They aren't fanning out to the four corners of the world, but Ashland University's outdoor track and field teams will log quite a bit of mileage to compete the next four days.
Ashland's men, ranked No. 7 in NCAA Division II, and women, ranked No. 12, will compete at three events in a four-day stretch – the Tennessee Relays in Knoxville, Tenn. on Thursday-Saturday (April 11-13), the Walsh Invitational on Saturday, and the Bucknell Bison Outdoor Classic in Lewisburg, Pa. on Saturday and Sunday (April 14).
A select group of NCAA-caliber Eagles will head to Tennessee.
"The idea this weekend is to get the relays going, 4x1 and 4x4," said Ashland head coach Jud Logan. "Myles (senior Myles Pringle) is going to high jump for his opener. (Sophomore) Trevor Bassitt is going to run those 400 hurdles and look to drop there, (and) the 110 hurdles. He's back healthy again. We think that sprints crew can have the kind of weekend that the throws crew had last weekend.
"We never put a healthy 4x4 together the entire (indoor) season. In all three meets, we were down a leg. As of right now, we're putting our best 4x4 out there in Meet 1 in Tennessee. 4x1, they can do it, it just takes a little bit of timing with the sticks. We've got plenty of speed on the team."
On the throws side, Logan is looking for his two female seniors, Mackenzie Leigh and Natalie Helenthal, to show out. Logan is seeking a first-ever 60-meter hammer throw from Leigh, and for Helenthal to move up the D-II ranks from seventh in the hammer. Going into this weekend, Ashland boasts three of the top seven women's hammer throwers in the nation (Leigh No. 3, redshirt freshman Lindsay Baker No. 4 and Helenthal No. 7), and three of the top 10 men's hammer throwers in the country (junior Alex Hill No. 2, sophomore Brent Fairbanks No. 6 and junior Nick Zak No. 10).
Logan will lead the group that will go to North Canton for the Walsh Invite. At Walsh, Logan is looking for breakouts from sophomore David Amstutz in the men's shot put, senior Stephen Pop in the men's hammer, and from four-fifths of the women's redshirt freshman "Fab Five" – Makayla Pop, Carrol Pauley, Elizabeth Weimer and Taylor Kroll.
"I'm excited to see that group," said Logan. "There's going to be good competition across the board."
Bucknell's meet will be where Ashland's distance crew is slated to compete.
"The best distance meet within 12 hours of Ashland is Bucknell," Logan said. "You're guaranteed great races."