USC Set To Compete At MPSF Indoor Championships

    Tynia Gaither

    Feb. 28, 2014

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    The USC women's track team will participate in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) Indoor Championships in Seattle, Washington starting on Friday, Feb. 28 and ending on Saturday, March 1. The USC women's team is competing this season in the MPSF, as are 11 of the conference schools, while the men's team is competing independently. Both teams will compete at the NCAA Indoor Championships held in Albuquerque, N.M on March 13-14.

    The following is a meet preview, courtesy of host Washington. Action begins tomorrow at noon. A live link to the meet results is available on the USC Track & Field Schedule page:

    SEATTLE - The Dempsey Indoor season comes to a close this weekend, rolling to the finish with one of the best team competitions in the NCAA. The Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) Championships go this Friday and Saturday, with full days of action each day. The ever-expanding MPSF meet is the premier team competition on the Dempsey schedule, and also the last opportunity for athletes to qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships which are just over two weeks away.

    In previous years, the indoor season featured a number of Final Qualifier meets around the country after the MPSF weekend, but that is no longer the case, so the focus on performing this week is bigger than ever. And once again, the MPSF has grown to a new record number of participants, as the USC women's team and the Cal State Fullerton women's team have joined this year, bringing the total to 12 men's teams and 17 women's teams.

    The MPSF now features all eleven of the Pac-12 schools that sponsor indoor track, though USC and Utah will have only women in attendance. The Pac-12 does not sponsor indoor track. Several more of the West's top track teams also call the MPSF home, including schools from the Big West and West Coast Conferences.

    This year's MPSF Championships will see top-10 showdowns on both the women's and men's sides with the four-time defending NCAA women's indoor champion and No. 1-ranked Oregon Ducks against No. 9 Stanford and No. 19 UCLA. The No. 5 Oregon men are the highest-ranked MPSF squad, up against No. 9 Arizona and No. 23 Stanford. Along with contending for individual and team conference titles, the push for NCAA qualification is on everyone's mind this weekend. To reach NCAA Indoors in Albuquerque, athletes must finish the season ranked in the top-16 in their event nationally.

    Dozens of athletes competing this weekend are already in position to reach nationals, but will try to shore up their marks, and dozens more will try to improve into that top-16 group. Based on the current rankings, there are 24 athletes currently ranked in the NCAA top-10 that are scheduled to compete in the Dempsey this weekend, including several NCAA leaders.

    Friday's action begins at 12 noon with the women's weight throw final and the first event of the pentathlon. Both pole vaults will take place Friday, as will both men's and women's long jumps, as well as the men's weight throw. The pentathlon will complete all five events, while the heptathlon will do four of seven. Track finals on Friday include the 5,000-meters, the 200-meters, and the distance medley relays which wrap up the day at 7:10 p.m. Prelims in the 60m hurdles and dashes also take place.

    Saturday is a great day of track with one final after another starting at 10:30 a.m. All remaining track finals take place Saturday, along with the conclusion of the heptathlon, and the men's and women's high jumps, triple jumps, and shot puts. The 4x400m relays wrap things up at 2:25 p.m.