Track and Field looks ahead to tough schedule

The Bulls start what looks to be a challenging season this Saturday as theindoor track and field schedulebegins in Birmingham, Ala. at the Crimson TideIndoor Opener.

The meet starts the Bulls six-meet season. Thirteen teams, including Florida, FSU, LSU and Texas willattend.

Those are somequality SEC/ACC teams, coach Warren Bye said. Its very good competition to go into. Since October, weve beenpracticing, just working a lot on
conditioning and getting the kids ready. This first meet will just be a test to see where were at.

The Bulls enter the season with athletes such as senior sprinterDerrick Hopkins, who was
awarded Most Outstanding Male Performer at the Big EastChampionship in 2011, when he won the 60- and 200-meterdashes.

Junior sprinter and jumperMarqueshia Stallworth will also add strength to the roster. Last year,Stallworth earned one of USFs outstanding female field athletes of the year awards and two all-Big East honors.

Bye said the team looksforward to the meet, which will gauge the teams efforts over the break and put them to the test.

I think it will set up like achampionship meet, honestly, with those schools. Bye said. The atmosphere is going to be like a championship meet even though its the start of the season.

After returning fromAlabama, the team will head to Indiana on Jan. 19 for the Notre Dame Invitational, then Kansas onJan. 25 for the Jayhawk
Classic and finally the Sykes-Sabock Challenge Cup in Pennsylvania on Feb. 2, two weeks before the Big East Championship.

Sometimes down in the end of the season, more in the outdoor season in April, it gets tiring. Bye said. But in the first three or four weeks its not too bad.

As the season begins, and the meets get tougher, coach Bye iseager to get a start on a tough schedule that can actually prove to be a positive.

Its set up really well for us. Bye said. Were set to compete against the best programs in the country and get ready for the Big East Championship.