Oct. 24, 2013
Dale Cowper assumed the role of director of cross country and track and field on July 1.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - University of Louisville track and field is beginning a new chapter in its program's history in December. For the first time in nine years, the Cardinals are entering their season under a different head coach.
On Thursday, first-year coach Dale Cowper announced the track and field team's 2013-14 indoor and outdoor schedules, highlighted by three home meets.
Louisville begins the indoor portion of its schedule at the Hoosier Open from Dec. 13-14. The trip marks the first of three times the Cardinals will visit Bloomington, Ind., during the indoor season.
"Indiana coach Ron Helmer, his staff, and their meet director Jay Arthur have always done a great job of taking care of us as far as meet entries go," Cowper said on making multiple trips to Bloomington. "It's a quick, simple trip for us in a period when we're trying to do a lot of training and get ready for the championship season. The trips are easy on our students and our academic schedules. They keep us in the classroom, and the travel keeps us out of the northern airports during the winter."
After participating in the Gene Edmonds Invitational in West Lafayette, Ind., on Jan. 11 and the Vanderbilt Invitational in Nashville, Tenn., two weeks later from Jan. 24-25, Louisville makes three-consecutive visits to the state of Indiana.
Three two-day meets make up Louisville's schedule over the following three weeks, beginning with the Indiana Relays from Jan. 31 to Feb. 1. The Cardinals return to action from Feb. 7-8 at the Notre Dame Meyo Invitational, where Edwin Kibichiy clocked a top-five school mark in the 3,000m last season.
Louisville is scheduled to split squads to conclude the regular season from Feb. 14-15, with a group heading to Hoosier Hills in Bloomington and distance runners likely traveling to the Husky Classic in Seattle, Wash.
The Cardinals then will compete in their first American Athletic Conference Indoor Championship at The Armory in New York, N.Y. The two-day event runs from Feb. 28 to March 1. Louisville, which competed in the BIG EAST Championships last season, had its men finish fifth and its women take sixth. Sam Bombaugh highlighted the meet, becoming the first male athlete in school and conference history to win both throwing titles at the league's indoor championships.
"It's a familiar trip," Cowper said of traveling to New York for the indoor championships. "We've been up to The Armory quite a bit, and it's a pretty simple trip for us.
"The American Athletic qualifying system has changed from the old BIG EAST. It's going to be an interesting indoor championship. With the new teams, we're excited and I believe we'll be in contention."
The indoor season concludes with the NCAA Division I Indoor Track and Field Championships taking place on March 14-15 at the Albuquerque Convention Center in Albuquerque, N.M. Two Cardinals earned second team All-America honors at last year's national championships.
Louisville has two weeks before returning to competition to begin its outdoor season, which commences on March 29 at home with the Lenny Lyles/Clark Wood Invitational. In addition to Louisville, Loyola (Ill.), Kent State, DePaul, and Central Michigan will bring their full squads and Illinois' is bringing its men's squad.
"This will be the earliest date we've hosted the Lenny Lyles/Clark Wood Invitational," Cowper said. "As I look at our schedule and the configuration of our championship season, I wanted to make sure that as we began the outdoor season, we had an opportunity to open up with a low-key meet. There will be some quality competition and the fields will be strong, but it's an opportunity for our full team to compete."
Following split squads competing either at the Stanford Invitational on April 4-5 in Stanford, Calif., or the Crimson Tide Invitational on April 5 in Tuscaloosa, Ala., the Cardinals head home for their second of three meets. Along with host Alabama, the meet in Tuscaloosa is likely to include Indiana and Penn State.
On April 12, Louisville plays host to the fifth annual Border Battle, which features Louisville, Indiana, Notre Dame, and Purdue.
A week later, Louisville will participate in the UK Relays from April 18-19 in Lexington. The Cardinals have not competed in Lexington in an outdoor meet in more than a decade.
From there, Louisville enjoys a break until the first week in May, when it heads to the USF campus for the AAC Outdoor Championships from May 2-4 in Tampa, Fla. The Cardinals competed there two years ago for the BIG EAST Championships, where the women's squad won its fifth-consecutive team title. Louisville's coaching staff was named the BIG EAST Women's Outdoor Coaching Staff of the Year following the victory for the fourth time in program history.
In a short turnaround, Louisville is scheduled to compete in two meets within a week span. The team will travel to the Georgia Invitational on May 10 in Athens, Ga., and then return home for the Cardinal Twilight at Cardinal Park, a last-chance meet for athletes to attain national qualifying marks, on May 16.
"One new meet on our schedule is the Georgia Invitational," Cowper added. "That will give our conference level qualifiers one more chance to get into the first round of the NCAA Championships. Since it is new on the schedule, it will be a new experience for our group, and that's one of the things that we like to do is spread out and see a new place or two every year."
Louisville's student-athletes who qualify for postseason competition will participate in the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Rounds in Jacksonville, Fla. The event runs from May 29-31 and will be held on the campus of the University of North Florida.
The pinnacle of the outdoor season, the NCAA Division Outdoor Championships, will be held in Eugene, Ore., at Hayward Field from June 11-14. The four-day event will be hosted by the University of Oregon.
The Cardinals return three All-Americans to this year's squad - Mattias Wolter, Maggie Gilbertson, and Bombaugh - and a trio that won conference titles last season.
For the latest information on Louisville cross country and track and field, log on to GoCards.com, or, for up-to-the-minute updates, follow the team's Twitter account at www.twitter.com/uofltrackxc or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/uofltrackxc.
2013-14 LOUISVILLE TRACK AND FIELD SCHEDULE
||Gene Edmonds Invitational
||West Lafayette, Ind.
|Jan. 31-Feb. 1
||South Bend, Ind.
|Feb. 28-March 1
||AAC Indoor Championships
||New York, N.Y.
||NCAA Indoor Championships
||LENNY LYLES/CLARK WOOD INVITATIONAL
||Crimson Tide Invitational
||AAC Outdoor Championships
||NCAA Division I East Preliminary Rounds
||NCAA Outdoor Championships