Samford University athletics is preparing to host its second Southern Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships in as many seasons this upcoming weekend while also working with the Birmingham CrossPlex to host the 2016 NCAA Division I Indoor Track and Field Championships March 11–12.
The SoCon Indoor Track and Field Championships will take place Feb. 26–27 at the Birmingham CrossPlex.
Samford’s proximity to the CrossPlex has been beneficial since the state-of-the-art complex opened in 2011. The Bulldogs have enjoyed being able to compete closer to home during the indoor season while also being able to compete in more events, according to Head Coach Rod Tiffin.
“We’ve grown with those guys as they have grown. We started on the ground floor, cohosting meets with Birmingham-Southern and UAB, and now it has branched into us taking over our own competitions,” Tiffin said. “Being able to get the SoCon Championships and the national championships just further emphasizes how well we work with the Birmingham CrossPlex, A. J. [Holzherr] and the city of Birmingham. They do a great job of putting on meets, and the venue is the best in the country.”
The opportunity to host the NCAA Division I Indoor Track and Field Championships speaks volumes about the reputation of the quality of service that the CrossPlex staff and Samford has provided in hosting past events such as the SoCon Indoor Championships, Tiffin added.
“The experience that we gain every year just further enhances the marketability of the CrossPlex. I think the NCAA saw that we were hosting quality meets along with quality championships,” Tiffin said. “It was intriguing for them. They came in, took a look, and loved the facility and everything we had to say. They embraced the opportunity for Birmingham and Samford to host the NCAA Division I championships.”