Nov. 22, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Two home meets, including the UAB Blazer Invitational, as well as the Conference USA Indoor Championships, highlight the 2013-14 UAB Track & Field Indoor and Outdoor schedule, head coach Kurt Thomas announced on Friday.
"It's always exciting to release our schedule to show our athletes where our opportunities are throughout the season,” Thomas said. “It also allows the families of our athletes to be able to plan to come watch and support their daughters, which is always important to me.”
Of the Blazers’ seven indoor events, five will be held at the Birmingham CrossPlex. The facility will be the site of UAB’s home meet on January 10-11 where 40 schools are expected to compete. UAB will also be the host school for the league indoor championship which runs Feb. 28-March 1.
“We always seek to set up our schedule to allow us to peak for our championship season both indoors and outdoors,” Thomas said. Along the way, we need competitive opportunities for all event areas to grow throughout the season. I feel like we've set the precedent for those opportunities in the past and it's allowed us to be successful, so we're sticking with it again this year."
The indoor season for UAB opens on Dec. 6 at the Birmingham-Southern College Ice Breaker, which will be held at the Birmingham CrossPlex.
Following the Blazers’ home meet, the team will travel to Nashville, Tenn., for the Vanderbilt Indoor Invite on Jan. 24-25, before opening competition in February at the Samford Multi and Invite on the 7-8.
Southern Miss will be the host school for UAB’s next event, the Cupid Classic on Feb. 14, which will be at the Birmingham CrossPlex. The NCAA Indoor Championships are scheduled for March 14-15 at the Albuquerque Convention Center in Albuquerque, N.M.
"As always, I am grateful to have the amazing Birmingham CrossPlex in our backyard,” Thomas said. “It allows us to train inside at one of the nation’s premier indoor track facilities when needed, and it allows us to compete, host home meets and travel a very short distance during the indoor season.”
The Blazers’ outdoor season opens on March 14 in Mobile at the Battle of I-65 hosted by South Alabama. A week later the Green and Gold will travel for the Alabama Relays in Tuscaloosa hosted by Alabama.
"Transitioning from indoor to outdoor, this year we'll participate with host South Alabama, and Samford at the Battle of I-65 in mid-March,” said Thomas. “It'll give all our athletes a chance to get their feet wet with the outdoor season. We will again compete at Alabama Relays as our ‘spring right of passage’. We have lots of athletes who are from the area, so it'll give them a chance to compete in front of family and friends.”
The next two weekends of competition are part of split events as part of the team will travel to a different event than the other. UAB will send student-athletes to the Florida Relays in Gainesville, Fla., on April 3-5, and the Stanford Invite on April 4-5.
The next set of events will be the same situation as the Blazers will be represented at the War Eagle Invite in Auburn, Ala., on April 18-19, and the Mt. Sac Relays on April 18-19 in Walnut, Calif.
UAB will travel to Starkville, Miss., on May 3 for the Mississippi State Invitational, before competing at the C-USA Outdoor Championship May 15-18 in Houston, Texas, hosted by Rice.
The NCAA East Preliminary Meet will run from May 29-31 in Jacksonville, Fla., and the outdoor season will close on June 11-14 at the NCAA Finals in Eugene, Ore.
“Of course we want to continue qualifying athletes to NCAA Preliminary meet, hosted by North Florida this year,” Thomas said. “I think our schedule sets us up to have eight or more athletes qualify as the top 48 in the east of the NCAA, which is incredibly hard. We had a blast having six athletes compete at the NCAA Championship meet in Eugene last year, and we want to continue that, and build on those experiences."
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