Challenges of different atmospheres

Competitions for collegiate track and field events are held indoors and outdoors.

Each setting has its own season where various schools compete to obtain an indoor and outdoor championship.

Members of FAMU’s track team said there is a difference between the Rattler strike indoors and outdoors.

“One difference is the wind factor,” said Tyrone Harris, coach of the long and triple jump.

Harris explained the mechanics of executing the events. He said wind at an outdoor track can aid an athlete in achieving longer distances.

According to Harris, the difference in the structure of an indoor and outdoor track has a major affect on the team’s performance.

For those that compete in jumping, the distance prior to their jump in an indoor track is shorter.

This along with the lack of wind support challenges the indoor athlete.

“Southern teams like FAMU are at a disadvantage because we don’t have an indoor facility,” Harris said.

However, FAMU has not allowed the lack of a facility to dull its fight.

“We don’t think of it as a negative thing, we see it as a challenge,” said Brett Perriman II, a psychology major from Miami.

Because FAMU is a southern university, the majority of its track team members are recruited from that region.

Perriman sees the indoor track championship as an uncomfortable race to be won by the Rattlers.

“We don’t particularly like indoor tracks,” Perriman said. “It’s hard to maneuver the curves.”

Perriman explained that an indoor track ranges from 200 to 300 meters in length, while an outdoor track ranges from 300 to 400 meters.

Because indoor tracks are smaller, runners have to run on more curves.

Running more curves makes the competition more physical because runners are fighting for position.

“People support indoor track events because it is more physical,” Perriman said.

Indoor facilities allow fans to enjoy the competition in a comfortable setting, but there is a major appeal to outdoors facilities.

“The majority of people attend outdoor track meets because of the hyped events,” said Will Johnson, hurdle coach.

Johnson said outdoor meets contain races that are crowd pleasers that indoor competitions do not have , such as the 400 meter relay.

Johnson said attendance at an outdoor meet as being almost a tradition for some.

Events such as the 100-meter-dash, 200-meter-dash and mile relay give the outdoor meets a classic appeal.

Wherever the track may be, the FAMU track team has made an impressive mark.

Last year, the Rattlers won both the indoor and outdoor MEAC championship. This year, the Rattlers are halfway to a repeat by already being crowned indoor MEAC champions.

The change in atmosphere has not affected the team.

The team is currently competing at the Texas Relays in Austin in preparation for the HBCU Invitational next weekend.

Contact Alfred N. Tucker at