With seven weeks until the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Indoor Championship, the men’s track and field team plans to stick to the basics of training – staying healthy and working hard – ahead of a match in Birmingham, Ala.
On Thursday, Florida A&M will travel to the Birmingham Metro CrossPlex to participate in the University of Alabama at Birmingham Invitational.
Head coach Wayne Angel said the team’s goal leading to the invitational is to continue working on fundamentals, which he said would help the team both mentally and physically in terms of performance.
According to Angel, these fundamentals include remaining healthy, handling academic responsibilities, practicing hard and honoring the program’s legacy.
“We are going to try our best to stay healthy; that’s one of the more important things,” Angel said. “Making sure they’re staying healthy and going to class so that it doesn’t affect them mentally or physically, and so they can prepare to do what’s necessary for competition.
“The most important thing is the tradition of track and field at FAMU and what it means, as well as what has to be done when they get on that track. It’s an honor and a privilege to be here, and they’re doing everything they can to be a part of this program. We’re on the right track,” he said.
Lamere Buchanan, who paced the team with a first-place finish in the mile during the Ed Temple Classic (4:27.76), has his own ideas about what the team has to do to continue its hot streak.
“Everyone has to realize their own abilities and how far they can help take this program if they keep a strong mindset,” Buchanan said. “Everyone has to stay positive and believe in the strategy coach has.”
Shuaib Winters, who finished right behind Buchanan in the mile for second place (4:28.52), said the key to success this week is “a combination of competition as well as progressive training.”
The Rattlers are off to an impressive start this season, as indicated by their success during the Birmingham Ice Breaker on Dec. 8 and the Ed Temple Classic on Jan. 7. Because of the holiday break, Angel said some areas in their performance could use some work as they make a push toward the MEAC championships on Feb. 17.
He said those adjustments are manageable.
“We have rustiness in some areas. But I’m going to be able to fine-tune those things, especially with the 400 (meter) and 800 (meter) group,” Angel said. “We’re going to do some things in practice to help them get back on rhythm.”