Track and Field Gears Up for Outdoor Season

Navigate Left
Navigate Right

Robert George

The Georgia Southern track and field team has wrapped up indoor competition and will compete in its first outdoor meet of the season this weekend when they travel to Oxford, Ala. to compete in the Camecock Quad Meet.

The Eagles indoor season came to a close at the Sun Belt Championships a few weeks ago. The Eagles finished No. 11 in the competition. The level of talent is a significant step-up from competition in the Southern Conference.

“It was an eye-opening experience for them,” head coach Kelly Carter said. “The girls’ response has been very positive. Now they understand what they’re up against. And sometimes that’s all it takes.”

New events open up in the outdoor season that were not available during the indoor season. Events like the Javelin, the Hammer Throw and the 400m Hurdles come into play, which allows more athletes to compete and more points to be earned.

“It expands some of the talent we already have on the team,” Carter said.

Coach Carter says that the team has been training towards the outdoor season, which is where they need to be their best. Because of the variety of the type of tracks used in the indoor season, conversions were used on the different tracks to measure out events.

“There is no conversions in outdoor season,” Carter said. “Everyone is on a level playing field. What you run is what you run.”

Outdoor season is more natural for the athletes, who practice on an outdoor track all season. While the tracks differ from indoor to outdoor competitions, the training is the basically the same.

“The approach we take is that there is no Indoor Olympics,” Carter said. “We don’t want to peak at indoor competition. I don’t want you to run your fastest time at the indoor meets.”

The team knows that they will need to perform their best on outdoor tracks if they want to do well at the conference championships in May.

The Eagles have had some good performances thus far. Sophomores Kelsey Arnold, Samantha Cook and senior Stephanne Henzler have all consistently competed well in the weight throw and shot put.

Junior Ashleigh Rasheed posted top-5 finishes in the pentathlon long jump and triple jump at the Sun Belt Indoor Championships. Freshman Twandalette Cotton finished in the top-10 in the triple jump and high jump at the Bob Pollock Invitational earlier this season, and freshman Karli Koning won the 3000m at the same competition.

“I thought they have competed well so far,” Carter said. “Last year we had a lot of seniors. The younger people from that group have had to step up, and they’ve competed well.”

The team is improving and hopes to peak in May at the championships. They will have a lot of meets between now and then to prepare for the competition, and Coach Carter thinks the team is getting closer to that level.

“Everybody is running better,” he said. “And everybody is feeling better. Right now we’re just trying to keep improving each week.”