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Track Opens MEAC Indoor Friday; 23 Named All-Academic

Courtesy:           Release: 02/12/2014

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LANDOVER, Md. - The Bethune-Cookman track & field teams open competition at the 2014 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Indoor Track & Field Championships on Friday (Feb. 14) at the Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex. In addition, officials from the MEAC announced track’s Academic All-Conference honors, with B-CU tallying 23 members.

The Wildcats have seen a boost in the final standings at the conference championships in the past two seasons under fifth-year Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Donald Cooper, reaching program highs last season. In each of the last two outdoor championships and the last indoor championships, the B-CU men’s squad has finished third, while the women finished fifth last indoor season.

With a squad featuring a growth in both personnel and talent, the Wildcats will take on the MEAC Championships with 20 men and 17 women reaching the qualification standards to compete in Maryland.

With versatile mix of experienced athletes and newcomers, Cooper has high expectations, but is looking for the Wildcats to take the next step.

“I’ll say progression,” Cooper noted. “We’ve been at a steady state the last two years. This year we retained a lot of talent and brought in some young talent. If they can go in and execute, then we definitely expect to move out of third place and our hopes are high.”

In addition to competition on the track, the Wildcats are proving to be talented in the classroom, as MEAC Officials announced the track & field members of the MEAC All-Academic Team. Bethune-Cookman earned 23 spots among those honored, leading the league in honorees. The men's team registered 12, with 11 for the women. This count represents a significant raise for the squad, which notched 13 members a year ago.

MEAC sophomore, junior and senior student-athletes with a 3.0 or better cumulative grade point average, as well as transfer student-athletes who have been in residence at the institution for at least one year, are eligible for All-Academic accolades.

With the meet initially schedule to open on Thursday, inclement weather postponed the opening day. Competition will now begin on Friday at 9 a.m. with a slew of events, beginning with the men’s heptathlon. Other field events on Friday’s slate include the women’s high jump, men’s and women’s weight throw, men’s and women’s long jump and men’s pole vault. The student-athletes take to the track with the men’s and women’s 5,000, 800m, 60m, 200m and 400m. The day closes out with the men’s and women’s distance medley relays.

On Saturday, beginning at 9 a.m. with the women’s pentathlon, the final events of the men’s heptathlon, women’s pole vault, men’s and women’s triple jump and men’s shot put. Running events begin at 1 p.m. with the women’s mile. Rounding out the afternoon’s events will be the men’s and women’s 4x400 relay race beginning at 3:25 p.m.

Before departing for Maryland, Cooper sat down to talk MEAC Championships with Athletic Communications. Watch the complete interview below.

For all the latest information on the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats, including meet results and recaps, visit Be sure to follow the official Twitter feeds at @CookmanTrack and @BCUathletics or "Like Us" on Facebook at BCUAthletics.

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