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The Dual is a Tradition Reborn

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We love tradition at the University of Michigan. A walk through the Diag, a visit to the Union, a quick peek in the UGLI or just wandering around campus brings back vivid memories.

For the sports fan, it could be a visit to Yost, and there's nothing better than an autumn football Saturday afternoon at Michigan Stadium.

Tradition and memories are important.

For the track and field programs at Michigan, one event is attempting to cement itself once again as a tradition. And to date, it has been successful.

It is called "The Dual."

Just as the title reads "The Dual" is a dual track meet between two schools. On Saturday (Jan. 14) the Michigan women's track and field team travels to Columbus, Ohio, to go against Ohio State for its second indoor "Dual" battle, while the men host the Buckeyes Saturday night at the Indoor Track Building (field events start at 6 p.m. and track events start at 7 p.m.).

For the student-athletes, the dual meet is one of those events that bring the team concept together. Each event has one team poised against the other. There are more individuals from each team that are able to participate in the dual meet, and because of that they have a bigger share in each other's outcome. The strategy changes completely as more individuals are working with one another to get their team any possible advantage. The emotions run higher too as teammates cheer for everyone on their team -- from first place to fifth place.

The emotional pull carries over to the fans. The cheers emanating from the crowd make the Indoor Track Building come to life as a hockey crowd takes to a game at Yost.

"The Dual" is run annually between the Michigan and Ohio State men's and women's track teams. Anytime those two schools get together in athletic competition, that in itself gets everyone fired up.

The first meet in "The Dual's" rebirth was a men's indoor meet run on Jan. 19, 2008 in Ann Arbor. The house was packed. It was the first Michigan-Ohio State dual meet since 1993. And the actual first dual meet between the schools was a men's competition in 1932.

Tomorrow night, another 1,400-plus crowd is expected to see an event that once ruled the collegiate landscape before almost becoming extinct.

Now with two schools hosting "The Dual" an athletic tradition has been born again. Track and field has bounced back with the same excitement found on the cinder tracks and in the bleachers that everyone enjoyed years ago.

This tradition has a great chance to continue.