Following a combined four top-six national team finishes in 2017, the Georgia track and field program has released its slate for the 2018 indoor and outdoor seasons, according to head coach Petros Kyprianou.
The Lady Bulldogs, who set records by placing second at both the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships last year, and the Georgia men, who finished fourth and sixth nationally, highlight their upcoming campaign with two meets at the Spec Towns Track in Athens. UGA hosts the annual Spec Towns Invitational on April 6-7 and then the second-annual Torrin Lawrence Memorial on May 5 on the teams’ track that had its Mondo surface replaced over the summer.
Georgia starts 2018 with the indoor Orange & Purple Classic in Clemson, S.C., on Saturday, Jan. 6. In fact, the Bulldogs make the short trip to Clemson’s campus three times during the indoor regular season.
“We are keeping our travel to a minimum during the indoor season,” Kyprianou said. “Our goal is to keep our schedules roughly the same from week to week with not much wear and tear from travel.”
In addition to a regular indoor season trip to Fayetteville, Ark., for the Razorback Invitational on Jan. 26-27, Georgia will travel to one of the league’s newest members, Texas A&M, twice during the postseason. The Aggies will play host to the Southeastern Conference Championships (Feb. 23-24) and then the NCAA Championships (March 9-10).
“We are hoping the benefit of having the conference and national meets in the same facility will be that SECs will serve as our preview for the NCAA Championships,” said Kyprianou. “Our goal for every season is to have our top performances at Nationals, both indoors and outdoors.”
The Bulldogs will kick off the outdoor season with the Yellow Jacket Invitational in Atlanta on March 16-17. Following a trip to the Texas Relays in Austin on March 28-31, Georgia will play host to the annual Spec Towns Invitational and Bulldog Decathlon/Heptathlon on April 6-7. Teams will also converge in Athens for the second-annual Torrin Lawrence Memorial on May 5 as the Bulldogs tune-up for SECs.
“The two home meets we will play host to this year are of a very highly competitive nature and will offer lots of promotional activities for our community to come watch and enjoy our student-athletes on our brand new track,” Kyprianou said.
While the Texas Relays will highlight Georgia’s trips during the outdoor season in March, a group will also get the opportunity to go across the country to Torrance, Calif., for the Mt. SAC Relays on April 19-21.
“Our outdoor schedule will hopefully serve as a smooth transition to Eugene via the Texas Relays and Mt. SAC Relays, which will offer high-quality competition and a chance for our California and West Coast team members to compete in front of family while the rest of the team faces some world-class competition,” explained Kyprianou.
The outdoor postseason takes the Bulldogs to three different states, including Eugene, Ore., where the NCAA Championships will be for 2018-21 and have been since 2013. Tennessee will play host to the SEC Championships in Knoxville on May 11-13. Those who are qualified will make the journey to Tampa, Fla., for the NCAA East Prelims on May 24-26.