By WARREN DILLAWAY - email@example.com
HARPERSFIELD TOWNSHIP —
The first of four weekends of high-level track and field competition got off to a fast start Friday at Spire Institute during the NCAA Division I Indoor Track and Field Team Invitational.
More than 30 teams from all over the United States and Canada didn’t let a little snow get in the way of their search for high level track and field competition.
“The facility is awesome. The competition is amazing,” said Bob Westman, a sprint coach for the University of Toronto. He said several Canadian teams have come down to the meet the last several years and they decided it was their turn.
“This location is so central. I’ve heard 40 percent of the American population is within driving distance,” Westman said.
“It’s (the facility) phenomenal. This is a world-class facility. It was breathtaking to me,” said Lonnie Green, a track coach at Purdue University.
Charlie Powell, director of the Spire Academy track and field program, said the two-day meet is going to be a treat for area track fans.
“This is a fantastic meet. In most events you have for or five of the top 10 or 20 kids in the country,” Powell said.
Two Edgewood High School graduates are scheduled to run the 3,000 meters this afternoon.
Cody Chabola, of Eastern Michigan, and Mallory Kreider, of Ohio State are scheduled to run at 12:20 and 12:35, respectively.
The Big East Conference invades Northeast Ohio next weekend with a Feb. 16-17 meet featuring universities ranging from Notre Dame and Louisville to Syracuse and Providence.
The Saturday-Sunday meet will feature morning and afternoon competition each day with two-day passes at $15, one-day passes at $10 and students and senior citizens $5 for a one-day pass.
On Feb. 22-23 Ohio State and the rest of the Big 10 Conference will arrive at Spire Institute to crown a champion. Many of the Big 10 schools including Ohio State, Purdue, Michigan and Michigan State are competing this weekend.
The Friday-Saturday competition will be available at $20 for a two-day pass and $10 for a day pass.
The same weekend the pool, next door to the track, will be the host of the Atlantic 10 swimming championship starting Feb. 20 and continuing till Feb. 23. Single sessions will be $8 for an adult and $5 for children; $25 for a four-day pass, $20 for a children four-day pas and $65 for a family pass.
The last of the four competitions is the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics National Track Championship from March 1-3. Three-day passes are $24, $18 for student and senior citizen three-day passes, $12 for an adult single-session pass and $8 for a senior citizen single-session pass.
Tickets are available on line and www.spireinstitute.org.