Nashville, Tenn. - The Tennessee State University Flying Tigers will travel to Cookeville, Tenn. to compete in the 2010 Ohio Valley Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championship. The meet is hosted by Tennessee Tech inside Tucker Stadium from April 30 - May 1.
The meet begins Friday with the track events starting at 2:15 p.m. CST with the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase and the field events kicking off at 1 p.m. CST with the high jump. The meet resumes Saturday at 8:45 a.m. CST.
The Flying Tigers will attempt to improve on a fourth-place finish a year ago. Ten athletes enter the championship currently ranked among the league's best in 11 events. They are fresh off their regular outdoor track and field season finale after competing in the War Eagle Invitational hosted by Auburn University (4/17).
In a field that featured a high depth of competition, TSU finished in the top ten in four events with several sprinters posting their fastest times of the season.
Michael Rideout leads the team after winning the 400m in four of five starts in outdoor competition. In his only loss of the season, Rideout recorded a career best with a time of 48.14 seconds at the War Eagle Invitational. The time places Rideout at fourth among the OVC's elite in the event.
Earlier this season, he held the fastest time of the season in the conference receiving athlete of the week honors. Rideout is also currently ranked fifth in the 200m (22.10).
Julian Mallory has steadily improved in the short sprints running personal records in the Flying Tigers' last outing. Mallory ranks fifth in the OVC in 100m (10.74 seconds) and 200m (21.79 seconds) races.
Several other Flying Tigers have managed to maintain or break into the top-ten performance lists. Phillip Myton and Johnnie Poole follow their teammates in the 200m and 400m. Myton is ninth in the 400m (49.46 secs.) and Poole ranks tenth in the 200m (22.39 secs).
In the hurdle events, Arthur Combest and Marquis Hunter have represented the team in the standings. In the 110 high hurdles, Combest is seventh (15.33) and Hunter ranks ninth (15.79).
Combest is also tenth in the 400m hurdles with a time of 58.24 seconds. He will compete for the first time during the outdoor season in the high jump after winning the title during the 2010 indoor championship.
In the field events, the team returns three jumpers that helped sweep the long jump event at last year's outdoor championship. Xavier Walton currently registers the best performance with a second place ranking in the long jump (23' 8.75" - 7.23m). He is listed fifth in the javelin throw (131' 7" - 40.10m) after competing once in the event on the season.
Last season, Walton finished third behind Avian Hughes in the long jump finals. Hughes sits in fourth in the event with a career mark of 23' 0.75" (7.03m).
Other team members currently ranked in the OVC include: Printence McMurtrey in the javelin throw (7th / 129' 11" - 39.61m) and Joshua Hibbit in the triple jump (9th / 42' 4" - 12.90m).
The Flying Tigers relays have been idle throughout the season posting their fastest times on the events during their home meet, the Boston-Moon Classic. The 4x400-meter relay has the conference's third best time of 3:17.82 and the 4x100m team is fourth with a 41.73 clocking.