WICHITA, Kan.- For the first time ever the Wichita State Track & Field Team will travel to Nacodoches, Texas to compete at the Skechers SFA Alumni Invitational on the campus of Stephen F. Austin.
“We’re looking forward to our meet this weekend down in Nachodoches, Texas,” said jumps coach, Heidi Yost. “It’s a place that we have never been before. We’re expecting great weather and great things from our athletes this weekend.”
Shocker student athletes broke two school records in the first meet of the outdoor season a week ago. Aliphine Tuliamuk-Bolton broke her own Missouri Valley Conference record in the 5,000m run. Mariah Garcia shattered the school’s discus record in her Shocker debut.
“It was totally unexpected,” Garcia said. “I really didn’t have mind set of what to do when I got in. I just tried my very best and I guess I did. I threw 175-7 and I’m very proud of that. “
The majority of the Shockers will be competing in their second meet of the season. Garcia and the team look to deliver more record setting performances in Texas.
“I want to try and keep upping my rank as I go along with the season,” Garcia said.
Garcia’s performance ranks ninth in the nation so far this year, but other freshman also impressed teammates and coaches in their Shocker debuts.
Holmes currently ranks second in the Valley with his throw of 210-8 at the Arkansas Spring Invitational. The freshman’s performance also caught the eye of the team’s veterans.
“We’re moving in the right direction,” senior, Mac Griffith said. “We’re just now seeing what the jav guys can do. They had a pretty good opener.”
Griffith and several of the other multis will travel back to Arkansas to compete at the Arkansas Decathlon/Heptathlon at the beginning of next week. An All-MVC decathlete a year ago, Griffith looks to increase his scores on the track he competed on last week.
“It was nice to get on that track,” Griffith “It’s a real hard track, but it is really fast so I’m looking to put up a big score for the decathlon there.”
Griffith has targeted two events that he needs to improve in order to regain the all-conference score he posted a year ago.
“My high jump and my (pole) vault aren’t where I want them to be or where they’ve been before so I’ve been working on those two events.,” Griffith explained. “Each bar is an extra 30 points so there’s a big point swing in those events.”
With a couple of his fellow decathletes banged up, Griffith and two of his teammates will be only representatives of the men’s team going back to Arkansas. Griffith knows how important it will be for him to stay healthy and has some advice on how to avoid injury.
“Staying healthy is going to be a key for us,” Griffith said. “A lot of times when you get hurt, your just not doing things right like stretching and taking care of your body.”
Griffith finished second in his first decathlon of the season two weeks ago. He scored 6,833 points at the Shirley Crowe Multi, hosted by Rice University.
Rice along with Louisiana Monroe, Louisiana Tech, Northwestern State, Nicholls State, UT-Tyler, and Wiley College will compete against the Shockers at the SFA Alumni Invitational.
Whether it’s a trip to Arkansas or Texas, this weekend’s meet will be the final tune up for the Shockers before they host their first home meet of the outdoor season, the K.T. Woodman Classic.
The college portion of this meet takes place on April 12-13 at Cessna Stadium. For a full meet schedule and other information on the KT Woodman Classic, visit the meet central page.
For tickets to this, and other Shocker home meets, contact the Shocker Ticket Office online here, by phone at 316-978-FANS (3267, or visit them in person at the southwest corner of Charles Koch Arena.