Matt Weir / Collegian File Photo
Track and Field begins its indoor season with Run for the Dream at the Save Mart Center
Fresno State, along with eight other California State Universities, will compete in the fourth annual Run For The Dream Indoor Track and Field Invitational inside the Save Mart Center tonight, marking the ‘Dogs 2010 season debut.
The meet will have a total of 47 running events and 17 field events in the university, open and elite divisions held on the opening day of the two-day event. Saturday will feature the youth and high school divisions.
The best the Bulldogs have to offer will also be on display this afternoon. Fresno State sophomore and 2009 All-American Latrisha Jordan will compete in the women’s 600-yard run and the 4 by145 meter relay. On the men’s side, All-American junior Tim Greene is seeded third in the shot put as well as first in the weight throw.
Jordan and Greene are just two Bulldogs looking to improve on last year’s six first place individual finishes in this meet. They will compete against athletes from Azusa Pacific, Cal Poly, CSU Bakersfield, Cal State Dominguez Hills, Cal State Stanislaus, Cal State Los Angeles, USC and Fresno Pacific.
But Jordan and Greene will not be featured in what is expected to be tonight’s main event, the pole vault. The event has two former Olympic gold medalists, Tim Mack, competing for Nike, and Stacy Dragila. Mack won gold in the 2004 Olympic games in Athens, Greece while Dragila received gold ten years ago in Sydney.
Mack will face off against Giovanni Lanaro of Mexico who was ranked No. 7 last season and is a Pan American record holder. Former NCAA Division One Champions Chelsea Johnson and Becky Holliday meanwhile will push Dragila on the women’s side.
This evening’s meet is just one of many head coach Scott Winsor and the ‘Dogs are slated to compete in this season. Next weekend’s Husky Classic in Seattle, Wash. will be the final invitational of the indoor season before the WAC Championships begin, followed by the NCAA Championships in March.
At the conclusion of the indoor season, the outdoor schedule will begin as the ‘Dogs travel to Palo Alto, Calif. on March 6 to compete in the California Quad meet. In all, the outdoor season is packed with ten meets, including a May 1 home dual meet, the only other home event in 2010.
The Run For The Dream Track and Field Invitational is put on as a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Save Mart Center’s indoor track is world renown as one of the fastest surfaces around. The track itself was donated by Fred Arnold in honor of his late wife Madeleine. The $1 million Tartan Track was built solely for the Run For The Dream Track and Field Invitational, which is now considered the premier indoor meet on the west coast, the meet official Web site reported.
Tonight’s competitions are slated to begin at 2:30 p.m. with the women’s weight throw and end at 9:35 p.m. with the pentathlon 800-meter run. Adult admission is $10, students with ID are $7 and seniors and children are $5.