AKRON, Ohio - The University of Akron track and field team continues its spring campaign this weekend as the Zips travel to Athens, Ga., to compete in the Spec Towns National Team Invitational hosted by the University of Georgia this Friday and Saturday, April 7-8.
The six-team field includes; Akron, Buffalo, Clemson, Georgia, North Carolina A&T and South Carolina.
The Specs Town Invitational will begin at 2 p.m. on Friday, April 7 with the men's hammer. The women's 100-meter hurdles and men's 110-meter hurdles will comprise the running events on the meet's opening day and are slated to commence at 4 p.m. On Saturday, April 8, the women's 5,000 meters begins competition at 9 a.m. before the women's 4x400 relay closes action at 4:27 p.m.
Live stats of the Specs Town Invitational will be available at GoZips.com.
"This will mark the third week in a row where we go against the best," Akron head track and field coach Dennis Mitchell commented. "It is another chance to go against a pair of top-25 programs. We are taking a large group down there to see if we can put in some bigger marks with great competition. It is Akron's first time at Athens and Georgia is a good all-around program with strengths in the sprints, jumps and multi's. We are excited to see what we can do in this new environment. There distance events are impressive as well."
The Akron men's track and field team enters the meet ranked No. 26 in the latest United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division I Outdoor Track and Field National Team Rankings released on Monday, April 3.
The Zips are the highest-rated team in the Mid-American Conference and sit second in the latest Great Lakes Regional poll released earlier this week. The Akron women's squad is ranked third in the most recent regional tally.
Additionally, the Zips' women's and men's teams are ranked 15th and 18th, respectively, in the second men's and women's collegiate dual meet rankings of the 2017 outdoor campaign, as compiled by Jesse Squire for Track and Field News.
Akron currently has eight student-athletes ranked in the top-25 nationally by the Track and Field Results Reporting System (TFRRS), including senior Phil Jagers (Solon, Ohio), who owns the best mark nationally in the discus (203-6).
Also rated among the top-25 is sophomore Matt Ludwig (Chardon, Ohio) (third in the men's pole vault – 18-4.50/5.60m), junior Terrell McClain (Youngstown, Ohio) (fifth in men's long jump – 25-6.25/7.78m), senior Matt Rowland (Bellevue, Ohio) (ninth in the men's pole vault – 17-7/5.36m), senior Joe Oduho (Erie, Pa.) (11th in men's long jump – 25-1.25/7.65m), senior Mike Ohiembor (Dayton, Ohio) (11th in men's triple jump – 51-11/15.82m), sophomore Curtis Richardson (Blacklick, Ohio) (20th in men's high jump – 7-0.25/2.14m) and senior Patricia Ortega (Logrono, Spain) (21st in heptathlon – 5,055).