AKRON, Ohio - The University of Akron track and field continues its spring campaign this week traveling to Texas for a pair of meets as the Zips are set to compete at the Texas Relays in Austin and the Bobcat Invitational in San Marcos this Wednesday through Saturday, March 29-April 1.
"We have a full week of Akron Track and Field at Texas Relays, as well as at the Bobcat Invitational at Texas State," Akron head track and field coach Dennis Mitchell commented. "We are fortunate to have several athletes accepted in this elite meet. Most of the best in the country will be there and it will be a great challenge for our athletes. Last year we had a great meet here as Akron had lots of accolades on the Longhorn Network during their television coverage."
The 90th annual meet will draw more than 7,700 athletes from around the country and around the world among the high school, collegiate and professional ranks. A total of 37 states and 17 countries will be represented this weekend in Austin.
The men's decathlon and women's heptathlon will be contested on Wednesday and Thursday, March 29-30, with senior Patricia Ortega (Logrono, Spain) in action for the Zips. The heptathlon commences the Texas Relays at 11:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday. Second-day competition in the heptathlon begins at noon ET.
Field events kick off with the women's hammer (men to follow) on Thursday at 12 p.m. ET, with running events getting underway with the women's 400-meter hurdles at 5:30 p.m. ET. The finals of the 4x400 relays will conclude the Texas Relays on Saturday, April 1, starting at 5:05 p.m. ET.
Former Zip All-American and 2015 World Champion Shawn Barber will participate in the men's elite pole vault at 2:45 p.m. ET on Saturday.
Live stats and a video stream of the Texas Relays will be available at GoZips.com.
The Longhorn Network (WATCH ESPN/ESPN3) will provide extensive coverage of the Texas Relays as well for fans. This year, 14 hours of coverage will be available during the four days of the Relays.
Longhorn Network Broadcast Schedule (all times Eastern)
• Wednesday, March 29: 7-8:30 p.m. (tape delay of multi-events)
• Thursday, March 30: 5:30-7 p.m. (tape delay of multi-events); 7-9 p.m. (live)
• Friday, March 31: 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (live), 8-10 p.m. (live)
• Saturday, April 2: 2:30-6:30 p.m. (live)
The Bobcat Invitational hosted by Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas, will begin at 9:30 a.m. ET with the multi-events on Thursday, March 30. The women's discus followed by the men's discus will start at 2 p.m. ET. The conclusion of the decathlon and heptathlon opens competition at 9:30 a.m. ET on Friday, March 31, before the women's high jump and 1,500 meters kicks off action in the field and track events at 2 p.m. ET and 6 p.m. ET, respectively. On Saturday, April 1, the women's javelin begins competition at 10 a.m. ET before the men's 4x400 relay closes action at 8 p.m. ET.
Akron currently has seven student-athletes ranked in the top-25 nationally by the Track and Field Results Reporting System (TFRRS), including senior Phil Jagers (Solon, Ohio), who owns the best mark nationally in the discus (203-6).
Also rated among the top-25 is sophomore Matt Ludwig (Chardon, Ohio) (third in the men's pole vault – 17-8.50/5.40m), junior Terrell McClain (Youngstown, Ohio) (third in men's long jump – 25-6.25/7.78m), senior Joe Oduho (Erie, Pa.) (eighth in men's long jump – 25-1.25/7.65m), sophomore Curtis Richardson (Blacklick, Ohio) (ninth in men's high jump – 7-0.25/2.14m), redshirt sophomore Mackenzie Andrews (Toowoomba, Australia) (13th in women's 1,500 meters – 4:25.05) and senior Daniella Johnson (Gahanna, Ohio) (21st in women's long jump – 19-9.50/6.03m).
The Akron men's track and field squad is ranked 32nd in the latest United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association NCAA Division I National Team Computer Rankings released on March 20.
Additionally, the Zips' men's and women's squads are ranked 14th and 15th, respectively, in the first men's and women's collegiate dual meet rankings of the 2017 outdoor campaign, as compiled by Jesse Squire for Track and Field News.