FAYETTEVILLE – The No. 5 University of Arkansas men’s track and field team opens its outdoor season with a home meet this weekend at John McDonnell Field in Fayetteville. The Razorbacks will play host to a scheduled 13-team field at the Arkansas Spring Invitational. Competition on Saturday begins at 9 a.m. (CT) with the discus while running events are scheduled for a 1:30 p.m. start.
"It’s a bit of a start over for us," head coach Chris Bucknam said. "It’s a brand new season with a different feel from being indoors. We’re really pushing this early season meet. We have a beautiful outdoor track that is unbelievably fast. As always, we’re building for the end of April and beginning of May with the start of the championship season."
In addition to the Razorbacks, the Arkansas Spring Invitational will feature two other ranked teams with No. 15 Nebraska and No. 18 Iowa. The rest of the teams include Drake, Iowa Central CC, Johnson County CC, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, South Dakota State, Tulsa and Wichita State.
Arkansas begins the 2012 outdoor campaign as the No. 5 team in the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) preseason rankings. The Razorbacks are one of three teams from the Southeastern Conference ranked inside the top five and one of seven overall. The conference leads the nation with seven teams in the preseason top 25.
The Arkansas Spring Invitational is the first of three outdoor home meets for the Razorbacks this season, in addition to the John McDonnell Invitational (April 20-21) and Arkansas Twilight (May 4). Arkansas’ championship season begin May 10-13 with the SEC meet in Baton Rouge, La. The NCAA West Preliminary will be contested May 24-26 in Austin. The collegiate season will come to an end June 6-9 with the NCAA Championships in Des Moines, Iowa.
Competition in the discus and hammer throw will be held Friday evening. Follow this weekend’s home action via live results and interactive blog. For more information regarding Razorback track and field or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.