Running through the wide country to the farthest of all roads and tracks, FAMU’s men and women cross-country teams have conquered many goals this season. With one more goal in sight the Rattlers are itching for the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championship title.
“The season went great, one of the best since I have been here,” said YeTandrea Burke, 22, a senior psychology student from Virginia Beach.
Burke is one of the top runners on the women side. This year she finished in top marks at most of the meets, and she also won accolades for becoming MEAC athlete of the week, for the week of Oct. 3.
“This season we have been very consistent with a couple of standout performances from Burke and Nicola Listhrop; it’s been great,” said Head Coach Maicel Malone.
Nicola Listhrop, 18, a freshman nursing student from River Beach, believes the team is in good shape.
“I think that our times are consistent and it’s looking well,” said Listhrop.
Coach Malone said that her top runners are Burke and Listhrop and recently Kellé Ranson. Ranson was a walk-on to the team but she has performed phenomenally.
“The ladies say physically they are prepared to run and they are mentally tough,” said Assistant Coach Melanie Gardener. “We are as prepared as we are going to get.”
Gardener says that the athletes have been training hard and running consistently; most of their times have dropped with each meet.
Gardener said that she predicts the team is going to perform with Rattler pride and do their best to win.
Last year the team placed 8th in the conference finals, this year they are looking for a better performance.
“I’m looking for a top performance we have trained hard and put our best in every meet hopefully we can do well in this meet,” Malone said.
The men’s cross-country team said they have prepared very well, training hard for the competition.
“This season has been going very well better than I expected,” said Omari Crawford, 22, a senior political science student from Atlanta.
Crawford said he feels that they are very prepared and the team that they are going to look out for is Norfolk State last year they took first in the MEAC championships.
Right now the Rattlers are ranked 5th place in the MEAC and they hope to place higher after this meet.
“We have had a solid workout plan and we have tried to stay consistent through out the whole season,” said Head Coach Rey Robinson.
Robinson said last year the Rattlers had two big finishers in the MEAC finals but they graduated.
He said his two consistent runners are sophomore Carlos Franklin and freshman Daquam Lee. Arthur Kindle, 18, a freshman criminal justice student from Pompano Beach. said the season had been great thus far and he had high hopes for the MEAC finals.
“I predict we will come in the top 3,” Kindle added.
Both teams have high hopes of finishing on top for this year’s conference final.
“We are going to show them that FAMU is a force to be reckoned with and we are here to stay,” Burke said.