STARKVILLE, Miss. – On Friday, the Mississippi State track and field team will kick off its outdoor campaign as it hosts the 2013 Conference Challenge, featuring seven teams in a conference showdown at the Bulldogs’ Carl Maddox Track Facility.
MSU created and hosted the SEC-Big Ten Challenge for the previous two years and is now expanding the competition. This year, SEC foes Ole Miss and Tennessee will join the Bulldogs to battle Illinois and Purdue from the Big Ten, as well as Missouri State (women only) and Louisiana Tech, representing the Missouri Valley Conference and the Western Athletic Conference, respectively. The Ole Miss men are ranked 11th in the country, while the Illinois women boast the No. 16 spot.
“You’re going to see some really great athletes out there this weekend,” said coach Steve Dudley, whose men’s team enters the meet ranked 14th nationally. “I think fans will find the format exciting. We always talk about conference pride, and that will be evident this weekend.”
Scoring at the meet will follow the international system and will be as follows: in each event, first place will be awarded 10 points, second will denote eight points, third receives six points, fourth gains four points, fifth equals two points, and sixth place will receive one point. At the end of the day, all points will be pooled together by conference, and both a men's and women's team champion will be crowned.
“I think I speak for all of us when I say we’re fired up for this season,” sophomore Ebony Brinker said. “This meet, in particular, is a chance to perform on our own turf, and it’s something we look forward to every year.”
Action in Starkville begins on Friday at 4 p.m. with the hammer throw and resumes on Saturday at 11 a.m. with the women’s javelin. All running events will begin at noon on Saturday, starting with the women’s 3000-meter steeplechase.
For more information regarding this weekend’s action and MSU track and field, follow the Bulldogs on Twitter (@msutracksarah).