Babits and Ijah Head to Austin

Eastern Michigan University’s men’s track and field team will send two athletes to Austin, Texas to compete in the 87th annual Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays.  Senior pole vaulter Max Babits (Howell, Mich.-Fowlerville) and junior decathlete Solomon Ijah (Murrieta, Calif.-Murrieta Valley) are set to take part in their respective events Wednesday, March 26 through Friday, March 28 at the University of Texas’s Mike A. Myers Stadium.

Both Babits and Ijah are coming off stellar indoor campaigns in the 2013-14 track and field season, breaking EMU records in the pole vault and heptathlon, respectively.  Babits became the first Eagle to eclipse the 18-foot mark in the indoor pole vault with a clearance of 5.51 meters/18 feet 1.00-inch.  In the 2013 outdoor season, Babits was one half inch away from matching the school record of 17 feet 5.00-inches, set in 1991 by Mark Smith.

Ijah also has potential to break the school record in the decathlon.  His personal-best mark of 7,092 at the 2013 Mid-American Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships ranks third all-time in EMU laurels, just 418 points shy of Morris Ellis‘s score of 7,510 set in 1990.  The Murrieta, Calif. native shows promise going into the outdoor season after tacking on 440 points to his indoor heptathlon score, claiming the EMU standard with a 5,377-point performance at the 2014 MAC Indoor Track and Field Championships.

Head Coach John Goodridge speaks highly of the athletes and the Texas Relays, explaining that “the Texas Relays’ decathlon and pole vault have annually been one of the best outdoor competitions in the nation.  Competing in this high-level event is a great opportunity for these athletes to represent EMU.”

Ijah will kick off competition with the first five events of the decathlon on Wednesday, when he will take on the 100m dash, long jump, shot put, high jump, and 400m dash.  The following day, he will move on to the 110m hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin, and 1500m run.  Babits will compete in the invitational pole vault during Friday’s schedule of events, which is slated to begin at 5:30 p.m.

The Longhorn Network will provide 17 hours of coverage of this year’s events, with ESPN’s Dave LaMont providing play-by-play and Larry Rawson and Dwight Stones serving as analysts.  Wednesday will feature coverage from 5-7 p.m., while Thursday will have broadcasts from 4-6 p.m. and 7-10 p.m.  Friday’s action will be covered from 6:30-9:30 p.m.  Furthermore, up-to-date information can be found here, and fans can get involved through social media by following @UTexasTrack on Twitter and using the hashtag #TXRelays14.

Schedule of Events (Decathlon and Pole Vault  Only)

Wednesday, March 26 Thursday, March 27
11:00 a.m. Decathlon 100m 10:00 a.m. Decathlon 110m Hurdles
Long Jump Discus
Shot Put Pole Vault
High Jump Javelin
400m 1500m
Friday, March 28
5:30 p.m. Pole Vault (Men’s Invitational)





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