The University of South Dakota men’s and women’s indoor track teams will host the USD Open Feb. 15 in the DakotaDome.
There will be four other teams at the event, including South Dakota State, University of North Dakota, Augustana and the University of Sioux Falls.
Track and Field Coach Lucky Huber said all events take time to set up and are always a work in progress.
“It’s really a tuneup for us hosting the conference meet at the end of the month. It’s also good because then our kids don’t have to go out on the road the week before.”
The team is working hard in preparation for the Summit League Championships Feb. 24. Despite injuries and the occasional flu bug, coaches believe they are ready for the conference meet.
“We use the USD Open to make sure that everyone is ready for the conference meet,” coach Dave Gottsleben said. “You want to have a home meet just before the conference meet because then you don’t have to travel.”
The Coyotes have been successful recently. The men finished second and the women finished fourth at the Jack Johnson Invitational in January.
“Overall, it’s been pretty steady,” said junior jumper Megan Glisar. “Everyone is trying to improve their marks, and we are working at getting to Nationals.”
Track and field teams will graduate 13 seniors at the end of the season, which means there are plenty of young players gaining valuable experience.
“It’s kind of fun to watch the older kids take on the leadership role and then watch the younger kids step up as well,” Huber said.
Since track and field is such an individual sport at times, Huber said he is constantly encouraging the athletes to not to worry about being the best, but being the best they can be.
Many of the track team members are excited to perform at home this weekend, especially before a big meet. The team looks forward to having the crowd on their side and having the support of more friends and family.
“It’s nice because you get to sleep in your own bed instead of traveling,” junior thrower Cody Snyder said. “It’ll be nice to have our fans there.”
Following the USD Open, the Coyotes will participate in the Summit League Championships to participate Feb. 24-25.