Track team heads to relays

The men and women’s track team is preparing to travel to Landover, Md., this weekend to compete in the MEAC Indoor Conference Championships.

This is the sixth meet of the year for both teams and members said they are more prepared and focused than ever.

“We’ve had good practices the past couple of weeks; you can see the seriousness in their faces,” men’s track and field coach Rey Robinson said.

The men’s team are the strongest in the mile, 800-meter run, 400-meter run, long and triple jump, as well as the pole vault, but inexperience is the one thing that could cost them the championship.

With only two seniors on the team, captain Eric Ramsay said the team lacks maturity and leadership.

“They are still in the high school mentality,” the senior from Fort Lauderdale said. “They haven’t quite learned how to deal with the pressure of competing on the college level.”

Still, the Rattler men said they are confident from winning their last meet, the Carolina Indoor Classic at the University of North Carolina, but said other schools might stand in their way.

Besides defending champion Hampton, FAMU has built rivalries with other schools throughout the years, specifically Maryland Eastern Shore and North Carolina A&T.

“They are all looking to knock us off, as well as Hampton,” Robinson said.

Like the men’s team, the women said their lack of experience may hurt them.

“They have so much potential and they know it; but they just need help learning how to run on the college level,” said women’s track and field coach Donya Andrews-Little.

The team has 15 freshmen and no seniors, which is one reason it does not have a team captain. Kelly Hampshire, a junior from Green Cove Springs, said everyone feels they can lead themselves.

“We are all grown here, we know what we came here to do so we really don’t need a captain,” she said.

Teammate Analeta Peterson agreed.

“You’ll be surprised … they are pretty focused and mature,” said the junior from Alachua.

“I mean if we have a problem we can come to one another, but other than that we pretty much take care of ourselves,” she said.

The Rattlers will compete in 14 events this weekend and expect to finish in the top three rankings.

FAMU will host the 54th annual FAMU relays on March 12 and 13. The event will showcase high schools and colleges from all over the country and is free for all students.

Contact Arize Ifejika at