Florida Tech Track & Field Joins Peach Belt Conference
By Florida Tech Athletic Communications // January 23, 2015
'will help us become a stronger program'
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Florida Tech has been added as an associate member of the Peach Belt Conference in track & field effective immediately, announced by the conference and Commissioner David Brunk.
The Panthers, preparing for their fifth season this spring, will be eligible to compete in the 2015 PBC Championships April 16-18 in Montevallo, Alabama.
The Panthers become the fourth PBC associate member in men’s and women’s track & field joining Alabama-Huntsville, fellow Sunshine State Conference member Nova Southeastern and Shorter University.
Clayton State, Columbus State, Georgia Regents University, Montevallo and North Carolina at Pembroke also compete in track & field as full PBC members.
“The proud tradition of Panther athletics continues with this wonderful announcement,” said Anthony J. Catanese, President and CEO of Florida Tech. “We’re honored to be joining the Peach Belt Conference for track & field. This is a great opportunity for our student-athletes. We will make the most of it.”
“We are thrilled to welcome Florida Tech as an associate member for track & field,” said Commissioner Brunk.
“It is a program with a rich history of championships and compete at a very high level.
Their track program has rapidly become one of the strongest in our region and they will be a perfect fit for the Peach Belt Championships, which has also quickly become one of the premier events in the division.”
The Panthers have competed at the NCAA Division II level in track & field as an independent since the program started in 2011.
They are a member of the Sunshine State Conference, which currently does not sponsor track & field. Since the program began, FIT has sent three individuals – one in 2012 and two in 2014 – to the NCAA Division II Championships.
Last year, the first Panther woman qualified for the national competition in the hammer throw.
“We appreciate the opportunity the Peach Belt Conference has given us to be an associate member in track & field,” said Athletics Director Bill Jurgens.
“There’s no question that the Peach Belt Conference’s track & field championship is the premier track & field conference championship for Division II in the Southeast.
We’re excited and look forward to participating with the top track & field teams in this region.”
The PBC added men’s and women’s track & field as a conference sport in 2013. Alabama-Huntsville has won two conference women’s championships and one men’s title.
Shorter joined Alabama-Huntsville as champions in the 2014 conference event, claiming the men’s trophy.
Seven PBC student-athletes went on to compete at the 2014 NCAA Championships, with two being named All-Americans.
“The Peach Belt Conference is very competitive and joining the conference will help us become a stronger program,” said head coach Pete Mazzone.
“The opportunity will give us a chance to compete for individual honors, a conference team championship and it will greatly enhance our efforts to continue to compete at the national level.
Our student-athletes are excited and are working hard for the upcoming season.”
FIT will start its fifth season at the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Last Chance in Daytona Beach Feb. 20-21.