With new goals for the 2007 season, the Florida A&M University’s men’s cross-country team is ready to strike down all opponents.
“I think that it is going to be a good season,” said Omari Crawford, 21, a senior political science student from Atlanta. “The leadership is gone but I feel it’s going to be a good season.”
The difference between last season and this season is that the Rattlers had two top-rated runners in the Mid-Eastern Athletics Conference, graduate. Because of this, some of the younger members will now have rise to the challenge.
Crawford said that they have an outstanding sophomore that can fill the shoes of the seniors that left last year.
FAMU has had three meets; at Jacksonville University where they place second, University of Florida where they placed in the top 20, and at the Florida State invitation where they placed seventh.
Head coach of the men’s cross-country and track and field teams Rey Robinson, predicts that they will make fifth place overall in the MEAC conference finals.
Robinson admits that he didn’t do much recruiting for the men’s cross-country this year as he focused on recruiting for track and field.
“We had a strong team last year,” Robinson said. “We have to work on rebuilding the team. I feel that the conference maybe more intense this year.”
The Rattlers are trying to focus on eating right, running well, and excelling in academics.
“Academically we’re shooting for a 2.8-3.0,” Robinson said.
Last year the men’s cross-country team had the highest GPA, out of all athletic programs at FAMU.
“Hopefully we can get back to being number one in academics,” Crawford said.
Their goal this season on the track is to win indoor and outdoor championship and to send some athletes to the NCAA Championships as they have done in the previous years with former runner Kevin Hicks and others.
The conditioning agenda is still the same as last year, as the runners hope to get stronger.
“I think that the season is going good and it is going to memorable,” said freshman Dequam Lee, 18, a freshman civil engineering student from Miami.
According to Coach Robinson the two top athletes on his squad are freshman Dequam Lee and sophomore Carlos Franklin.
Lee placed 17th at the Florida State University Invitational, while Franklin placed fifth.
The Atlanta Classic, where the next meet will take place, is sponsored by Morehouse College. Last year FAMU took first place in this HBCU meet, and they are looking to regain the title.
“Our biggest competition in this meet is Morehouse, Tennessee State and Clark Atlanta University,” Robinson said. “Hopefully we can win again.”