FAMU’s 2003 Track and Field Season officially begins with the Florida
Intercollegiate meet in Gainesville on Saturday, and the Rattlers will be more than ready. The men’s track and field team has been training since September and has high expectations for this season. The Rattlers placed third in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Championships last year.
Men’s head coach Ray Robinson feels his entire team is strong and has set high but reachable goals for the season.
“Our main objective this year is to win the conference championship,” said Robinson.
Robinson, a sprinter on the 1972 Olympic team, is expecting wins from his sprinters. Junior Sheldon Morant is the current conference champion in the 100 and 200-meter sprints, and is confident in a repeat.
“I expect to go to the national championships. Everyone has been showing enthusiasm, and I think there is a real chance for us to go all the way,” he said.
On Saturday, the Rattlers will compete against the Florida State University
Seminoles, the University of Florida Gators, and other division one teams.
However, to the Rattlers every meet before the conference championship is simply fine-tuning. Coach Robinson believes the Rattler’s primary conference competition will include Coppin State, South Carolina State, and North Carolina A&T.
“Every (conference) meet is going to be hot. Everybody has the potential to come in and do something,” Robinson said. “At any given track meet anyone can get beat.”
Robinson has recruited a class of high school talent and transfer students. Sophomore Roderick Peterson transferred to FAMU from Kansas State University, and cites the quality of the program as his primary reason for the move.
“This team has champions on it and coaching it. I felt like running for FAMU was a win situation for me. A chance to win and be closer to home,”
Peterson, a 400-meter hurdler, will not participate in this weekend’s meet due to injury, but expects to return as early as next week.
Other Rattlers to watch are junior 400-meter conference champion Eric Ramsey and junior discus conference champ Bruce Amerson.
The conference championships will be held at the Prince George Sports Complex in Landover, MD on February 21 and 22.