Despite a coaching change for Alabama, the Crimson Tide will still open up the fall NCAA dual meet schedule with their annual tilt with Delta State on Friday.
Alabama and Delta State traditionally open up the year with a very early-season dual meet. This Friday at 1 PM, Division II Delta State will host the SEC’s University of Alabama in Cleveland, Mississippi. Last year, Alabama hosted the meet in Tuscaloosa, a 213-82 men’s win and 206-88 women’s win for the Crimson Tide.
The meet will give us our first look at the Alabama program under new head coach Coley Stickels, hired away after two years as an assistant with Indiana. A handful of top college and professional athletes have followed Stickels from Indiana to Alabama; most notable at the college level were NCAA qualifier Julia Wolf and relay member Morgan Scott.
It’ll also be the first look at the returning Division II NCAA runners-up on the men’s side. Delta State’s men were second last year and their women 12th nationally.
Most teams will spend the next two weeks or so getting their seasons started with intrasquad and/or alumni meets. Alabama-Delta State is typically the first true dual meet of the season, and is believed to be the first this season. Based on last year’s national schedule, a few programs should start up with dual meets next week, with the main college dual meet season really hitting on the weekend of September 27.