Olson Announces 2014 Track Schedule
Dec. 4, 2013
NACOGDOCHES, Texas – Stephen F. Austin track and field has long been a force in the Southland Conference, and in 2014 the Lumberjacks and Ladyjacks will be traveling across the country to show what they can do.
Head coach Phil Olson has announced his team’s 2014 schedule with SFA looking to continue its dominance on the women’s side and repeat as men’s champions again. The 2013 season saw the Ladyjacks and Lumberjacks win both the indoor and outdoor team titles. It marked the fifth straight year the women have swept the Southland Conference Track and Field Championships for 10 straight titles overall.
“We are constantly working hard as a team to elevate our program to be as competitive as possible in order to reach the highest levels possible,” Olson said. “Our goal as a program is to consistently vie for a conference title and be among the nation’s best as a team. This schedule reflects our commitment to challenge our athletes to compete against the best teams in the nation. We love head to head competition.”
This season, SFA track and field will open its indoor season at the Akron Pole Vault Convention on January 4. The specialty meet is a three-day event that brings together some of the top pole vaulters in the nation and top coaches for the event for competition and clinics in pole vault. SFA men’s vaulters Colton Ross and Cameron Meyer finished third and fourth, respectively, last season at the Southland Conference Championship outdoors. Ross finished second indoors and earned USTFCCCA Second Team All-America for his 15th-place finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships.
The pair of Ross and Meyer will be joined by the No. 1 high school pole vaulter from a year ago in Daven Murphree, adding to the firepower the Lumberjacks bring to the event this season.
SFA will remain close to home for its first two full meets, competing at the Houston Indoor Opener on January 11 and at the A&M 12-Team Invitational the following weekend at Texas A&M.
The track and field teams will travel to meets in Wichita, Kan., and Birmingham, Ala., before again competing at Houston on Feb. 14. Then, it will be back to Birmingham for the SLC Indoor Championships where SFA will again look to sweep the team titles.
NCAA Indoor Championships will be hosted in Albuquerque, N.M., this year on March 14-15. This will be the first time Albuquerque has hosted the NCAA Championships.
Outdoors, SFA will again be at some premier meets. Coach Olson and his teams will open at the Alabama Relays on March 20-22 before splitting the teams up for the Rice Bayou Classic, Texas Relays and Bobcat Invitational the following week. The Texas Relays is one of the longest-running and largest meets in the country each year with top collegiate and high school teams competing.
Olson and his team will host the Skecher’s Carl Kight Invitational at Bryce Stadium on April 4-5 for two days of action.
“This has become a special meet for us in that we have alternated the meet every other year with our Alumni Invitational, and it has grown in the level of competitiveness and size. We are expecting approximately 12 teams this year, and to have a sponsorship from Skecher’s is extremely exciting,” Olson said. “Most importantly, we have officially named the meet in honor of our longtime friend, starter and supporter Carl Kight, who passed away this past spring.”
Track and field will then travel to the Incarnate Word Invitational before another split week with the majority of the team headed to the Central Arkansas Open on April 18-19, while the distance runners will head to the prestigious Mt. SAC Relays in California.
On April 24-26, the team will again split with some runners headed to the oldest meet in America, the Penn Relays. Each year the top relay teams in the nation in the college and high school ranks head to the prestigious meet, and SFA’s men’s 4x400 relay earned a berth in the NCAA Finals with a school-record of 3:06.68, one of the top times in the country in 2013. That weekend another group of Lumberjacks and Ladyjacks will head to the J. Fred Duckett Twilight in Houston.
After a week off, SFA will be ready to defend its conference titles again outdoors. The conference meet is set for May 9-11 in Conway, Ark., hosted by Central Arkansas.
Following conference championship season, the top athletes in each region will head to the NCAA Preliminary Rounds. This year, the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds return to Fayetteville, Ark.
The 2014 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships will again be hosted in Tracktown USA at the historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., on June 11-14.
- SFA -