By Blake Moore
ADA — The Ohio Northern men's and women's track and field programs will raise the curtain on their respective 2019-20 campaigns Saturday, December 7, at the Findlay Invitational under 11th-year head coach Jason Maus.
Following the holiday break, the Polar Bears will open a four-event home schedule with back-to-back meets inside the ONU Sports Center Fieldhouse. Northern starts the home stand with the Larry Cole Friday Night Invite on January 24 before hosting the annual Joe Banks Invitational on February 1, commemorating former Ohio Northern head coaches Larry Cole (1991-97) and Joe Banks (1960-67), respectively.
ONU will also compete at the two-day Hillsdale (Mich.) Challenge, the All-Ohio Championships at Otterbein, and the Wittenberg Invitational during the indoor track and field regular season.
The Ohio Athletic Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships are scheduled for February 28 and 29 at Marietta.
Individual athletes will then compete for season-best marks at the Polar Bear Final Qualifier on March 6 and 7, hoping to secure a bid to the 2020 NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships in Winston-Salem, N.C.
The Polar Bears will kick off the 2020 outdoor season with trips to the Cedarville Invitational, the Oberlin Invitational, and the All-Ohio Championships at Ohio Wesleyan.
Ohio Northern rounds out its home slate on April 17 and 18 when the programs host the two-day Polar Bear Invitational.
Following an appearance at the highly-competitive Hillsdale (Mich.) Relays on April 24 and 25, ONU competes for team and individual honors at the OAC Outdoor Track & Field Championships. The conference-wide event is slated for April 30 and May 1 at Heidelberg.
During the outdoor slate, Ohio Northern will appear at two last chance qualifying meets before the national championships, the Baldwin Wallace Twilight Meet and the North Central (Ill.) Gregory Invitational.
Qualifying individuals will earn the right to compete at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Rochester, N.Y. from May 21-23.
Last season, the men's track and field team posted a combined 75-23 overall record and placed fourth at both the indoor and outdoor OAC Championship meets. Meanwhile, the women's program compiled an 83-20 overall record, finished fourth at the OAC Indoor Championships, and ended fifth at the outdoor conference championship.