EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE track and field Head Coach Scott Block has planned a few challenges for his team as well as some new ideas for the 2016-17 schedule.
"We have switched up our schedule to make the dual with Southeast Missouri an early bird meet," said Block. "We wanted a competitive event early on to reap the rewards of all of the fall training and provide a good incentive heading into the winter break."
SIUE opens the 2016-17 track and field schedule at Southeast Missouri Dec. 9 at 4 p.m.
The Cougars then travel to some of the Midwest's top events at Illinois (Jan. 14), Missouri (Jan. 20) and Indiana (Jan. 27-28) before heading to SIU Carbondale (Feb. 3-4) and Grand Valley State (Feb. 10-11).
"The meet at Carbondale is usually a very good meet, and the Grand Valley meet is on an oversized track which will give some of our distance athletes a chance to have a good performance," said Block.
The Ohio Valley Conference Indoor Championships is set for Feb. 24-25 in Charleston, Illinois, with Eastern Illinois as the host institution.
"We're real familiar with that track," noted Block.
The NCAA Indoor Championships are set for March 10-11 at Texas A&M.
The 2017 outdoor season kicks off March 24-25 at Mississippi.
"We have not been there in several years," said Block. "I'm real excited about going down there because they have a new track facility."
The annual SIUE vs. SIU Carbondale dual meet continues this season with a new twist. The event takes place midweek, a Wednesday evening event in Carbondale.
"It's something we believe will be a lot of fun," said Block. "We'll be under the lights, and it will be a good opportunity to get some good performances."
The Cougars have scheduled one home meet for the 2017 season. The Gateway Classic is set for April 8.
On April 14-15, SIUE will team up with regular OVC rival Southeast Missouri in a unique Ohio Valley Conference vs. Missouri Valley Conference meet. The combined scoring of SIUE and SEMO will be pitted against the combined scoring of Indiana State and Illinois State. Indiana State will be the host of this event.
"It's something new that we have been working on for a while," said Block. "That should be something different that will change the dynamics of the meet."
SIUE also is looking to attend two top meets at Illinois (April 22) and Memphis (April 28-29).
The outdoor OVC Championships is heading to a new venue May 11-13 in Oxford, Alabama, at a newly-constructed facility at Choccolocco Park, which also serves as the site for the OVC softball and baseball championships. It marks the first time the event will be a three-day championship.
The NCAA West Preliminaries will be held May 25-27 at Austin, Texas. The NCAA Championship is June 7-10 in Eugene, Oregon.