The men and women’s track teams will compete in the Birmingham-Southern Icebreaker in Alabama on Friday.
Head men’s track coach Wayne Angel said his team is fit, excited and full of energy.
He said he’s been focusing on his track runners because the cross-country runners need time to recover from their championship season.
“In terms of cross-country, we are taking our time,” Angel said. “We aren’t trying to do anything special. We just want to run some qualifying times. The sprinters are whom we are really excited about. We want to see if what we have done has paid off.”
The training is more intense and more specific toward the events athletes run in meets, he said.
Troy Pollard, a senior sprinter from St. Paul, Minn., is eager to see his new teammates perform. He said the team does different workouts to improve on speed, endurance and form.
“The workouts are more race-specific,” Pollard said. “We are just looking to win indoor and outdoor (conference championships) and get better. We want to improve from last year.”
Women’s head coach Darlene Moore said her team has been lifting weights and working just as hard as the men.
She also added that the transition from cross-country to track season hasn’t been difficult.
“The cross-country ladies are going to continue to do the distance events,” Moore said. “As far as the track young ladies, we have been working with them in the off-season. Now everybody is ready to go for our first meet.”
She said workouts have changed since cross-country season ended. The women have been working on their speed, and her sprinters have been working on endurance.
Nakia Linson, a senior sprinter from Atlanta, said she and her teammates have done a lot of endurance and weight training.
“I’m in better shape than I was last year,” Linson said. “I’m very excited. It’s my last year. I have to go out with a bang.”
Both teams are in good heath at this point in the season, according to the coaches. And both the men and women’s cross-country teams are coming off consecutive Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championships.
The will begin at 10 a.m. at the Birmingham CrossPlex.