Roof over my head? Must be indoors.
Breaking out the sunglasses? Guess it's outdoors.
Within those "macro-seasons," however, exist a number of "micro-seasons." They have no hard and fast start date, and there is no uniform ending, either.
Still, there are signs that help distinguish from these short sub-seasons. When you see events like "sprint medley relay" turn up in results, it's a good bet you're in the middle of one of the most exciting portions of the outdoor slate: relay season.
After the Badgers step away from competition this weekend, it continues April 15-17 at the 52nd Mt. SAC Relays and then April 22-24 at the 101st running of the Drake Relays.
Those events, along with the annual Penn Relays, Texas Relays and Kansas Relays, are woven into the history of the sport and carry plenty of prestige.
Coming away with a title from any of the spring relay meets is a major accomplishment, and it's exciting for competitors and fans to see teams branch out from the "common" relay races -- the 4x100-meter and 4x400-meter relays -- that are contested at conference and NCAA championship meets.
The Badgers capitalized on the opportunity last weekend with strong performances in several relay events.
The quartet of freshman Gavin Robertson, senior James Groce, junior Chas DeMers and sophomore Kyle Jefferson combined to run a blistering 1:23.74 in the 4x200-meter relay in Gainesville.
The time was good for a fourth-place finish, and it also knocked off the Badgers' three-year-old school record in the event. The previous mark -- 1:23.88 -- also involved Groce, who teamed with All-Americans Demi Omole and Joe Detmer, as well as Dan Goesch to snag a fifth-place finish at 2007 Drake Relays.
Men's 4x200-Meter Relay (Courtesy Flotrack)
Then there was Wisconsin's performance in the distance medley relay, as the Badgers swept the top two spots in the event.
The athletes listed as running on UW's entries in the DMR were incorrect in the official results, so here's the real story:
The relay team of senior Ryan Gasper, sophomore Pat Plank, junior Luke Rucks and senior Craig Miller brought home the title in 9:46.40, a time good enough for 10th on Wisconsin's all-time list in the event.
The quartet of juniors Landon Peacock and Andrew Milenkovski and redshirt freshmen Rob Finnerty and Maverick Darling raced to a runner-up finish in 9:49.94.
Men's Distance Medley Relay (Courtesy Flotrack)