FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas will compete on their home turf during eight meets this season including the 2016 SEC Indoor Championships which is scheduled to be hosted by the Razorbacks on Feb. 26-27.
Home of the nation’s fastest indoor track, the Randal Tyson Track Center has been the venue for the SEC indoor championships seven times since Arkansas first hosted the meet in 2000. The Razorbacks have won the indoor conference title six out of the seven times that the meet has been held in Fayetteville.
Since joining the conference in 1991 Arkansas has dominated the SEC indoor meet claiming 20 out of a possible 24 titles. The Razorbacks added four individual conference indoor champions to their long list of SEC gold medalists last year in Kemoy Campbell (3,000m, 5,000m), Andrew Irwin (pole vault) and Omar McLeod (60-meter hurdles). Responsible of 20 of Arkansas’ 89 points Campbell received the Cliff Harper Trophy as the meet’s high-point scorer.
The indoor season will kick off with the Arkansas Invitational on Friday, Jan. 15. Arkansas will remain at home for their next meet, the Razorback Invitational set to take place on Jan. 29-30. One of the premier meets of the indoor season the entry list boasts the nation’s top teams including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas, LSU, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Purdue, Texas, Texas A&M and the defending national champions, Oregon.
The team will be split between the Tyson Invitational and Iowa State Classic on Feb. 12-13. Last season saw the Randal Tyson Track Center average 2,217 fans in attendance over the two-day Tyson meet.
The regular season will come to a close during the weekend of Feb. 19-20 which will see the team split between the Arkansas Qualifier and Alex Wilson Invitational in South Bend.
Post-season competition will start in Fayetteville with the SEC Indoor Championships and will continue through to the NCAA Indoor Championships on March 11-12 in Birmingham.
“It [schedule] has a great blend of home and away meets,” said head coach Chris Bucknam. “We try and keep a balance and we’re fortunate enough to have the fastest indoor track in the world which attracts great teams. We’re able to provide our student-athletes with a comfortable atmosphere while giving them a chance to remain competitive. Our big three indoor meets [Razorback Invite, Tyson Invite, SEC Championships] are phenomenal. The Razorback Invitational is stacked with some of the best teams in the country and gives you an idea of the type of competition we bring in. Our key home meet is the SEC Indoor Championships which is one of the best meets in the world in regards to talent represented.”
The Razorbacks will start the outdoor season with the Arkansas Spring Invitational at John McDonnell Field on March 26. The team will split up the following weekend heading to Austin and Palo Alto to take on the Texas Relays and Stanford Invitational on April 1-2. Arkansas will travel west again for the Mt. SAC relays on April 15-16 and return to home competition on April 22-23 for the John McDonnell Invitational which will feature several power five institutions including Kansas, Minnesota, Purdue, and Oklahoma State.
“We are working very hard to make our home meets more attractive and fan friendly,” said Bucknam. “As the season approaches we plan on promoting a three hour primetime window during which we encourage families to come and watch some great collegiate track and field events with the best programs in the country right here in Fayetteville, ‘the track capital of the world’!”
The final three meets of the regular season will see the Razorbacks split up one last time between the LSU Invitational and the Payton Jordan Invitation on April 30 following them up with the Arkansas Twilight on May 6.
“Our goal is always to put together a schedule that will prepare us for SECs and NCAAs,” said Bucknam. “We host three good meets at home. The John McDonnell Invitational looks to be a great competition and the Arkansas Twilight always produces great performances. We’re looking forward to the Texas Relays and going to the LSU Invitational in April which will serve as a kind of preview to the SEC Outdoor championships.”
Arkansas travels to Tuscaloosa on May 12-14 for the 2016 SEC Outdoor Championships. The Razorbacks will continue their post-season campaign at Kansas on May 26-28 for the NCAA West Regional. Eugene will be the final collegiate season stop for Arkansas on June 8-11 for the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Several Razorbacks will look to continue competition and represent their countries in world competition either at the World Junior Championships in Russia or the Olympics in Brazil. The U.S. will hold their junior trials in Clovis, Calif. at Veteran Memorial Stadium on June 24-26 while the US Olympic trials will be held at Hayward Field in Eugene on July 1-10.
Season tickets will be available for purchase in November. More details will follow at a later date.
For more information on Arkansas track and field including in-meet updates, follow @RazorbackTF on Twitter.