FAMU poised with the Need 4 Speed

Confidence and high expectations are saturating the men’s and women’s track and field teams as they prepare for the 53rd Annual FAMU Relays on Friday and Saturday.

The event is presented by Steak ‘N Shake and it will be held at the Robert “Pete” Griffin Track and Field Complex on campus.

Over 50 high school and college track teams should be on hand to participate in this meet that begins Friday at 11:00 a.m.

As FAMU’s men’s and women’s track and field teams transition from indoor to outdoor meets, women’s track and field coach Donya Andrews-Little hopes that her team will sink into a “comfort zone,” since they are more comfortable with outdoor meets.

“We have a lot of freshmen and we’re ready for them to get into a comfortable zone,” Little said. “I’m ready for them to step up and see what they can do.”

Little expects a good meet out of a couple of players, especially senior high-jumper Marisa Uzarau.

Uzarau, who is ranked ninth in the nation in the NCAA Division I Indoor Track and Field for the high jump, says she expects to win.

“I expect to jump around 5’10”, 5’11” and stay consistent,” Uzarau said.

Among the universities to compete in the FAMU Relays, Little expects some “heat” from their major competition, Florida State University and Southern University, as they burn up the track.

On the other side, men’s track and field coach Rey Robinson says the FAMU Relays is all about defending their title.

“We’re defending the outdoor conference championship, that’s our objective,” Robinson said.

Robinson said he expects Eric Ramsey, defending 400-meter champion; Sheldon Morant, defending outdoor conference 200-meter champion and Bruce Amerson, two time defending MEAC champion in the outdoor disc to be heavy contenders in this year’s FAMU Relays.

Also, there will be some male athletes that will be competing in their first meet of the year like junior Jean Brunache, who said he’s done a lot to prepare for the FAMU Relays.

“I’ve been practicing like crazy,” said the 800-meter runner.

“I practice two times a day, go to the weight room, study and I go back to the weight room later at night,” Brunache said.

Robinson says that all the teams in the MEAC Conference are exceptionally strong and he expects competition from Hampton, South Carolina State and North Carolina A&T, to name a few.

The FAMU Relays was founded by the late Robert “Pete” Griffin, who FAMU’s track and field complex is named after. He was a former head track coach, an assistant football coach and professor. This event has attracted some great athletes over the years including Olympic gold medallists Bob Hayes, Edwin Moses, Ralph Boston, Wilma Rudolph, Rodney Milburn and Willie Davenport.

Gabrielle Finley can be reached at gabrielle_finley@hotmail.com.