Feb. 8, 2018
NASHVILLE ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ More than 700 intercollegiate athletes representing teams from 14 states will compete in the Music City Challenge this Friday and Saturday on the Vanderbilt campus looking to qualify for the upcoming NCAA Indoor Track and Championships.
For many of the athletes gathering in Nashville, the Music City Challenge serves as a final competitive tune-up for fast-approaching conference championships and a late chance to secure a spot in the NCAA national championships scheduled March 9-10 in College Station, Texas.
Vanderbilt head coach Steve Keith has the same goals for his Commodore squad that will include up to 18 participants.
“We need to use this meet to get more prepared for the SEC Championships coming up in two weeks,” Keith said. “At the same time, we have several athletes with a chance to earn their way into the NCAA Championships with a strong performance.”
Bell, a senior from Bloomington, Ill., needs to increase her season best to return to the national championships. Last winter, she earned indoor All-America honors after qualifying with a school-record clearance of 13-11.25 at the 2017 SEC Championships.
Denk, from North Royalton, Ohio, and Lofstead, from Camas, Wash., need season best performances to advance to the nationals. Both have soared beyond 13 feet this winter.
Edobi, from Union, N.J., likely needs to threaten her indoor career best in the 400 meters to advance. Last year, she posted the program’s second fastest 400 with a 53.47 effort.
Among the schools expected to join Vanderbilt at the Music City Challenge are Alabama, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Missouri from the Southeastern Conference, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota and Ohio State from the Big Ten, and Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest from the Atlantic Coast Conference. Other Tennessee-based teams, including Middle Tennessee, Austin Peay, Lipscomb and Memphis, will compete.
The Music City Challenge is the third indoor meet staged this winter in the Vanderbilt Multipurpose Facility, located on campus between 25th Avenue South and Natchez Trace. The facility and its 300-meter unbanked Mondo track surface has earned a national reputation of producing fast times since it was opened five years ago.
The meet opens Friday, with the high jump and long jump for men and women starting at 4 p.m. CT. Three running events – the 200-meter dash, distance medley relay and 5,000 meters – will on tap Friday starting at 6:30 p.m. A full schedule of events is slated Saturday, starting with field events at 10:30 a.m. Running events begin Saturday at 10 a.m., continuing through the closing 4×400-meter relay at 5 p.m.
Admission to the Music City Challenge is $5 per person. Vanderbilt students receive free entry with a valid student I.D.
Spectators are encouraged to park in the 25th Avenue Garage via the Highland Avenue entrance on Friday.
Long jump – Sophia Falco
Pole vault – Sarah Bell, Kristen Denk, Caleigh Lofstead, Margaret Ollinger
Triple jump – S. Falco
60 meters – S. Falco
200 meters – Regan Clay, Jenn Edobi, S. Falco
400 meters – J. Edobi, R. Clay
800 meters – Reagan Bustamante, Becca Schulte
3,000 meters – Kacie Breeding, Devon Grisbaum, Megan Huebner, Anna Grace Morgan, Mailin Struck Mile – Reagan Anderson, Kendall Derry, Ginger Hutton, Sara Tsai
Distance medley relay – R. Bustamante, B. Schulte, G. Hutton, K. Derry
4×400-meter relay – R. Clay, J. Edobi, B. Schulte, R. Bustamante