season to shake some of the rust off," Patchell said today while appearing as a guest on AstAteNation Radio on The Ticket.

"We just came off a four-week break and are getting ready to jump back into it." The Red Wolves were last in action when they opened the indoor season on Dec. 7 at the A-State Kick-Off Classic.

The Red Wolves last action resulted in Sun Belt track and field performers of the week awards, nearly a month after their last meet.

Jaylen Bacon began his collegiate career with a 200m time of 21.52 (adjusted to 21.15 for track size). His mark leads the Sun Belt Conference and ranks second nationally. He also had a strong run in the 60m dash, finishing in 6.77 (55m dash time converted from 6.29). Both of his results are in the top three all-time at A-State.

Coming off an impressive freshman campaign, Roelf Pienaar started his season off strong with two wins at the A-State Kickoff Klassic. Pienaar leaped 7.48m (24-6.5) in the long jump and followed it up with a triple jump of 15.01m (49-3). Both of his marks lead the Sun Belt Conference and his long jump sits third in the NCAA.

Patchell said the UKIT field will include about 20 teams. "Obviously, Kentucky will be there, Louisville will be there, UCF, and Troy will be up there...a couple of smaller D2 schools in that area will be there."

The ASU boss is hoping for a strong weekend from returning All Americans Roelf Pienaar (long jump) and Rich Chavez (shot put).

"We'd like to get a qualifying mark for both of those guys and get it out of the way this first weekend so that we can just train and get ready for the conference meet, and then nationals after that."

The UK meet will begin Friday afternoon and continue throughout the day on Saturday at Nutter Field House, an $8.5 million, 132-thousand square foot facility.

The Red Wolves will return home the following weekend to host the Scarlet & Black Invitational on Jan. 24 at the Convocation Center.

AStateNation radio is heard on The Ticket 970am/95.3fm Moday through Friday from 11:00am to 1:00pm and online at 953theticket.com

AState Sports Information contributed to this article.