Alexis Trott, Taahira Butterfield and their University at Albany Track & Field teammates learned the schedule for the upcoming 2018 Outdoor season. The schedule features one home meet, two Caribbean trips, and three new meets.
The outdoor season begins just after the indoor season ends, with the first competition coming just six days after the conclusion of NCAA Indoor Championships. The Great Danes will return to Coastal Carolina for the Shamrock Invitational over spring break starting on March 16th. At the same time, portions of the team will visit Puerto Rico for the Carolina Spring Break Classic on March 17th.
The first new meet on the schedule is a trip out west for the Stanford Invitational on March 29th. Normally, the team would wait until the Mt. SAC Relays in mid-late April for their west coast trip but Mt. SAC is not on the schedule this season. Stanford overlaps with the team’s return to the Florida Relays, also starting on March 29th.
Two weeks off precede the Great Danes’ next meets on April 14th. The team will split up to attend two meets. One group will fulfill UAlbany’s annual appearance at Connecticut’s Northeast Challenge, while another group will return to the Caribbean for the UTech Classic in Kingston, Jamaica, another new addition to the schedule.
One of the more significant changes to the schedule this season is UAlbany’s own Spring Classic, which will last for three days in 2018 starting on April 19th. The meet was expanded to two days after the new outdoor facility opened to accommodate the multis events, but contracted to one day after two years under the new format. The meet expands once more, adding a third day to the slate.
Overlapping with the Spring Classic is the third and final new meet on the schedule, the Virginia Challenge, which starts on April 20th. Both the Spring Classic and the Virgnia Challenge lead into the Penn Relays, which this year starts on April 26th. On April 29th, those who did not attend the Penn Relays will head across town to RPI for the Capital District Classic for one final tune-up before conference championships.
The 2018 America East Outdoor Championships will be held at UMBC starting on May 5. The Retrievers are hosting the meet for the first time since 2011. Championship season continues with the IC4A and ECAC Outdoor Championships at Princeton starting on May 12th. The NCAA East Preliminary Championships will be held at the University of South Florida starting on May 24th, leading into the NCAA Outdoor Championships, once again held at the University of Oregon, starting June 6th.
Beyond the collegiate season, the Great Danes may have the opportunity to compete in additional championship meets, including the USATF Junior Outdoor Championships in Sacramento and the USATF Outdoor Championships at the University of Oregon.
The Great Danes return to action after the winter break at the Ocean Breeze Complex on Staten Island on January 13th for the Great Dane Classic.