Montevallo hosting sixth annual Early Bird Twilight Classic

The University of Montevallo is hosting the Sixth Annual Early Bird Twilight Classic on Aug. 26. (Contributed)

The University of Montevallo is hosting the Sixth Annual Early Bird Twilight Classic on Aug. 26. (Contributed)

FROM STAFF REPORTS

MONTEVALLO – The University of Montevallo Athletic Department will welcome more than 50 cross country teams and more than 1,700 high school and middle school cross country runners to campus Friday, Aug. 26 for the sixth annual Early Bird Twilight Classic, which has become one of the largest regular season cross country events in the state of Alabama.

The event is part of the Montevallo Athletic Department’s commitment to the NCAA Division II community engagement philosophy, actively engaging with communities from across the state of Alabama and fostering relationships between student-athletes and community members to develop more of a shared civic experience. The event will include high school and middle school teams from the Huntsville, Birmingham, Mobile, Tuscaloosa and Montgomery metro areas.

“The University of Montevallo is proud to serve as the host of one of the largest regular season high school cross country events in the state of Alabama,” said Montevallo men’s and women’s cross country coach Tommy Barksdale. “This event offers high school and middle school student-athletes from across the state of Alabama a chance to compete on a course that has hosted NCAA Division II Southeast Region and Peach Belt Conference Championships. It also provides an opportunity for the students and their families to visit our beautiful campus and learn more about the outstanding academic programs our University has to offer.”

The first event in 2011 featured 30 teams and roughly 1,000 high school and middle school cross country runners and has grown tremendously over the past five years. The event took place on Saturday mornings for the first three years before becoming a twilight event under the lights two years ago.

The event will start off with the middle school girls’ and middle school boys’ races at 6:20 p.m. and 6:40 p.m., respectively.

The high school races will be separated into three different divisions, with the Purple Division girls’ race for teams in Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 5A-7A starting at 7 p.m. The Purple Division boys’ race for teams in Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 5A-7A will begin at 7:30 p.m.

The high school girls’ race for teams in Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 1A-4A will start at 8 p.m., followed by the high school boys’ race for teams in Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 1A-4A at 8:30 p.m.

The Gold Division girls’ race for teams in Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 5A-7A will start at 9 p.m., followed by the Gold Division boys’ race for teams in Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 5A-7A at 9:30 p.m.

Live results from this year’s event can be found online at http://www.xpresstiming.com/Live/2016/XC/Montevallo/. More information about the event can be found online at http://al.milesplit.com/meets/246608/info#.V78DwjUpn08.