MONTEVALLO, Ala. – The University of Montevallo Athletic Department announced today (Feb. 14) that women’s outdoor track and field will join the Falcon athletic family beginning in the spring of 2013. With the addition of women’s track and field, Montevallo now offers 12 varsity sports.
“We are excited that the University Board of Trustees and President Stewart, as part of our Strategic Plan, will add women’s track and field to our athletic offerings as we continue to expand our activities for current and prospective students,” said Athletic Director Jim Herlihy. “Track is unique that it is both an individual and team sport. It will allow kids with different types of skills and attributes to be involved.”
Men’s and women’s cross country head coach Tommy Barksdale will assume the new role as head coach of men’s and women’s cross country as well as women’s track and field. Barksdale has extensive experience in track and field including leading Division I Morehead State University’s program for two seasons prior to taking over at UM.
“I am very excited to be adding women’s outdoor track and field,” said coach Barksdale. “I have to thank Dr. Stewart, the board of trustees, and Mr. Herlihy for believing in what we are doing. With the addition, both cross country programs will prosper. This will not only help with the growth of our University but will also give women another avenue to graduate from a great academic institution and be able to compete collegiately. This is a very exciting time to be a Montevallo Falcon.”
Women’s track and field will become the University’s seventh women’s varsity sport.
Montevallo currently does not have a track facility but the team will train on campus and they are currently looking at several options to develop an on-campus track facility to accompany the new cross country trail that was developed this past fall.
UM will immediately be eligible to participate in NCAA Championship Competition. The Peach Belt Conference currently does not hold a women’s track and field championship event as the conference does not yet have the six schools required to sponsor an official championship. Columbus State University, UNC Pembroke and Clayton State University are the other PBC schools who currently have track and field and the league hopes to establish a championship in the near future.