The Sun Belt Indoor Championship will be taking place this coming Monday, Feb. 22-23 in Birmingham, AL. The team has gotten a chance to compete indoors this season, giving them a feel of what to expect. They have returned from the Samford Stand Alone Multi in Birmingham. With the main event of the indoor season approaching, the Eagles are ready to give it their all.
The primary reason for competing at Samford was because of the indoor venue. This will be the same exact track and field used for the Sun Belt Indoor Championship.
Head Coach Kelly Carter knew about the meet. As he explained, although the meet wasn’t exclusively Sun Belt competition, it was still an opportunity for the Eagles to compete at the venue. It helped to prepare them and acclimatize the team to the location.
With the indoor championship approaching, the team is able to take their past experiences and put them ahead.
“As a whole, I think that everyone is ready. They’re putting their best foot forward,” Carter said. “They’ve had chances to go to different places. We’ve gone to Clemson, we’ve gone to Winston-Salem at JDL and they’ve run against some really good competition. They got a chance to see what it’s like and experience that, so I think they’re going to be prepared.”
The team has been split across the board with their indoor competitions this season. Since indoor regulations differ from outdoor, not every event is the same for the two. A variety of Eagles have been seeing a lot of competition over the past few weeks.
“I’d say all of them are doing well. Our freshmen are doing well. Our seniors: I’m really happy for,” Carter said. “They had a chance to experience Sun Belt for the first time last year and some of them got a chance to see what they were up against. In terms of preparing different, I can’t say, but they’re ready now. They had a chance to go out there, prepare for this and it gives an opportunity for our underclassmen to see what it takes. They’ve modeled that behavior. I’m excited and looking forward to conference.”
Keyanna Harris is a senior who has been an Eagle for four years. She is a normal top-5 placer at competitions. At Samford, she just finished with a sixth place finish in her event of the High Jump.
“I’m really excited for the championship that we have coming up,” Harris said. “We’re looking to build on what we’ve been doing so far: This semester and this season, which is improving individually and focusing, overall, as a team. We’re making sure that all the moving parts of our team are each doing what they have to do.”
As Harris explained, indoor to outdoor can differ greatly, or hardly at all. It normally comes down to track versus field events.
“For me, I’m a high jumper,” Harris said. “For high jump, which is a field event, it doesn’t change as much, like indoor to outdoor. But for most events on the track, indoor, it can sometimes be a little more tough. Indoor can be a little tougher with the air and the tighter space, but once you have run on a couple of tracks indoor, it’s easier to get used to it. We’ve got a couple of meets under our belt so I think we’re ready for our meet in Birmingham.”
With her senior status, this will be Harris’ final indoor championship of her career.
“I’ve been doing track since I was eight years old. I’m 22 now so it’s been a really long road. This is going to be my last indoor season ever. It’s weird to think about and I haven’t been able to think about it. I’ve been trying to focus on getting my workouts in and everything like that. We started off, the senior class, as sort of a large group and we’ve dwindled down a little bit. It means a lot to us, who are still here, and still working to finish off the season, finish off the year and graduate. It’s the last go-around: we’re just trying to do all that we can in order to make it a meaningful one.”
Track and field will compete in the Sun Belt Indoor Championship in Birmingham, AL from Monday, Feb. 22 to Tuesday, Feb. 23.
“Come out and support us, if you can; if you can make it to Birmingham,” Carter said. “Come out and support us. Follow us on social media. Come out and support the girls if you can. They love to have people contact them. We love the family atmosphere of the university and our girls would love to feel that more also.”