Where are the top college athletes from around the United States this weekend? UNF’s Hodges Stadium, that’s where. They’ve gathered for the NCAA East Preliminary Track Meet, which functions as a sort of nationwide semifinal for all track and field athletes in the eastern half of the country. For three days, they face off in a wide range of running, jumping, and throwing events, with the top 12 in each event qualifying for next month’s national championships in Eugene, Oregon.
I’ve had the opportunity to cover this special event, which will also return to Jacksonville in 2015 and 2016. But, as you can see from these pictures, the weather has been a huge factor. Thunderstorms have already forced total delays of more than six hours, so the athletes have spent plenty of time on the sidelines trying to stay dry.