PAINESVILLE, OHIO – The Lake Erie College track and field teams kick off the indoor portion of their schedule with the first of three meets before the end of the calendar year on Friday, Nov. 30, at the Tiffin University Dragon Kick-Off Invitational.
That meet starts the Storm's slate that features eight indoor meets leading up to the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Indoor Track & Field Champions Feb. 23-24 and the NCAA Division II Championships in Birmingham, Ala., in early March.
Overall, the Storm will compete at least 20 times during the indoor and outdoor seasons, many times against some of the nation's best Division II talent along with a number of Division I schools.
"I feel like this is the best schedule we have been able to put together since we have started," said head coach Bryan Harmon. "We have a great combination of team events, including travel to the southern part of the country which is traditionally a track hotbed, against high caliber competition. We are looking forward to a great season."
The indoor season will feature traditional meets at Kent State University (Dec. 7-8), Baldwin Wallace University (Feb. 15) and the Division II Team Challenge held at nearby SPIRE Institute in Geneva (Feb. 1-2) but also will take the Storm to the University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB) for the Blazer Invitational (Jan. 10-11) and to Indiana University for the Hoosier Hills Invitational (Feb. 8-9). The Grand Valley State University Holiday Open (Dec. 14) provides the Storm with a preview of the GLIAC Championship venue, as does the Blazer Open for the national meet.
"Getting to preview a number of the championship venues during the regular season will put us in great position once the respective championship seasons roll around," Harmon said. "Grand Valley and UAB will be the site of the indoor championships while we will also compete at Ashland which will host the GLIAC outdoor meet. We are looking forward to going to down to Birmingham and running on a banked track, which will be something new and different for a lot of our student-athletes. "
The outdoor season opens March 2 at Lenoir Rhyne University and then continues two weeks later at the Wake Forest University Open, which has become a staple of the Storm's schedule. Other big school events include the Raleigh Relays (Mar. 29-30) at North Carolina State University, the Bison Outdoor Classic (Apr. 13-14) at Bucknell University and the Jesse Owens Classic (Apr. 20) in Columbus at Ohio State University.
The GLIAC Outdoor Championships run May 1-3 at Ashland University and the NCAA Division II Outdoor Championships will once again be held at Colorado State University-Pueblo May 23-25.
"The trip to Wake Forest and the Owens Classic are always a highlight of the outdoor season and we are excited about the new additions to the schedule in NC State and Bucknell," Harmon said. "It is always a treat, and a great challenge, to compete against Big 10 and ACC teams and other Division I schools. Our kids will be ready and will compete."