Track & Field opens outdoor season

Blue Raiders look to continue 2012 success

March 16, 2012 · Athletic Communications

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Middle Tennessee track and field teams will begin their outdoor seasons this weekend when they travel to Memphis to compete in the Rhodes Open Meet on Saturday.

The competition is set to kick off Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. CT with a variety of field events including the men’s and women’s high jump. The meet will conclude with the men’s and women’s 1600-meter relays on Saturday afternoon. The full schedule of events along with the list of competing teams and heat sheets can be found here.

Among the schools joining Middle Tennessee in the field are Belmont, Lipscomb, Ole Miss, UALR and Vanderbilt along with meet host Rhodes College.

“This is a perfect meet to begin our outdoor season,” said Middle Tennessee head coach Dean Hayes. “It provides good competition without being overwhelming. Our goal this weekend is to compete well while getting used to competing outdoors again.”

The Blue Raiders are coming off a successful indoor season as the women’s squad captured the Sun Belt championship while the men recorded a second-place conference finish. Middle Tennessee sent four student-athletes to the NCAA Indoor Championships earlier this month with Ann Dudley earning All-America honors in the women’s high jump competition.

Junior Noah Akwu returns to lead the men’s squad in the sprints events. The Egume, Nigeria, native capped off his excellent 2011 outdoor season by claiming the 200 and 400-meter event titles at least season’s Sun Belt Outdoor Championships.

Cordairo Golden meanwhile aims to carry his indoor success into the outdoor season. The Sun Belt Indoor Male Field Athlete of the Year tallied a pair of top-five finishes in the long jump during the 2011 outdoor season while placing fifth in the triple jump at the Sun Belt Championships.

Dudley will help propel the Blue Raider women this season in the jumps events. The newest Middle Tennessee All-American hopes to mirror her indoor success with another impressive outdoor campaign. The Jacksonville, Fla., product notched three outdoor event titles in the high jump a year ago including posting a personal-best leap of 5 feet, 9.25 inches at the Vanderbilt Invitational.

In the women’s sprints events, junior Kiara Henry will look to pace Middle Tennessee. She nabbed a total of three top-five finishes in the 100 and 200 meters last season to go along with an event title as part of the 4x100-meter relay team at the Boston Moon Classic.

Unfortunately there will be no live results provided for Saturday’s meet. Results of the meet will be posted on the teams’ Facebook and Twitter pages as soon as they become available with a full recap and results available on GoBlueRaiders.com at the end of each day.

Follow the Blue Raider track and field teams on Twitter @MTTrackField and on Facebook at the MT Track & Field page. Also, stay up-to-date on the teams on the new Track & Field Notebook, which can be found here as well as linked on the Track & Field page on GoBlueRaiders.com.

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