Written by: Parker Perry
This weekend, The University of Akron track and field team will disperse team members to participate in three different meets around the country.
Akron will send athletes to San Diego, Penn State and Ashland in hopes to qualify as many team members for nationals as they can.
“We are sending our athletes to the best venues to get national marks, national exposure and an opportunity to make sure they qualify for the first round of the NCAA Championships,” Akron Head Coach Dennis Mitchell said.
Akron has had a lot of success in recent years when it comes to qualifying for the NCAA Championships. More recently, two weeks ago, in the Northeast Ohio Quads hosted by the Akron, UA’s high jumper Katherine Lee posted a mark that ranked her in the mid-30s in the nation to qualify her for Nationals.
Akron has also already competed in prestigious events throughout the early part of the outdoor season. The Zips started the season at the LSU Relays, and then turned around to compete in the Texas Relays. Akron competed against the best in the country in those events, and will do so again this week.
“Our top distance runners, relays and top jumpers are going to the prestigious Penn Relays,” Mitchell said.
Akron will send Tyshaun Peoples and Brad Hough to this event, where they will have the opportunity to face again members from schools that have proven to be the best in the country. The Penn Relays take place in Philadelphia in an invitation-only event. The respect that Akron has garnered and the constant invitations that they receive to compete in nationally respected events proves that the program continues to grow and impress.
Along with the Penn Relays, Akron will send athletes to California.
“Our top throwers and pole vaulters are in San Diego,” Mitchell said.
Akron will send Nick Banke and Valerie Fraizer to the meet. Banke, who has proven to be a top thrower in the Mid-American Conference throughout his career, was injured last week and could not compete. Fraizer has also had a lot of success, and in her senior year wants to make one last run toward a MAC Championship.
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