Written by: Parker Perry
The University of Akron men’s and women’s track teams will be traveling to compete in the Texas Relays this week.
Akron is coming off the LSU Relays, where they won nine events and came close to breaking school records.
Head Coach Dennis Mitchell said that he is excited about the meet, and that the Texas Relays is one of the “elite” meets of the season.
“The stadium is packed and it is a major festival for the whole city,” Mitchell said. “The best of the best in field events and sprints are here.”
Akron will send 10 competitors to Texas, all of which will be taking part in field events. They include Mike Uhle, Joe Wesley, Dan Garrett, Katherine Lee, Ariane Beaumont-Courteau, Nick Banke, Tyshaun Peoples, Bryan Jones and Alex McCune. They are all diverse in the events they compete in, and most have proven themselves throughout their careers.
Uhle, a senior, is coming off an injury that sidelined him for almost a year. Uhle was, and is, a standout pole vaulter, who at one point last year held the record for highest vault in the nation. He has won seven MAC Championships in the pole vault. Uhle will look to continue the trend on the national stage.
Uhle is not alone when it comes to pole vaulting, as his teammates Wesely and Garrett are right on his heels. Wesely won the indoor MAC Campionship this past indoor season. Garrett has also had his success, as he landed a second-team All-MAC just a year ago.
“[Uhle] is trying to see if he can be the first-ever to get all eight [MAC Championships], Mitchell said. “His teammates will have something to say about that.”
On the women’s side, USTFCCCA All-American Lee and her teammate Beaumont-Courteau will make the trip. Lee is a jumper and hopes to start the season strong while Beaumont-Courteau will join the men at the pole vault.
Another field event that Akron hopes to do well in is the weight throw. The Zips will send out Eric Hubbard, who won the 2012 indoor championship.
Along with them will be the decathlon athletes. Mitchell spoke about the fierce opponents that his men, Jones and McCune, will have to face.
“This is also the best decathlon competition of the year before Nationals and Olympic Trials,” said Mitchell. “Bryan Jones and Alex McCune are representing us in the decathlon going up against the indoor National Champion.”
Finally, the long jumper will be Peoples. Peoples qualified for the NCAA regionals last year.
Akron hopes to continue their hot start and bring their “A” team to Texas. A good finish here will allow them momentum as they continue their journey to the MAC and NCAA Championships.