Running through the Tape (and the record books)

Alexandria Tobia

Bryan Marseille

Statistics in sports can serve as a bridge between eras, a way to compare past legends to today’s stars.

Seeing in numbers, the dominance and consistency of the all-time greats offers a measuring stick for the memorable performances of young athletes.

This year has been nothing short of memorable for the Georgia Southern University women’s track and field team. After winning a bronze in the Southern Conference Indoor Championships, the team continues to raise the bar for themselves in outdoor competition.

Coming into the final stretch of the 2014 season, a number of Eagles have thrown, jumped and sprinted their way into the GSU record books.

Part of the Eagles’ all-around success this season is due in part to the mentoring of a GSU all-time great.

Head coach Marlo Mincey holds five combined university records, three outdoor and two indoor. She left her mark on Georgia Southern with six SoCon titles, including performances in the 400 meter hurdles and as a leg in the 4×400 meter relay team that set SoCon records.

In an interview on March 5, 2013, Coach Mincey shared her secret to pulling record-breaking performances out of her athletes.

“Everyday when we get out there it’s geared toward [individual goals],” Mincey said. “What it takes to jump 20 feet, what it takes to be an NCAA qualifier. We always stick to the plan, and that’s to be the best at championship time.”

Consistency is the golden thread that bonds this well-knit group. An Eagle has recorded a new personal best in every meet this year, peaking with 24 records set at the FSU relays on March 22.

Age is the only number that does not seem to matter for this group. From freshman Asha Stegall to graduate student Sherill MacFarlane, each member of the balanced roster seems capable of a record-setting feat.

Even with all the hours that go into training and practice, Coach Mincey conceded most of the credit to the competitors themselves.

“At the end of the day, when they’re on the line, it’s up to them,” Mincey said.

The Eagles’ get one more crack at history before conference championships during the Spec Towns National Team Invitational at the University of Georgia. Events for Georgia Southern begin on Friday, April 11.