Georgia Southern Track and Field continue to break records in 2016 season

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Derik Wuchte

Two weekends ago, the Eagles track & field team started outdoor competition. Coming off of four meets indoors, Georgia Southern will compete in five total outdoor invites before the Sun Belt Outdoor Championship on May 13-14. The team had good performances during the indoor season, and now they’re seeing some of that success translate to outdoors.

In fact, school records have been getting broken from only two competitions outdoors. The team just came back from the Florida Relays and they are already looking ahead to the Spec Towns Invitational hosted by Georgia.

Junior Kelsey Arnold launched a 51.76 meter throw in the hammer throw event, making herself the new record-holder for Georgia Southern University. Sophomore Rebecca Parker ran a 11:28.30 in the 3000 meter steeplechase, making her the new record-holder for that event in Georgia Southern history. Arnold’s historic event happened at the UNF Spring Break Invite; Parker’s took place at the Florida Relays.

Both players earned top five finishes in the indoor season, making their successes transitional. They have been able to keep their momentum moving and continue to do well during the second half of the season.

At the UNF Spring Break Invite two weekends ago, senior Keyanna Harris was one of the four Eagles to find a top five finish for her event.

For some track & field competitors, moving from indoors to outdoors has its major differences. Harris helped to explain.

“For field events, it’s not as hard except for the throwing,” Harris said. “The throwing instruments they throw during indoor are different than the instruments that they throw in outdoor. For most of the jumps, it’s really similar, which is nice. It’s easy to build off of what you’ve done during indoor. For track events, I know that my teammates feel, depending on their race, it can be a big transition. Basically, indoor, it seems like you’re running twice as much when you’re running the same thing.”

Each competitor varies in their adaptation from indoor to outdoor. It depends on the aptitude of the player and their ability to adjust to a new environment.

“When you are going from indoor to outdoor, sometimes it can feel easier. You’re like, ‘Okay, I only have to do one lap,'” Harris said. “But other times, that one lap will feel so long compared to what you’re doing in indoor.

Three outdoor invites remaining before the Sun Belt Outdoor Championship. The Eagles will be busy this weekend in Athens, Ga, but they will have next weekend off. GSU is continuing to learn more about themselves with every meet and the team is always looking to better themselves every time they compete.

“For the freshman, they’re looking really strong and building off of their performance in indoor,” Harris said. “For a lot of the freshman, they hadn’t done indoor before. They’ll be more comfortable with the outdoor track and the environment in outdoor. I feel like, for the seniors, we’ve been through this. We’re trying to push through. We’re really excited to be in our last season because it’s bittersweet. We’re trying to show the freshmen and all the underclassmen some good leadership and go out with a bang.”

Spec Towns will be an all day invite on Saturday, Apr. 9 in Athens. That is where the Eagles will be competing next. The War Eagle Invite will follow on April 23.