Women?s Track and Field to Open Indoor Slate at Kentucky Invitational

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama women’s track and field team will open its 2008 indoor season at the Kentucky Track and Field Invitational. Field events will begin on Friday, Jan. 11 at 6:00 p.m. from the Nutter Field House. Track events will commence on Saturday, Jan. 12 at 12:30 p.m.

The Tide will send 20 participants to the 2008 opener, including 11 newcomers who will make their Alabama debut on the oval. Of the 20 athletes, 16 are underclassmen.

"Our team is young but our athletes need to take advantage of using their teammates," head coach Sandy Fowler said.  "I’m excited to see what is going to change from practice to the meet. To see how the team adapts mentally to the meet atmosphere and who steps up. It will show me what we can work on in practice."

Senior Julia Hicks, one of two seniors on the squad, will be making an appearance in the distance events. Hicks has been national qulaifier for the Tide in cross country and a mainstay in the distance events.

"I am excited that Julia is returning," Fowler said. "A senior, who has been to nationals and a leader on this team. If she brings her fall training and builds on her past success into Kentucky, she will have a very good meet."

The meet will showcase a total of 15 women’s teams, including three teams that finished in the top-15 at last year’s NCAA Indoor Championships.

Tennessee, which finished third, makes the trek to Kentucky while Michigan, who placed ninth and Georgia Tech, who finished 14th will be put to the test in Lexington.

Arkansas State, Eastern Kentucky, Furman, Kentucky, Kentucky State, Marshall, Middle Tennessee, Ohio State, Vanderbilt, Western Kentucky and Wright State will participate at the meet.

Alabama will continue its indoor slate at the Clemson Invitational. The meet will begin on Friday, Jan. 18 at the Clemson Indoor Track.