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After being cancelled in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 14th annual Brett/Robinson Alabama Coastal Triathlon and Tri-It-On sprint event is returning on Saturday, Sept. 11.
The swimming section will take place in the Gulf of Mexico, while the biking and running categories will be along Gulf Shores’ beach boulevard. The main staging area will be inside the Gulf Place Public Beach at The Hangout entertainment complex.
“After having to cancel the triathlon in 2020, we are gearing up to bring back one of our signature events along Alabama’s beaches in the city of Gulf Shores,” said Michelle Russ, vice president of sales for Gulf Shores/Orange Beach Sports & Events. “We are blessed to share our natural venues – the beach and the Gulf of Mexico — with participants and their families during the Alabama Coastal Triathlon, and we encourage them to explore the destination before and after the race.”
The Olympic-length triathlon features a 1,500-meter swim followed by a 24.8-mile bike ride through Gulf State Park and 6-mile run along the scenic beach road. The Olympic and sprint races are designated as the USA Triathlon 2021 Alabama State Championships for age group categories and high school triathletes.
For individuals not quite ready for a full triathlon, they can consider entering the Tri-It-On sprint event. This includes a 300-yard swim, 12.4-mile bike ride and 2-mile run. Individuals and relay teams are welcome to register for either race, and there is a virtual option as well.
Registration and packet pick-up will take place at The Hangout on Friday, Sept. 10, from 4 to 7 p.m., and race day from 5:30 to 6:30 a.m. The triathlon begins at 7 a.m., with the sprint event starting shortly thereafter. The post-race party and awards ceremony will also take place at The Hangout.
Individuals may register now at https://team-magic.com/events/226/contents/register. For more information on USA Triathlon State Championship guidelines and qualifications, go to https://www.teamusa.org/USA-Triathlon/Events/State-Championships.
Collegiate volleyball season is here
- The University of Mobile (UM) volleyball program, which took home the 2020-21 Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) championship last season and qualified for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) tournament, edged out William Carey of Mississippi and Loyola of Louisiana for the top spot in the 2021 SSAC Volleyball Coaches’ Preseason Poll. The top ranking makes it two straight years that the Rams were selected first overall in the conference to begin the season.
“It’s an honor being picked to finish first in the conference,” UM head coach Jon Campbell said. “Last year we were a young team and experienced a lot of growing pains but peaked at the end of the season,” Campbell continued. “With the addition of some new players, I hope we can build on last year’s success. The SSAC is a very tough conference so we will need to play at the top of our game to reach our goals for this year.”
UM opened its season last week at the Warner University Tournament in Lake Wales, Fla. The Rams’ first home match is scheduled for Sept. 17 against Middle Georgia State at 7 p.m. That match will also open up conference play for the Rams.
- Head coach Jesse Ortiz has announced the University of South Alabama (USA) volleyball schedule features 10 home matches.
USA will host the Jaguar Invitational at Jag Gym to open the season, which will start at 10 a.m. on Friday against Florida A&M. The Jags will host Charleston Southern at 6 p.m. Friday night, before facing Jacksonville on Saturday to close the tournament.
The Jaguars will embark on an eight-match road trip that will begin at the Tennessee Tech Invitational (September 3-4) with matches against Tennessee Tech (Sept. 3), Valparaiso (Sept. 4) and USC-Upstate (Sept. 4) in Cookeville, Tenn. The Jags will then compete in the Jax State Invitational (Sept. 10-11) in Jacksonville, Ala. USA will open that tournament against Jacksonville State (Sept. 10), followed by a pair of matches on Sept. 11 against Nicholls State and Southern Mississippi.
South Alabama will cap its road trip at the Hail State Invitational, hosted by Mississippi State, with matches against Jackson State (Sept. 17) and Mississippi State (Sept. 18).
USA will host UT-Arlington (Sept. 24) at Jag Gym to open Sun Belt Conference play, followed by a contest with 2020 champion Texas State (Sept.r 25). The Sun Belt Conference Championship is scheduled for Nov. 17-20 in Foley.
“Seeing the great competition in the Sun Belt (Conference) is going to be really exciting for me,” Ortiz said. “I am also excited to see our group, and the growth that we will hope to have during the season. We are going to take it one day at a time and take on each challenge as they come, together.”
- The Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association (SIAC) cancelled its volleyball championships last season in response to COVID-19. This left Spring Hill College head coach Peggy Martin short of an incredible milestone.
In 2019, she became the national leader on the all-divisions women’s collegiate volleyball career wins list with 1,349 victories. She enters this campaign needing just 25 wins to reach 1,400 career victories.
This would put her in striking distance of the all-time record for collegiate coaching victories for men and women’s teams. Larry Bock, who had previously held the women’s coaching mark, also had 100 victories with the men’s team at Juniata College for a combined total of 1,448 coach wins.
The Badgers will take to the court on September 3 in the University of West Florida Invitational. The first match will be against Palm Beach Atlantic University.
SIAC competition starts with a West Division Cluster in Memphis. The Badgers will face Lemoyne-Owen College, Kentucky State University, Central State University and Lane College.
The initial home game at the Arthur R. Outlaw Recreation Center will not be until Sept. 28. SHC will host West Florida that Tuesday at 6 p.m.
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