ASHEVILLE, N.C. – The UNC Asheville men’s and women’s track and field teams heads to Lynchburg today for the Big South Conference championships that will begin on Thursday and run through Saturday at Matthes-Hopkins Track Complex on the campus of Liberty University.


Action begins Thursday morning at 11 a.m. with the men’s hammer throw trials. The women’s hammer throw trials begin at 1:30 p.m.


Head Coach Jesse Norman believes his women’s team could finish as high as fourth if everything breaks right.


“We can finish anywhere from fourth to seventh place on the women’s side,” declared Norman. “We need everyone to have a good weekend and get into the finals to score some points.


“One good thing we have with our women’s team this year is we have a little more depth than we’ve had in years past,” added Norman.


The women’s team will be led by senior middle distance runner Sarah Gentry. She’s the defending champion in the 800 meters.


Other Bulldogs to watch will be junior high jumper Meredith Foster, senior distance runner Emma Bussard in the steeple chase, senior distance runner Melanie Kulesz and sophomore distance runner Adrian Etheridge.


On the men’s side, the Bulldogs aren’t quite as deep as the women’s team but will be led by sprinter Milan Ristic and thrower Kurt Hibert.


“We think we can beat out a couple of teams on the men’s side if we perform well this weekend,” stated Norman. “We’re excited about what Milan and Kurt could accomplish over the next few days.”


Ristic will be the favorite in the 110 hurdles that he won last year. Hibert will make a run at a podium finish in the hammer throw.