As the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Indoor Championship approaches, the Florida A&M men’s track and field team is preparing mentally and physically for competition.
On Friday, FAMU will look to display this preparation to Johnson City, Tenn. during the Niswonger Invitational.
Head coach Wayne Angel said the team is heading to competition this week with confidence because of successes at the Gator Invitational in Gainesville, Fla. last Sunday.
“It [the Gainesville track meet] definitely has elevated our level of confidence. Because we have a lot of MEAC qualifiers, it shows that the training is paying off,” Angel said.
With only two meets left before the MEAC championship, Angel’s strategies of remaining healthy, handling academic responsibilities, practicing hard and honoring the program’s legacy are the reasons behind the team’s success.
Angel said the top athlete on the team right now is Steve Emere. He ranks at No. 3 in the country in the triple jump. Shelton Tarver ranks No. 1 in the MEAC long jump.
Shuaib Winters dominates in the 3000m and 5000m run, Jeremy Tillman leads in the short sprints, and Lamere Buchanan controls the middle distances.
While these team members continue to make strides, they are not the only athletes showing improvement.
“Derrick Morgan is starting to come into his own in the 400 meter run, “Angel said.
Morgan, a freshman from Indianapolis, Ind., finished fourth in the 400m dash during the Ed Temple Classic.
Although the team is progressing, Angel said the team could get better.
“We need to come together as a team and support each other on and off the track,” said jumper Steve Emere, current MEAC athlete of the week.
Sprinter Niko Richey said he agrees with Emere, but also understands that the improvements are a physical matter.
“It’s all about staying healthy and together as a team,” Richey said. “Right now, we’re trying to put ourselves in the position to get as many points as we can at the conference championship.”