Nov. 29, 2012
BIRMINGHAM, Ala.--The UAB track and field team will compete in its first event of the indoor slate on Saturday at the Panther Indoor Icebreaker, hosted by Birmingham Southern at the Birmingham CrossPlex.
The action will begin with a 9 a.m. CT start for the running events, and a 10 a.m. start for the field events.
UAB welcomes a handful of newcomers to the squad, including sprinter Breona Humphrey and hurdler Autumnn Burnett.
"We're very excited about our newcomers, Autumnn Burnett and Breona Humphrey, on the track and field side," head coach Kurt Thomas said. "Breona, I knew was very talented when I was recruiting her, and she had an outstanding fall, so I'm really excited to see what she's capable of in a competition environment. Autumnn is going to do the short hurdles for us, and run the four-by-four. She's been training really well. Both have been exceeding our expectations and we're really excited to see what they can do."
The Blazers also add freshman pole-vaulter Jordan Thornton to the 2012-13 squad.
"Our pole-vaulter Jordan has come a long way from where she was in high school," Thomas said. "I think she can come out and take on the environment of competition at the college level. Based on what they've been doing in practice, I think they can all do really well for us."
UAB will also have a strong core of distance runners, led by redshirt senior Rhiannon Johns, senior Sarah Hudak, and junior Elinor Kirk.
has been one of our best distance runners over the last three or four years," Thomas said. "She redshirted all of last indoor and outdoor season, and she's coming back for a fifth year. We're looking for her to blow everyone's socks off. Sarah Hudak
and Elinor Kirk
ran so well in cross country, and Sarah had such a great indoor and outdoor season last year, and we're looking for great things from the both of them."
The Blazers also feature strength in the sprints, hurdles and jumps with junior Kelli Smith, redshirt junior Angel Watson, and seniors Rachel Harley and Akira McSwain.
"For jumps, Kelli Smith is someone who was injured a lot last year, but she was very good for us her freshman year," Thomas said. "We're really looking for her to be healthy and start strong, because she can be a big factor for us. Angel Watson and the rest of the sprinters should run pretty well, even if they're not running in their primary events on Saturday. It'll be a really good opportunity for us to gauge their fitness and how well they trained in the fall."
Next up, UAB will host the Blazer Invite, Jan. 10-11, at the Birmingham CrossPlex.