By Lindsey Johnson
BYU and the University of Utah will co-host the Olympic Oval Invitational track and field meet in Kearns, Saturday Jan. 25.
This is the first time in more than 15 years that BYU will host an indoor track and field invitational.
Although the meet is co-hosted by BYU, the meet will still be a disadvantage, as it will take place off the BYU campus.
“Because of the logistics of the meet, and because we have to travel to Salt Lake, for us it”s still an away meet,” women”s head track and field coach Craig Poole said.
Even though this meet is considered away, it will be a great chance for the athletes to compete in an Olympic facility.
The Olympic Oval Invitational will take place on the 442-meter installed Mondo Super X Track surrounding the 400-meter speed skating oval. The track consisting of four lanes also includes eight 110-meter sprint zones.
One of the hockey rinks inside the facility will also be converted to accommodate the field events.
The women”s teams competing include the University of Utah, Weber State, the University of Illinois and Southern Utah University”s distance team.
BYU and the University of Illinois will go head to head as they compete this year to improve last year”s 10th place tie at the NCAA Championships.
The women”s 60-meter hurdles should also be interesting as two top athletes compete.
University of Illinios senior Perdita Felicien, defending 2002 NCAA Indoor Champion in the 60-meter hurdles, will be competing against former BYU star Tiffany Lott-Hogan who is running unattached after finishing her eligibility.
Hogan holds the World Indoor Record in the 55-meter hurdles.
At last weekend”s first meet, The Bandanna Invite, the women”s team was able to get rid of some nerves and get the first meet out of the way.
“It was a good first meet, we were able to have a couple kids get personal bests,” Poole said.
The first meet also helped coaches recognize areas for improvement.
“We saw some bright spots and saw where there were lots of places we needed to work,” Poole said.
After making the necessary adjustments in practice this week, the women”s team should improve their five first-place finishes last weekend in Boise, Idaho.
The field events taking place include the pole vault, long jump, 20 lb. weigh throw, triple jump, shot put and the high jump.
The running events include the 3000, 5000, 600 and 800-meter runs, 400 and 200-meter dashes, 60-meter hurdles and the 1600-meter relay.
The field events will go from 1:30 to 5 p.m. with running events continuing from 2 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
Directions to the Olympic Oval Invitational can be found by going to http://www.utaholympicoval.com/about/location.html.