EDINBURG — UTRGV was tabbed as the host site for the 2020 WAC Outdoor Track & Field Championships by the conference Tuesday. The three-day event will run from May 14 to May 16 at the UTRGV Soccer and Track & Field Complex in Edinburg, according to the university’s department of athletics.
“It’s always exciting to host and be at home,” UTRGV track & field head coach Darren Flowers said in a news release. “The main thing is we want to create a championship experience for our kids and all the coaches that are going to come in the WAC. I think we can do that here at UTRGV.”
The event marks the second-ever time UTRGV has hosted the WAC Outdoor Track & Field Championships and the Vaqueros’ first time doing so since 2017. The university has hosted five WAC Championships previously, including volleyball in 2018, cross country in 2014 as well as men’s and women’s tennis in 2016 and 2019.
UTRGV striped and renovated its track in preparation for hosting the 2020 conference championships. Among the updates to the complex are new start and finish lines for the 100-meter dash and new hurdle markers on either side of the track.
“I know it’s exciting for the kids to see that the administration is backing us and supporting track & field,” Flowers said in a news release. “It looks like a new track out here which I think will be exciting and motivating for the kids once they get on campus.”
UTRGV will kick off its indoor track season Jan. 17-18 at the Texas A&M Ted Nelson Invitational. The Vaqueros will travel to Houston twice (Jan. 31-Feb. 1 and Feb. 14) and College Station two more times (Jan. 25 and Feb. 22) during the indoor season, while a select group of athletes will participate in the prestigious David Hemery Valentine Invitational on Feb. 14-15 at Boston University.
“Tracks are fast here in Texas. There’s a lot of great competition so we don’t plan on travelling that far,” Flowers said in a news release. “We want to just stay here and really face some of the best competition in the nation before our conference championships.”
The 2020 WAC Indoor Track & Field Championships will be held Feb. 28-29 in Nampa, Idaho, with the 2020 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships set for March 13-14 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
UTRGV will begin its outdoor track & field season March 13-14 when it visits San Antonio to compete in the UTSA Invitational, the first of two trips there. From there, the team will run in the Cactus Cup on March 21 and the Texas Relays on March 25-28.
The Vaqueros will also travel to participate in meets at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (April 4), Rice (April 18), Azusa Pacific and Long Beach State in California (April 16-18), Texas State (April 24-25) and Texas A&M (May 1) before hosting the conference championship meet.
“I think the reputation of UTRGV Track & Field is spreading a little bit and we’re getting invitations to more meets,” Flowers said in a news release. “We just want to give our kids as many opportunities as possible to have big performances and set themselves up for not only a great conference meet here, but hopefully a great regional and national championship.”
The NCAA West Preliminary Round will take place May 28-30 in Lawrence, Kansas, at the University of Kansas’ Rock Chalk Park. The NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships will follow soon afterward on June 10-13 in Austin at the University of Texas.