For the first time all season, the USF track and field teams can take a break from airports, long bus rides and hostile fans. The Bulls host a meet Saturday at the USF Track and Field Stadium.This will be the first and only home meet for the Bulls and the first home meet since last summer’s Conference USA Championship. This is a late modification to their schedule as the Bulls were originally scheduled to compete in the Gator Relays in Gainesville, but the event in Gainesville was canceled.
The field for the meet is small. Teams include the men’s teams from Miami, FIU, Bethune-Cookman and North Florida.
“We all love having meets at home, but it’s a lot of work. You want to put on something good, something that you’re proud of,” USF coach Greg Thiel said.
The home meet will eliminate the Bulls’ typical travel time and allow the athletes to showcase their talents to a home crowd.
“They’re proud of their school. They want to compete where their peers and family can watch,” Thiel said. “It’s just the whole thing of having it at home, they are always on someone else’s turf.”
Thiel said the meet will feature the sprinters, hurdlers, and the jumpers. Many of the distance runners are likely to sit out.
The team features multiple NCAA qualifiers and potential All-Americans. This will be the first opportunity for most Bulls fans to watch Jimmy Baxter in the high jump. Baxter currently holds the best mark in the country.
“I hope that a lot of people come out. We all worked very hard this season,” said Baxter.
This will be the last opportunity for the fans to see the 11 seniors compete.
“We are real excited to be at home. We are familiar with the facility, and it saves us the hassle of traveling,” said senior Andrew Smith.
The field events will begin at noon and the track events will start at 1:30.