Fall sports at the University of North Georgia (UNG) are fast approaching, and this spring the university will welcome its newest athletics program, women's track and field. The addition of women's track and field brings UNG's athletic programs to 13 intercollegiate sports, and is the 10th women's Division II track and field program in the state of Georgia.
"It is an exciting opportunity to add track and field to the UNG sports lineup," said Lindsay Reeves, UNG's athletic director. "The new program will enhance the competitive sports experience for both current and prospective student-athletes."
Tom Williams is the head coach for the new program, and is also maintaining his leadership role with the Nighthawks cross country team. Several of UNG's cross country athletes will also be competing on the track and field team.
"Since reinstating the women's cross country program in 2012 after a two-year hiatus, we always knew the natural progression would be to bring in track and field student-athletes and continue the growth of our running program," Williams said. "The addition of track and field as a sport offering provides us the ability to develop student-athletes year-round at UNG."
The track and field student-athletes will begin to compete in spring 2017 with University of Alabama in Huntsville, Augusta State University, Clayton State University, Columbus State University, Florida Institute of Technology, University of Montevallo, Nova Southeastern University, Shorter University and University of North Carolina at Pembroke for the Peach Belt Conference championship.
The fall athletics season at UNG officially kicks off on Sept. 1:
- Men's and women's soccer, Sept. 1 at the UNG Soccer Complex; the women's game will begin at 5 p.m. and the men's game will begin at 7 p.m. The women's team was picked to finish third in a preseason poll of the Peach Belt Conference (PBC) coaches.
- The women's cross country team takes off on Sept. 3 at the Brooks Memphis Twilight XC Classic. The team was picked to finish second in a preseason poll of the PBC coaches; the team has finished as the runner-up in the conference championship in each of the past two years.
- Men's golf starts on Sept. 4 at the UNG Tri-Match, and women's golf tees off on Sept. 12 at the Montevallo Full Moon Invitational.
- Mixed rifle begins competition Sept. 30 at the Ole Miss Invitational. The team earned a runner-up finish at the 2015 SEARC Championship, and competes against Division I, II and III schools.
- Men's and women's basketball begins Nov. 11, with the women's team traveling to Erskine College and the men's team visiting Pfeiffer University. The women's team earned their fourth consecutive PBC Tournament appearance this past season.
Spring sports include men's and women's tennis, baseball and softball. Schedules, rosters, news and much more is available at http://ungathletics.com/index.aspx.
Also, UNG athletics is launching a loyalty rewards program for students called Loyal Blue; the geo-location app rewards users for supporting Nighthawk athletic events and other on-campus promotions. Students can check in when arriving at events and accrue points to unlock rewards. The app also provides features that allow users to keep track of events, share photos with other fans and follow the UNG Nighthawks on social media platforms.