ANCHORAGE - The University of Alaska Anchorage track & field program will add an indoor season for the first time in 2013, UAA athletic director Dr. Steve Cobb announced Friday.

Led by head coach Michael Friess, the Seawolves will compete in the first of three regular-season indoor meets at the Washington Invitational, Jan. 25-26 in Seattle, leading up to the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Championships in February and the NCAA Championships in early March.

"With some schedule adjustments, we have been able to provide an improved competitive environment for our student-athletes at no extra cost," Dr. Cobb said. "We already have one of the nation's best coaching staffs in place, so this should be a seamless addition."

"Obviously we're very excited to make the indoor season part of our competitive schedule, said Friess. "Having the chance to compete in more championship events and an opportunity at more team and individual titles, it benefits not only our current student-athletes, but also our ability to recruit quality young people in the future."

UAA added men's and women's outdoor track & field as a full-time sport in 2005 and has grown into a top-20 contender, including finishes of 9th place by the men and 11th by the women at the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships.

UAA now boosts the GNAC's indoor track & field membership to nine of its 10 full-time members.

"The GNAC has a very strong reputation in track & field, and the conference offering on the indoor side just got stronger," said GNAC commissioner Dave Haglund. "We are extremely pleased to add a very solid Alaska Anchorage program to the GNAC Indoor Championships, which annually is one of the top collegiate meets on the indoor calendar."

"Adding an indoor season will be very beneficial for our student-athletes and strengthen UAA's position within the GNAC," added Dr. Cobb. "Anytime you can create more opportunity and higher quality experiences for student-athletes, without impacting cost or other sports, it is an appropriate addition."