The Alabama Relays, the first event of the outdoor track season, takes place Friday and Saturday in Tuscaloosa. Coach Ralph Spry said only select athletes will compete.
The following weekend the team will split up. Half will travel to Austin, Tex., March 29–31 for the Texas Relays, and the other half will travel to Jacksonville, Fla., March 30–31 for the North Florida Invitational.
Spry said he is feeling good about the team’s transition from indoor to outdoor, and he said they actually perform better outdoors because of Auburn’s lack of an indoor facility.
Although most members of the team compete in both the indoor and outdoor seasons, for some athletes, such as the javelin throwers, spring is the first chance they get to compete this year, Spry said.
Spry also said the team will focus every meet in the outdoor season on preparing for the SEC Outdoor Championship in early May.
“It doesn’t do you a lot of good to run fast early and then burn out,” Spry said. “We try to pace ourselves so that our sharpest point of the season is when we’re competing at the conference and the national championship. We call that peaking in our sport.”
Senior indoor All-American high jumper Monica Carney said she is excited and ready for the first outdoor meet, adding that she stayed in Auburn over spring break to prepare.
“This week since we don’t have a meet we’re harder training, kind of more conditioning and laying off the jumping for a little bit,” Carney said. “Then next we’ll start throwing in more jumps and bring down the running and less conditioning.”
Senior All-American sprinter Neil Danville said the team is prepared for outdoor competition after having a few weeks off to transition.
“Indoor is to get ready for outdoor, so everyone is ready for outdoor and just anticipating it,” Danville said. “So right now we’re just all anxious to get to the first outdoor meet.”
The athletes competing in the Texas Relays and Florida Invitational have yet to be decided.