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Nov. 30, 2015

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.-Highlighted by four home meets during the outdoor season, the UVA men’s and women’s track and field 2016 schedule was announced Monday (Nov. 30) by Virginia director of track and field/cross country Bryan Fetzer.

The schedule includes eight indoor meets and nine outdoor meets, including four at Lannigan Field.

Indoor Season
The indoor season begins Jan. 15-16 with the Virginia Tech Invitational in Blacksburg, Va. After meets in Lexington, Ky. (Jan. 22-23), and Boston (Jan. 29-30), the Cavaliers return to Blacksburg for the Doc Hale Elite Meet Feb. 5-6. UVA will compete in the inaugural Fastrack National Qualifier Invite at the brand new Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex in Staten Island, N.Y., Feb. 12.

“We have a large number of alumni and recruits in the Northeast so we have two great opportunities to compete in front of them in Boston and Staten Island,” Fetzer said.

The Cavaliers’ tune-up to the championship portion of the indoor season will be the UCS Invitational in Winston-Salem, N.C., Feb. 20. The ACC Indoor Championships will be held Feb. 25-27 in Boston at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center. The NCAA Championships will be held two weeks later in Birmingham, Ala., March 11-12.

“We are always trying to present our team with the optimal opportunity for success while preparing for the championship season,” Fetzer said.

Outdoor Season
Virginia opens the outdoor season at home with the Virginia Cup on March 19 against in-state rivals James Madison, Norfolk State and Radford in a head-to-head team-scored competition. The meet will be held for the second year in a row on the same day as the Charlottesville 10-miler, one of Virginia’s oldest road races.

“It is always a great opportunity to host some of the other schools in the state of Virginia.” Fetzer said.

The Cavaliers head to the Florida Relays in Gainesville, Fla., March 31-April 2, for the first of three trips to the Sunshine State.

Virginia then hosts three meets in a row, including back-to-back days with the UVA Quad on April 8 and the Lou Onesty/Milton G. Abramson Invitational April 9. The UVA Quad will see the Cavaliers compete against Columbia, Maryland and Penn in a two and a half hour scored meet with limited events, while the invitational on Saturday will conclude with a distance-event carnival and see schools from the Northeast coming to Charlottesville, including Buffalo and the three schools in action Friday night.

“It is fortunate for our student-athletes to have the opportunity to compete nearly every weekend prior to the championship season on our home track,” Fetzer said. “It decreases the amount of missed class, there is less wear and tear traveling and provides a chance for them to compete in the great atmosphere of Lannigan Field. We also wanted to bring back the Lou Onesty/Milton G. Abramson Invitational as it honors two of UVA’s greats.”

The Virginia Challenge, to be contested April 22-23, will once again host an elite field featuring heptathlon and decathlon competitions over the two days as well as “Main Event” sessions each evening featuring some of the best competitors in the nation under the lights.

The Virginia Challenge field will feature teams from four of the Power 5 conferences, including ACC rivals NC State, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Pitt, Syracuse and Wake Forest. SEC schools will include Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi and Vanderbilt, Big Ten institutions will include Indiana, Michigan State and Minnesota and the Big 12 will be represented by Iowa State. The field will also include full teams from Harvard, Kennesaw State, Liberty and VCU, all of whom captured conference championships in 2015, along with select high-caliber student-athletes from other schools and some professional athletes.

“I could not be more excited for the Virginia Challenge,” Fetzer said. “It is a great competition and an amazing chance for the Charlottesville community to see NCAA Champions and future Olympians. We hope to have a large number of alumni back in the town to see it.”

The ACC Outdoor Championships will be hosted by Florida State in Tallahassee, Fla., May 13-15, and the Cavaliers will return to Florida for the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds in Jacksonville, May 26-28. Eugene, Ore., will once again be the host of the NCAA Championships, to be held June 8-11.

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