By TOM ZEBOLD
USF Senior Writer
TAMPA - The USF track and field schedule has been released and the Bulls will be battled tested during the indoor season.
USF gets things started Saturday, Jan. 12 at the Crimson Tide Indoor Opener that features 13 teams (five SEC, two ACC opponents) that include Florida, LSU, FSU and Alabama.
"That will be a great meet to start out with kids coming back from break and getting right into it," head coach Warren Bye said.
The Bulls travel to Indiana the following week to compete at the Notre Dame Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 19 and will face more tough opponents Friday, Jan. 25 at the Jayhawk Classic in Lawrence, Kan. The Kansas women's squad posted a runner-up finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships last season.
"That will be good competition for everyone across the board," Bye said.
USF will tune up for the Big East Championships at Penn State Saturday, Feb. 2 with the Sykes-Sabock Challenge Cup. The Bulls' last meet at Penn State was at the beginning of the 2010-11 season and USF went home with 19 new personal records.
"It's always a good place for us. We've always done really well there competing," Bye said.
The Bulls look to continue conference success Feb. 16-17 at the Big East Indoor Championships in Geneva, Ohio. Senior Jared Thomas won a conference title in the weight throw at last season's meet in New York City while Lindsar Lamar (60 meters), Monique Williams (long jump) and Marqueshia Stallworth (triple jump) also earned gold medals.
Thomas will be back for his final indoor season and he'll help lead an experienced USF men's squad that returns all but one runner from last season's school record-breaking 4x400 team.
"We look forward to having somewhat of a veteran team as well as adding a few freshmen that will come in, step up and help us," Bye said.
The NCAA Indoor Championships are scheduled for March 8-9 in Fayetteville, Ark.
View USF's complete indoor schedule HERE.