Outdoor Track Hosts 30th Spring Classic
ALBANY, N.Y. – Following a two-year stretch where they didn’t host a home meet, the University at Albany outdoor track program will host its second home meet of the year on Saturday, the 30th UAlbany Spring Classic. Unlike the Dogfight and the Dual Meet held on campus two weeks ago, this weekend marks the Danes’ big spring invitational. Teams from the Northeast, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and Canada will descend upon UAlbany’s brand new track to compete this weekend.
“We’re excited to be able to host a meet like this, a big invitational,” said Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Roberto Vives. “We want to have home meets to be excited about.”
In addition to the international athletes in attendance, the field also features a number of UAlbany alumni, who will compete against the current standard-bearers of the program they went through themselves.
“It’s great to have the alums back, because they are the ones that set the bar,” said Vives. “Our current athletes can see the shoulders of those they stand on, to see how this program was built. They know who the alums are, and they know what they did. They are the ones that set the tradition of excellence.”
Next week, the Danes will send a handful of athletes to compete in the Penn Relays, one of the biggest events on the outdoor calendar. But the Relays are more of a specialized event, and considerations have to be made to accommodate such a meet on the schedule, when there is still work to be done for championship season.
“Next week is mostly about relays,” said Vives. “But this week, we have our athletes competing, for the most part, in their best events. We want them to hit qualifying marks, especially those going to Penn who won’t have the chance to do so next week. Additionally, we’re trying out some athletes in events where they might be able to contribute later in the season, but in order to do so they need a mark to compete when we need them. It’s all about preparing for conference championships.”
The last time the Spring Classic was held in the 2008 season, and returns this year after a five-year hiatus. The turnout for the meet, despite the long break, has the coaching staff encouraged.
“I think the meet is a success already,” said Vives. “We didn’t know how many teams would show up, and to have the international squads in attendance is really special. We hope this meet can be the beginning of something, and we’d like to see it develop. It’s our biggest home meet of the year, and we’d like it to be even bigger.”
Field events kick off Saturday, April 19 at 11:00 a.m., followed by track events at 12:00 p.m.
“It’s time to find out how fast that new track really is,” said Vives.