GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- The Tusculum University men's and women's indoor track and field team will begin its 2020 season on Friday, Jan. 10 in competition at the ETSU Invitational, the first of six meets on the schedule for the Pioneers during the indoor campaign.
All five of the Pioneers' regular-season meets will be hosted by Division I schools, including three trips to meets hosted by the University of South Carolina. Virginia Military Institute will also be the host for the Pioneers for competition during February.
Tusculum will wrap up the indoor season at the South Atlantic Conference championship meet, which will be held Saturday, Feb. 29 and Sunday, March 1 at the JDL Fast Track in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Tusculum's women placed fourth and the men took sixth place in last year's SAC championship meet, also held at the JDL Fast Track.
The Pioneers will begin the indoor campaign with a trip to Johnson City to participate in the ETSU Invitational at the Memorial Center. Tusculum set program records in both the men's triple jump and the men's 4x400 relay at the ETSU Invitational during their first-ever competition two years ago.
Tusculum will then participate in the Gamecock Opener at South Carolina on Friday-Saturday, Jan. 17-18. In last year's meet, Nicole McMillen set the school indoor record in the 3000 meters with a time of 10:03.99.
The Pioneers will return to Columbia on Friday-Saturday, Jan. 31-Feb. 1 to compete at the Carolina Challenge for the first time, and will then make their inaugural trip to Lexington, Virginia to take part in the VMI Winter Relays on Friday-Saturday, Feb. 7-8.
The final meet of the indoor regular season will be the one-day USC Open on Saturday, Feb. 22. Several school records were set at last year's USC Open, including by All-American Widchard Guervil in the men's 200 (21.58), Althiery Leontes in the men's 400 (51.07), Kyler Hodges in the men's mile (4:25.40), McMillen in the women's mile (4:58.23), Brianna Oats in the women's hurdles (9.53) and Alyssa Farmer in both the women's weight throw (11.00 meters) and shot put (11.97 meters).
At last year's SAC Championship meet, Tusculum was bolstered by school-record men's performances from Will Cronin in the 3000 meters (8:49.66, 6th place) and 5000 meters (15:09.07, 5th place), Jamire Thompson in the hurdles (8.55), Luis Morris in the pole vault (4.25 meters, 2nd) and Evan Grooms in the weight throw (12.57 meters). Record-setting women's marks were established by Kaynashia Carter in the 60 (8.08 seconds), Yoland Boyce in the 800 (2:29.57), Destini Wilson in the high jump (1.57 meters, 8th) and Oats in the pentathlon (2658 points, 6th).
The NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships will be held March 13 and 14 in Birmingham, Alabama. Tusculum's outdoor season will begin March 27-28 at the Montreat Invitational.