ATLANTA, Ga. – This week's ASUN Beam Report with Kendrell Watkins highlights the start of the 2019 ASUN Conference Indoor Track & Field season. It marks the 14th season of indoor competition across the league as Jacksonville & Kennesaw State look to defend their conference crowns from last season.
The Dolphins & Owls join NJIT as the three teams to open competition this weekend as all three squads head to different invitationals. The Highlanders travel over to Staten Island to compete in the RAMPO Invite and the Spartan Invite both being held in Staten Island, N.Y. Jacksonville travels to Birmingham, Ala. for the UAB Blazer & Vulcan Invitationals, while Kennesaw State treks to Johnson City, Tenn. for the ETSU Invitational.
On the men's side, the reigning and seven-time consecutive conference champs, Kennesaw State return under a new head coach, Cale McDaniel. McDaniel leads an Owls squad that will bring back nine All-Conference performers as well as the 2017 & 2018 Most Valuable Performer, Dayo Akindele. Jacksonville reclaimed its status as ASUN Conference Women's Indoor Champs last year. The feat marked their 12th championship in 13 years as the Dolphins return 11 All-Conference performers from their 2018 championship season.
In 2019, the ASUN welcomes Liberty University as the Flames have collected 21 consecutive Men's Indoor titles in the Big South Conference. The Flames are led by junior hurdler Jovaine Atkinson who finished fourth in the 2018 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships. Other NCAA Championship returners include Alejandro Perlaza Zapata & Denzell Pratt. The women's team is coming off of its sixth consecutive championship in the Big South and is hoping to carry that success to the ASUN.