North Texas Daily

Track & Field to host campus-wide tryouts

Track & Field to host campus-wide tryouts

Track & Field to host campus-wide tryouts
August 24
15:40 2015

Torie Mosley | Staff Writer


The Mean Green men’s and women’s track & field coaches will hold open team tryouts Thursday to search for the future of North Texas track & field.

The non-traditional recruiting approach is not uncommon for the team. While about half of the 51 Mean Green track & field athletes actually have scholarships, almost 20 percent of the roster are walk-ons.

Assistant coach Derek Mackel said he is looking for the complete student-athlete who will improve the roster both athletically and academically.

“Our standards are pretty high, so what we’re providing them is an opportunity to show us what they got and to see if they can fit,” Mackel said. “We want the right kind of person that’s going to work hard and contribute to our grades.”

Although track & field is a spring sport, North Texas has found success holding on-campus tryouts in the fall. Kinesiology sophomore Jacie Wilson walked on the team last fall running sprints and ran a personal-best time in the 100 and 200-meter events at the John Jacobs Invitational.

One of her memories from her tryout last year was the amount of logistics that went into the process. In order to be eligible, students must show proof of a physical exam within the last 6-12 months as well as proof of insurance. They must be enrolled in at least 12 hours of classes, have their schedule approved by an event coach, register with the NCAA eligibility center and get signatures from the event coach, athletic trainer, athletic academic adviser and compliance officer.

“It was a lot of paper work, but everybody made it easy,” Wilson said. ” Coach [Carl] Sheffield had seen me run before once or twice so I got a chance to train with the team. The first indoor [meet] I red-shirted, so I was training but not competing. So by the time outdoor came, I was ready to run and compete.”

In the case of biochemistry sophomore Chelsea Classo, she turned her walk-on status from last year into a partial scholarship. Classo walked on as a triple jump specialist and ended up placing sixth in the event at the John Jacobs Invitational last season.

Even after earning the scholarship, Classo said it should not be the main motivation of those trying out for the team.

“Sometimes it’s not about the money,” Classo said. “Sometimes it’s about being on a team with people you can work with and have fun with and do something you love so much and you connect with a lot of people.”

Kinesiology senior Riley Donovan said his take-away after walking on his freshman year in the throws event was the immense difference between high school and college track & field.

“In high school if you were good enough at your event, you were one of the best in your high school. But that’s not how it works in college,” Donovan said. “Everyone that runs track in college was the best in their high school, so you’re not just competing with yourself anymore.”

The coaching staff will hold sprint time trials and some event-specific observations at the tryouts followed by an all-team meeting. Eligibility will be determined by 1 p.m. Thursday, and the tryouts will begin at 3:30 p.m. at Fouts Field Outdoor Track Stadium.

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