Jan. 13, 2012
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -
Finding the CrossPlex
The University of Alabama track and field team aims to begin its first year under head coach Dan Waters on a positive note when it opens the 2012 indoor track and field season by hosting the Crimson Tide Indoor Opener on Saturday in Birmingham Ala.
The meet will be held at the Birmingham CrossPlex, a state-of-the-art indoor track stadium that holds seating for 4,000 fans, a 200-meter hydraulically banked Mondo Super X track, eight-lane sprint track and double runways and rings for all field events.
"It's an exciting time for Alabama track and field to host the indoor season opener at a facility that's second-to-none," Waters said. "This is a starting point for our program, but it's a big one. The things we're going to look for are who is going to rise to the occasion, really compete and challenge themselves. We're also going to look at what we can do technically to make our team better."
The Crimson Tide will contend against a field that features some of the top programs in the nation including the defending two-time NCAA men's indoor champions and preseason No. 1, Florida. Other top 10 teams include LSU's men (No. 3) and women (No. 2), and Florida State whose men's team is ranked sixth and women's team is ninth. Auburn, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Samford, Southern Mississippi and Tulane will also take to the track.
"We have a good amount of SEC schools coming into the building, which is very significant and good competition" Waters said. "This is the kind of meet we want to host at Alabama where everyone is challenged and we have the opportunity to host a first-rate event that generates excitement around track and field. I think everyone will be very pleased with the size of the meet and the competition level."
The first field event begins at 9:30 a.m. CST with the men's high jump followed by the women's weight throw at 10 a.m. Action on the track begins at noon with the 60-meter prelims. Events are scheduled to run until 5:45 p.m.
Entering 2012, Alabama's women return five student-athletes that had top-50 performances nationally during the 2011 season including Kaylon Eppinger in both the 60-meter hurdles and pentathlon, Krystle Schade in the high jump, Chloe Hetherton in the triple jump, Wilamena Hopkins in the shot put and Amethyst Holmes in the weight throw.
Waters' men's team returns four student-athletes that posted top-50 performances nationally last season. Those performances came from Carison Kemei in the 5,000 meters, Tyler Campbell and Jonathan Reid in the high jump, and Kamal Fuller in the long jump.
After this weekend's meet, both squads will have a week of training before returning to Birmingham, Ala. to participate in the Auburn Invitational on Jan. 21.