The Lee University indoor track teams are making their final preparations for the 48th annual men's and 33rd annual women's National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Indoor Track and Field National Championships in Geneva, Ohio. The event will take place from Feb. 28 - March 2 at the SPIRE Institute Track and Field Sports Complex.
For the first time in its history, all the national championship action will be video-streamed live and free.
"This is a big year for us,” said Lee head coach Caleb Morgan.
“We have only qualified five people ever in the history of or program. To be sending 13 athletes is great for our team. We are all freshmen and sophomores, with the exception of Mike Walker and Emily Arnesen."
Relays will kick off the track portion of events at 4 p.m. Thursday and the Lee squads will see action for the first time with the 3200 meter relays.
"The atmosphere of running in a national championship is different than anything our runners have experienced before,” added Morgan. “They will all have to run preliminary races in order to qualify for the final. These can often be tactical with runners trying to use as little energy as possible for when they do have to run in the final. Cayce Bryan and Mike Walker both have experience with doing this before. Both athletes will be anchoring their relay teams and we look for their experience to be helpful."
The women’s relay team of Arnesen, Bryan, Jessica Childers and Storyie Miller, along with alternates Brianna Prugh and Rachel Waltz will start things off at 5:30 p.m.
Terris Elliott, Adam Gullette, Emmanuel Kipchumba and Walker are scheduled to run at 6 p.m., with Adam Christensen, Justin Knuth, Adam Tauzer and John Trollinger named as the relay alternates.
The men’s relay team will have a short break before the preliminaries of the Distance Medley Relay at 8 p.m.
The final of the 3200 Meter Relay for each team is scheduled for Friday night with the men’s Distance Medley Relay Saturday evening.
Friday’s early schedule will have the Lee runners participating in four more semifinal races. Brad Davis is scheduled for the 60 Meter Dash at 1:50 p.m and Bryan will begin her trek toward a second-straight NAIA All-American performance in the 800 Meter Run at 4:15 p.m.
Walker and Davis will round out the semifinal events for the Flames. Walker runs the 3000 meter at 5:45 p.m. and Davis will be in the 200 Meter Run at 6:25 p.m.
The finals of all non-relay events will be competed on Saturday.
Lee Indoor Track Event Schedule:
Feb. 28: Women 3200m Relay Preliminaries 5:30 p.m.
Men 3200m Relay Preliminaries 6:00 p.m.
Men Distance Medley Relay Preliminaries 8:00 p.m.
Mar. 1: Men 60m Dash Semifinal 1:50 p.m.
Women 800m Run Semifinal 4:15 p.m.
Men 3000m Run Semifinal 5:45 p.m.
Men 200m Run Semifinal 6:25 p.m.
Women 3200 Relay Final 6:45 p.m.
Men 3200 Relay Final 7:00 p.m.
Mar. 2: Men 60m Dash Final 1:25 p.m.
Women 800m Run Final 1:30 p.m.
Men 3000m Run Final 2:20 p.m.
Men 200m Run Final 2:40 p.m.
Men Distance Medley Relay Final 3:50 p.m.
*All times are tentative and subject to change