Tuesday, June 28 2022

By Brad Laux, MSU Athletic Media Relations

MOREHEAD, Ky. – Morehead State Coach Clay Dixon will take a handful of athletes to compete in the final track team tune-up for the Ohio Valley Conference Championship when the group travels to compete in Wednesday’s Liberty Twilight Qualifier. The meet will take place at Liberty’s Matthes-Hopkins Track Complex in Lynchburg, Virginia. The Flames will also honor their seniors on this day.

This will be the Eagles’ first midweek meeting of the outdoor season.

“Liberty have good competition. We went there in 2018 and had a good time there. It’s a good end-of-season game,” Dixon said. “The (runners) should be in their best shape now or (will be) next week. We just want to go out there and race. … We literally just go there for fast times.

“It’s a fast lane and we’ve had success there before,” he added. “It will be cooler and there will be calmer winds at night.”

Despite its name, the competition will start at 11:30 a.m. However, MSU’s first event will be at 5:45 p.m.

A total of 23 teams are scheduled to participate. Charlotte, Hampton, High Point, James Madison, North Carolina, North Carolina State, UNC Greensboro and Virginia Tech are among the schools that will make up the field.

Dixon entered first grade Lucy Singleton; and sophomores Toby Cook, Michael Dunagan and Wes Grogan in the 800 meter race; second year Laikin Tarlton in the 1,500 meter race; and sophomores Kyle Embry, Jarrett Forrest and Jacob Vogelpohl in the 5,000 meter race.

“I want them to stay sharp and not have two weeks between one game and the next. The conditions should be good,” Dixon said. “I’m just living fast times. I know we’re not going to win. We had very few chances to race in good conditions.”

Tarlton will start the day for the Eagles.

“Laikin just wants to go out and compete,” Dixon said. “The 1500 is the same as the 800, it’s not as taxing. People can run twice a week and it’s fine.”

The Singleton, Cook, Dunagan and Grogan event will start at 6:30 p.m.

“We can strike out Lucy and keep her for OVC,” Dixon said. “The 800m isn’t too taxing on the body and it’s a good workout for them. … They’ve put things back together. Wes just did a ‘pr’ and cut six seconds last week. Michael will try different strategies to save time and Toby wants to go out and try to run with Michael. (The 800m) will be his main event at the OVC.”

Vogelpohl is coming off an individual 3,000 meter title last weekend at the Clark Wood Invitational in Louisville. He, Forrest and Embry will toe the line at 8:15 p.m.

“We’re in great shape and we haven’t had 5k races in good weather,” Dixon said. “All three knocked on the door for spending less than 15 minutes in the 5K and I want to give them that chance. … It will take them longer to recover, but with five days apart they should be fine.

“Kyle has been looking good in practice lately and has been doing some good runs and Jacob has been doing the same,” he continued.

The Eagles previously entered the Liberty Twilight Qualifier in 2018 when three men ran the 1,500m. Justin Moakler placed second with a 3:46.54 to highlight performance.

Live results are available by clicking on the link: https://results.blueridgetiming.com/2022/lutwilight/.

“Usually we have our hard practice on Tuesday, but this race will count towards that,” Dixon said. “(Going to Liberty) does two things, it counts as a practice session and it counts as a race. Typically we have three to four days of easy racing before doing a very hard effort. We are doing that now “We’re reducing the total volume of our workouts. We’ve got less total work under their legs. It’s not the intensity that matters, it’s the volume and that makes them cooler.”

Morehead State will have a week off before heading to Murray State for the Ohio Valley Conference Championship, which is Wednesday through next Friday.


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