University of Arkansas to Host USA Track and F
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – For the second year in a row, the University of Arkansas will host a stop on USA Track and Field’s Indoor Golden Spike Tour at the Randal Tyson Track Center on February 10. The meet will be held in conjunction with the Tyson Invitational, a collegiate meet held on Friday, Feb. 9, with the professional meet being held on Saturday.
“Our goal is to bring world-class athletes to Fayetteville,” said USA Track and Field representative and former Razorback All-American Mike Connelly. “We should have some great athletes coming in this year coming off the Olympic Games this summer. Eventually, we would like for the World Indoor Championships to come to Arkansas and the Randal Tyson Track Center. We have secured about 80 percent of the professional athletes. Some of the best in the world will be here. It will be a world-class field.”
The Golden Spike Tour, now in its third year, provides United States athletes the opportunity to compete in the United States and earn prize money in front of a nationally televised audience. Fayetteville will be the second stop on the Golden Spike Tour with tape-delayed coverage being shown on ESPN on Feb. 15 from 7-8 p.m. EST.
Many high profile athletes will compete on the Golden Spike Tour including Jeff Hartwig, the United States indoor and outdoor record holder in the pole vault, who won the pole vault at last year’s meet with a jump of 19-2.25.
“It is special for me to get to compete there because it is my home state so it is particularly special for me,” Hartwig said. “It is a great opportunity to get to compete there. Even though it is not a big city, they had an incredible crowd their last year. The facility (Randal Tyson Track Center) is absolutely amazing. I really like the layout of the arena. It brings the crowd in close.”
Some of the top teams in collegiate track will be competing in the Tyson Invitational on Friday. Schools that are scheduled to compete are Colorado State, Nebraska, Texas, Wisconsin, LSU, SMU, Clemson’s women, OSU, TCU, Auburn, BYU, Florida, Baylor, Arizona State, Villanova, Georgetown, South Carolina, Northern Iowa, Rice’s women, Houston and Oklahoma.
“This will be a great meet for us and an incredible opportunity to get some world-class athletes to come to Fayetteville,” UA head coach John McDonnell said. “The collegiate meet will be a who’s who of the best teams in track. It will be a great meet and maybe better than the NCAA’s.”
The Razorbacks’ men track and field program kicks-off the 2001 indoor season with the SEC Quad Meet on January 19 at the Randal Tyson Track Center. Teams scheduled to compete include Florida, Ole Miss, Texas and Vanderbilt.
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