Track and Field Bears Announce 2010-11 Schedule
SPRINGFIELD - The track and field Bears have finalized their 2010-11 schedule that will feature seven indoor and eight outdoor regular season meets in addition to both Missouri Valley Conference Championships.
The Bears begin their season Dec. 4 with the Bob Timmons Invitational on the campus of the University of Kansas. The meet will mark the earliest start to a season since the 2005-06 campaign. Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Ronald Boyce said the December action will be good for his young team.
"We hope it will add a sense of motivation where we can focus all the way through the entire fall," Boyce said. "The fall is really tricky because usually we do not have a competition to look forward to. But now since we have one in December, then we can get excited and it will help us to stay focused."
The Bears are then off until after the New Year when they will head to the Missouri Invitational (Jan. 7). The SIU Booster (Jan. 14-15) and Indiana Relays (Jan. 28-29) follow and close out January competition.
February meets begin with the Iowa State Classic (11-12), which will serve as the final tune up before the Missouri Valley Conference Championships. UNI will host the MVC Championships Feb. 26-27 in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The Bears look to improve on their fifth-place showing last season with returners Terry Phillips (Kansas City, Mo.) and Kimsue Grant (Arlington, Va.) leading the way. Phillips won the 3,000-meter as last season's Championships, while Grant took third in the triple jump.
The Notre Dame Alex Wilson Invitational (March 4-5) and the Iowa State Last Chance (March 5) will close the indoor regular season. Potential NCAA National Championships qualifiers will compete in hopes of earning a bid to the national meet March 11-12 in Fayetteville, Ark.
The outdoor season starts off with the SIU Spring Classic and the Stanford Invitational, both running March 25-26.
April brings some familiar road trips for the Bears as they visit the campuses of Arkansas (Razorback Spring Invitational, April 1), Missouri (Tom Botts Invitational April 8-9), Kansas (Kansas Relays April 20-23) and Drake (Drake Relays April 28-30). It will be the 102nd running of the prestigious Drake Relays. That same weekend MSU will compete in the Kip Janvrin Open in Indianola, Iowa, on the campus of Simpson College.
The Arkansas Twilight (May 6) closes the outdoor regular season. The MVC Outdoor Championships will once again run in Cedar Falls, Iowa, May 13-15. The Bears finished sixth at the meet last season, with 2010-11 returner Cheyenne Stewart (Christ Church, Barbados) earning All-Missouri Valley Conference honors in the high jump.
The NCAA West Preliminary Round will run May 26-28. Grant is the only returning qualifier after she earned a spot last season with her triple jump performance.
For any Bears that may advance, the NCAA Championships will be held in Des Moines, Iowa on the campus of Drake University. They are set for June 8-11.
While the Bears do not host any home meets, Boyce believes the numerous events within close proximity to Missouri State will serve as a boost for the squad.
"It is an exciting schedule," Boyce said. "We have a nice sized team, a young team and we try to stay a little closer to home so we can have some representation, hopefully have some fans in the stadium."
This season the Bears welcome one of its largest recruiting classes ever with the addition of 23 newcomers.