WICHITA, Kan.- The Wichita State Track & Field team hits the road for the first time this season, when they travel to Lincoln for meets on both Friday and Saturday.
Nebraska Wesleyan hosts Friday's meet, while Nebraska will compete as the home team on Saturday for the Adidas Classic. Both meets will be held at the Devaney Center on the campus of the Cornhuskers.
Iowa, Air Force, and familiar foe Oral Roberts will also battle the Shockers and Huskers.
"This is a great opportunity for the athletes in our program to go to an upper level track meet, "Head Coach Steve Rainbolt said. "Nebraska is one of the premiere programs in the country. It will be very tough competition."
The Shockers are coming off of 14 wins at the Herm Wilson Invitational last week. Nine of those wins came from the women's team.
"I left the Herm Wilson Invitational feeling good about our women's team and feeling like our men have a ways to go," Rainbolt said.
One of those wins came from Shanice Andrews, who claimed victory in the women's triple jump.
"I surprised myself, " Andrews said. "I went out there and jumped 39-3. I wasn't expecting that, but I was feeling good."
With a step up in competition coming at Nebraska, Andrews and her fellow jumpers will need to score points if the Shockers want to upset the #21 ranked Nebraska women's team.
"The field is pretty competitive at Nebraska with some good long jumpers and triple jumpers, Jumps Coach, Heidi Yost said. "Scoring high in those events will obviously help our team score."
According to Yost, injuries may hinder the WSU men's team in the jumps, but the women's team with Andrews and returning All-MVC triple jumper Courtney Reinke look to match their 1-2 finish from last week.
"I want to excel every week, at every meet, get better, and train harder," Andrews said.
Despite the injuries, the Shocker men's team performed well in the distance events at the Herm Wilson Invitational. WSU student-athletes placed first in three of the four longest races at the meet.
Jake Wike and Tomas Cotter both won races at last week's Herm Wilson Invitational. (Wike won the 800m, Cotter finished first in the 1,000m) This week the duo will compete against each other in the men's mile run.
"I'm not trying to go in there and beat Tomas and he's not going to try and beat me, necessarily," Wike explained. "We'll just go in there and race each other. We're like thunder and lightning together. In the Valley, we're definitely a force to be reckoned with."
The majority of the Shocker Track & Field athletes will compete on Saturday, but a contingent of Shockers will also get some extra meet experience on Friday. The multis and other WSU athletes looking for more experience will be in action at Nebraska Wesleyan.
"Friday's just a chance to get some extra competitive experience for some of our athletes and Saturday is the focus of the weekend," Rainbolt said. "It's our first chance to get on the road with our athletes and get them used to the routine of a road trip. It's a really good rehearsal for what we have to do at the Missouri Valley Indoor Championships."
Shocker Track fans can keep up with all of this weekend's action by following along with the live stats available here.
The Shockers will send athletes to the UW Invitational in Seattle as well as the Jayhawk Invitational in Lawrence, Kan. on Friday, Jan. 25. WSU returns home Friday, Feb.1 and Saturday, Feb. 2 for the Varsity Apartments Invitational at the Heskett Center.
To get tickets for the Varsity Apartments Invitational and future Shocker Track meets, call 316-978-FANS (3267), click on the following link, or visit the Shocker ticket office in person at the Southwest corner of Koch Arena.