2011-12 Track and Field Schedule Announced
Nov. 23, 2011
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. - SIUE track and field Head Coach Kareem Jackson announced the schedule for the upcoming 2011-12 season that features two home outdoor meets in April.
"Our team was personally invited to every meet on the schedule," said Jackson. "That says a lot about our program, and our kids are super excited to get the season going. This is the most competitive schedule since I started coaching at SIUE."
The Cougars will open the indoor season at SIU Carbondale Dec. 3 at the Saluki Fast Start.
"The first meet is a learning opportunity for a lot of them who have never competed indoors," added Jackson. "It will be a good indicator of how we did in our fall training and will help keep everyone motivated to continue their training over the holiday break."
Following a month-long break, SIUE is back on the track for three consecutive weekends beginning with the Holiday Inn Invitational hosted by the University of Nebraska Jan. 13-14.
"As a staff, we try to get our out-of-state athletes a chance to compete in their home state," said Jackson. "That is a big deal for us, and it really means a lot to the kids."
A high profile meet in the Iowa State Classic Feb. 9-11 and a pair of "last chance" qualifiers signify the end of the indoor portion of the schedule.
"We will face some of the nation's top athletes at the Iowa State meet," added Jackson. "Thirty percent of last year's participants qualified for the national meet."
SIUE has less than a month to prepare for its first meet of the outdoor season as it begins in Oxford, Miss., at the Ole Miss Invite March 31.
"Ole Miss always hosts a competitive meet so hopefully we get some good weather," said Jackson. "The trip is a good motivator for training through spring break."
There is not another open weekend for the remainder of the season as the Cougars travel to the Joey Haines Invitational in Cape Girardeau, Mo., (April 6-7) and the Hilltopper Relays in Bowling Green, Ky., (April 14).
The only two home meets on the schedule come in back-to-back weekends April 21 and 28 with the Gateway Invite and SIUE Twilight Invitational, respectively.
"Traveling takes a lot out of the team so those two meets will be nice to be home and allow family, peers, and the rest of the SIUE community to come and support the program," added Jackson.
Following the Billy Hayes Invitational in Bloomington, Ind., (May 4), the season closes with trip to Naperville for the Dr. Keeler Invitational (May 10-11) and the Gregory Multievent (May 15-16).
"The team has to be mentally ready to compete each and every week," said Jackson. "There is no time on the schedule to get complacent. The energy of this year's team is infectious. Everyone is anxious to get started."