Track squads host Hilltopper Relays this weekend

Jonah Phillips

The track and field squads have a rare opportunity to win at home this weekend as WKU hosts the Hilltopper Relays at the WKU Track and Field Complex.

The Toppers are coming off a busy week, competing in both Florida and Louisville, but look for this weekend as a good chance to showcase their skills to fans and family as well as to prepare for the four-week stretch standing between them and the Sun Belt Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

Throws coach Ashley Duncan said WKU welcomes the chance to compete in Bowling Green.

“Any time you have an opportunity to compete at home, it’s an opportunity to showcase what you have going on, and the athletes feel the same way,” Duncan said.

With teams from the Sun Belt Conference, Mid-American Conference, Conference USA, and Ohio Valley Conference visiting, coach Erik Jenkins said the meet is a good chance for WKU to gauge its progress.

“This weekend poses a great chance for us to keep building off where we are in the season,” he said.

The same train of thought was echoed by women’s distance coach Michelle Scott, who is still searching for the best formula to success.

She said plans on switching the women’s runners’ events this weekend so that the shorter distance sprinters will compete in the longer events and vice versa.  This will give her a better idea moving forward on what events work best for each athlete.

“We are still in the training phase of the season, trying to figure out who is best at what as far as scoring at meets,” Scott said.

Another concern echoed by the coaching staff is the importance of staying focused on Sun Belt Conference.

“We don’t want to peak too early,” Scott said. “Ideally you want to be running your best races at the end of the season, not in the middle.”

Duncan is also in the process of learning where her squad stands after dealing with turnover from the start of the season.

“I had a couple girls transfer at the beginning of this semester, so the first events I have ever seen them throw was not even a month ago,” she said.

“Their development since then has been extremely strong, and I expect better results from my group as a whole.  I fully believe they will be ready to go a month from now.

The action this weekend kicks off 9 a.m. Saturday morning.  The squads will travel to Vanderbilt the following weekend for the Vanderbilt Invitational, although sprinters Joseph Chebet and David Mokone will travel to Walnut California for the Mt. SAC relays.