NORMAN, Okla. – In the final tune up before the postseason, the University of Oklahoma track and field team will split its time between Starkville, Miss., for the Jace LaCoste Invitational, and Fayetteville, Ark., for the Arkansas Twilight Invitational.
“When you start to think back to the first meetings of the year and the first weeks of practice, we were all getting ready for the month of May,” said head coach Jim VanHootegem. “Here it is. This weekend is an opportunity to get in a good performance to set up for the Big 12 Championships. This will give some of our people a chance to make the Big 12 roster.”
This weekend will mark the fourth and fifth SEC-hosted meets the Sooners have competed this outdoor season.
The Jace Lacoste Invitational, hosted by Mississippi State, begins on Friday and will end on Saturday. The majority of the Sooner competitors will make the trip to Starkville.
VanHootegem points out that the team expects to see stiff competition in Starkville, coming courtesy of traditionally successful programs like Mississippi State, Alabama, Florida State, Iowa State and Virginia Tech. Alabama boasts the No. 8 men’s program in the country, while Florida State, Mississippi State and Virginia Tech are all ranked in the top 25 of the women’s rankings.
“There are good teams across the board,” VanHootegem explained. “There is a mixture of SEC, Big 12 and ACC. We have wanted to see the best competition from around the nation all season, and this is another opportunity for that.”
Morgan Nichols will kick off competition for the Sooners at 6 p.m. on Friday in the pole vault. OU will also have competitors in both the men’s hammer and 5,000-meter run on Friday. The majority of events are scheduled on Saturday and feature competition both on the track and in the field. Field events begin at noon and track events at 2:45 p.m.
The men and women’s javelin throwers will be only Sooners headed for Arkansas Friday. The single day meet will begin for the Sooners at 3 p.m. on Friday with the women throwers, and the men will atart at 6. The Twilight Invitational will be Oklahoma’s third visit to Fayetteville in 2014. One more trip remains for those who advance to the NCAA West Regional prelims May 29-21.
Live results from the Jace LaCoste Invitational will be available at branchsportstech.com and live results from the Arkansas Twilight will be available at flashresults.com. Recaps will be posted at the end of each day’s competition on SoonerSports.com.