Sept. 20, 2012
BIRMINGHAM, Ala.--UAB head coach Kurt Thomas announced the 2012-13 track and field schedule Thursday, which features the Blazers hosting a pair of indoor meets and competing in the renowned Texas Relays during the outdoor campaign.
"We have put together a very competitive schedule this year," Thomas said. "We have lots of returners with great experience and firepower, and we want to be able to highlight those athletes at great meets. We also want to have quality meets to get the team ready for championship meets. I think we've done that. "
UAB will once again host its meets at the Birmingham CrossPlex, which opened in 2011 and played host to a number of UAB's meets, along with the C-USA Indoor Championships a year ago.
"We are so blessed to be able to compete so close to home in the Birmingham CrossPlex," Thomas said. "The staff there has done a great job working with us and the other local teams to host meets."
The Blazers will open the indoor season on Dec. 1 at the Birmingham Southern Invite, which Thomas believes will be a test of the squad's fall training.
UAB will then host the UAB Blazer Invitational, Jan. 10-11, at the Crossplex before traveling to South Bend, Ind. for the Notre Dame-hosted Meyo Invite from Feb. 1-2. The squad will then compete in the Samford Multi & Invite on Feb. 8-9.
"We are excited to again host our UAB Blazer Invitational," Thomas said. "We will really gear up for a great meet with big competition at Notre Dame's Meyo Invite. Being able to come home and again race and compete at Samford's meet will really help us get ready for the C-USA Indoor Championships at the end of February."
The Conference USA Indoor Championships are slated for Feb. 23-24, and will once again be hosted by the Blazers at the CrossPlex.
"We are excited to be able to host the championships again this year," Thomas continued. " Having the comfort of sleeping in our own beds and racing on a track we get to practice on from time to time really helps us focus on being our best. We had a lot of girls do very well last year, and return almost all of them, so we're shooting to have a great indoor season."
UAB will kick off the outdoor portion of the 2013 slate at the Samford Invite (March 15-16) and Alabama Relays (March 22-23) before facing its toughest challenge, the Texas Relays in Austin on March 27-30.
"For outdoors our biggest addition will be taking a group to Texas Relays," Thomas said. "I tell our girls all the time, we have to be very ready and earn a trip to Texas. It is not a meet for the faint of heart. We have a great group of sprinters and jumpers, so we'll test ourselves on a big stage there in Austin."
While some of the team travels to Auburn on April 6 to compete in the Auburn Invitational, the distance runners will travel to Palo Alto, Calif. to compete in the Stanford Invite that same day.
The Blazers will split up again as the distance runners take the trip to Mt. Sac, Calif. for the Mt. Sac Relays on April 19-20, and the rest of the squad will compete in the Vanderbilt Invitational in Nashville, Tenn. over the same two-day span. The team will reunite on April 27 at the Samford Invite.
"We like being able to send our distance athletes to Stanford and Mt. Sac," Thomas continued. "The weather is perfect, and the competition is second to none. We have always come back from there with great performances, and are looking to do the same this year."
This year's Conference USA Outdoor Championships are scheduled for May 9-12 in Houston, and hosted by Rice. The NCAA East Preliminaries will be hosted by North Carolina A&T in Greensboro, N.C., and the NCAA Championships will be hosted by Oregon in Eugene, Ore. June 5-8.
"All this is to ready us to do our best at the C-USA Outdoor Champsionships and qualify athletes for the NCAA's," Thomas said. "We have some returning conference champions and runners up in their events, and add some more great athletes to our team. This schedule allows us to maximize our teams strengths."
Check UABsports.com for continued coverage of UAB track and field.