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Track Holds Soft Opening For Indoor Season

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Track Holds Soft Opening For Indoor Season

Meet Schedule

ALBANY, N.Y. – Though proper competition lies about a month away, the University at Albany men’s and women’s indoor track teams are nonetheless gearing up for a meet this weekend to ease into the indoor season.  The men and women will compete against their teammates in the 20th Annual RACC Classic Intra-Squad Meet at the SEFCU Arena.  The rosters will be divided among a Purple and a Gold team, and the teams were selected through a captain’s draft.

“We’re really trying to develop the team concept, especially for the new students this year,” said Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Roberto Vives.

The event is open to spectators, who are encouraged to attend and support the team.

“With our new outdoor facility we will be hosting several meets during the outdoor season,” said Vives. “We’re hoping we can get some spectators at this meet and start to build a following of supporters who will attend the meets we host.”

The meet will actually take place over two competition days.  Friday, December 6 will see the pole vault, discus, and turbo javelin events held in the bubble next to the SEFCU Arena starting at 4:00 p.m.  On Monday, December 9, the remainder of the events on the schedule will go off, with field events starting at 3:00 p.m. and track events starting an hour later.  The weight throw and the shot put will be held in the bubble on Monday.  Women will run first followed by the men in each event.  Athletes in throwing events and horizontal jumping events will receive only four attempts.

“This meet really represents our preseason,” said Vives.  “Track has the longest conditioning period of all sports on campus.  Our athletes have been training since they arrived at the beginning of the semester.  By hosting a competition, the athletes can see how their training has progressed, and the coaching staff can see who is ready for the first meet.”

The coaches will use the opportunity to evaluate the track athletes in actual competition for the first time this season.  The cross country athletes, by virtue of competing in the fall, have been evaluated through competition for a while now, and will not be competing in the meet, allowing the coaches to focus on athletes who haven’t yet raced.

“The competition also serves motivational purposes during final exams and the long break.  Hopefully by competing now, after a long conditioning period, the athletes will continue to train well during the semester break.”

In addition to the roster athletes competing, the event is also open to alumni and tryout athletes.

“Sometimes an alum will show up and jump in an event, which is always exciting,” said Vives.  “We also have about 10 athletes coming to try out and hit our minimum standards for a roster spot.  These athletes have been training on their own, and if we see potential we’ll give them a shot.”

The longest event in the meet will be 800 meters.  The meet will also hold a 55-meter dash, 55-meter hurdles, 300-meter dash, and 500-meter dash.  On the field event side, competition will include the pole vault, discus, turbo javelin, high jump, weight throw, shot put, long jump, and triple jump.    Athletes will be competing in events as designated by the coaching staff, who will then review the performances to see where the athletes stand at this early point in the season.

“We are very excited to showcase our athletes,” said Vives.  On paper, this could be one of the best years we’ve ever had.  I think we’re in a good position to defend out America East titles, compete for IC4A and ECAC championships, and hopefully qualify some of the athletes for nationals.”

UAlbany will have a long break before their next competition, which will be the Penn State Relays in State College, Pa., on January 11, 2014.

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