Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium will host 2,500 athletes over the next few weeks
MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) — Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium at Myrtle Beach High School will host 2,500 athletes from 80 colleges representing 23 different states over the next few weeks for three track and field events.
The two-day Myrtle Beach Collegiate Challenge kicked off Friday morning to kick off the first outdoor collegiate track meet of the season.
Doug Shaw has hosted this collegiate match for years as the city strives to maximize the use of the stadium.
“Lots of team lodging options for teams at this time of year that teams can choose from,” said Myrtle Beach Sports Tourism Director Tim Huber. “Obviously the facility and the ability for college teams to go out and train during the day. We offer training from 8am to 3pm every day.
It takes a whole year to plan and recruit for this event. The selling point is that this track is only 1,000 meters from the ocean, but the stadium has so much more to offer to host this event.
“The proximity of staying so close to the facility and in such a great neighborhood is huge,” Meet manager Jeff Jacobs said. “And then the installation itself. We have a video card. We all have electronic devices. We have a setup where we can go both ways for pitless winds. We can therefore host many events at the same time.
John Papa, the head athletics coach at Slippery Rock University in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania, has brought his team to this meet for the past five years. This year he has brought 80 athletes to compete this weekend and next.
“We train a few times a day, but the athletes have several hours,” Papa said. “They go out to eat together. You know, our hotel on the boardwalk where we’re staying is right on the beach, so you walk out and there’s the beach.
There are plenty of talented athletes from across the county competing this weekend, but most of the buzz was about an athlete from Palmetto State.
Alina McDonald of Rock Hill, South Carolina, is a Winthrop University alumna and competed in the women’s pole vault Olympic trials last year.
“She’s currently number four in the United States,” said her trainer Brian Riggs. “Number 11 in the world, so when you play that’s what puts you on the list.”
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