NORMAN — University of Oklahoma Vice President and Director of Athletics Joe Castiglione and Head Track and Field Coach Jim VanHootegem announced the 2018 OU track and field schedule Wednesday.
The Sooners open their indoor season on Jan. 12 at the Leonard Hilton Memorial Invite in Houston, Texas. The following week, OU heads to Nashville, Tenn., for the Vanderbilt Invitational on Jan. 19-20 before the Texas Tech Invitational on Jan. 26-27 in Lubbock, Texas.
OU will host one indoor meet, the J.D. Martin Invitational on Feb. 3. The team will then wrap up the regular indoor season at the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark., on Feb. 9-10.
Indoor postseason competition begins Feb. 23-24 at the Big 12 Indoor Championship in Ames, Iowa. The NCAA Indoor Championships are scheduled for March 9-10 in College Station, Texas.
VanHootegem said the indoor schedule will feature strong competition at several high-quality facilities.
“We’re excited that Texas Tech is opening up their new facility, and we like competing against them,” he said. “We respect them as a team and know that competing against them is going to be great competition, and it’s great to do that against a conference rival. We’ve heard good things about the Vanderbilt facility. They hosted the SEC Championship last year, and competing against Vanderbilt and at Arkansas, we always have the goal of going up against the best, so we like competing against the SEC schools, and not only those host schools, but also the schools that come to those meets.
“We’re always excited to compete at home in the J.D. Martin, and we thought that this year, Houston would be a good place to kick off our schedule,” VanHootegem continued. “Among other things, we have a lot of people from that area, so it gives them a chance to [compete] back home... They also have some great athletes there at Houston, too, so we’re always seeking competition.”
The Sooners begin the outdoor season one week after the conclusion of indoor, opening at the TCU Invitational March 16-17 in Fort Worth, Texas, prior to the Aztec Invitational on March 23-24 in San Diego.
OU will compete in the elite Texas Relays on March 28-31 in Austin, Texas, before heading to Tuscaloosa, Ala., for the Crimson Tide Invitational on April 6-7.
On April 20-21, the Sooners host the 49th annual John Jacobs Invitational. The team will conclude the regular season at the prestigious Penn Relays in Philadelphia on April 26-28.
The Big 12 Outdoor Championship is slated for May 11-13 in Waco, Texas, and the NCAA West Preliminary Round is set for May 24-26 in Sacramento, Calif. Qualifying athletes will advance to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore., on June 6-9.
“Everybody on our team is training for the Big 12 Championship,” VanHootegem said. “That can be a goal for everybody that’s a walk-on athlete or a younger athlete on our team. It’s the one thing that I think bonds our entire team, but we do place a very high emphasis on the West Preliminary meets because we want to qualify as many people as possible for the NCAA Championships, and that is still a very high goal of ours: to increase our national participation.”
|2017 Track and Field Schedule|
|Jan. 12||Leonard Hilton Memorial Invite||Houston, Texas|
|Jan. 19-20||Vanderbilt Invitational||Nashville, Tenn.|
|Jan. 26-27||Texas Tech Invitational||Lubbock, Texas|
|Feb. 3||J.D. Martin Invitational||Norman|
|Feb. 9-10||Tyson Invitational||Fayetteville, Ark.|
|Feb. 23-24||Big 12 Indoor Championship||Ames, Iowa|
|March 9-10||NCAA Indoor Championships||College Station, Texas|
|March 16-17||TCU Invitational||Fort Worth, Texas|
|March 23-24||Aztec Invitational||San Diego, Calif.|
|March 28-31||Texas Relays||Austin, Texas|
|April 6-7||Crimson Tide Invitational||Tuscaloosa, Ala.|
|April 20-21||John Jacobs Invitational||Norman|
|April 26-28||Penn Relays||Philadelphia, Penn.|
|May 11-13||Big 12 Outdoor Championship||Waco, Texas|
|May 24-26||NCAA West Preliminary Round||Sacramento, Calif.|
|June 6-9||NCAA Outdoor Championships||Eugene, Ore.|