The Lady Rattlers track and field squad was unaffected by the holiday break as they went into the seventh annual Ed Temple Classic Sunday at Tennessee State University in Nashville.
Florida A&M University was able to place in the top three in almost every event at the meet, bringing satisfaction to the players and coaching staff.
“I am 100 percent pleased with the overall competitive spirit that we showed as a team this past Sunday in Nashville,” said second-year coach Maicel Malone, who is entering her first full season as the Lady Rattlers’ coach.
During the break, the team kept in mind what they wanted out of the 2006-2007 season and remained motivated in order to stay focused while enjoying time with family and friends.
“In order to keep in touch with the players, I sent them text messages, and they called me if they needed motivation, a form of micro-managing that I use when needed,” Malone said.
Players were able to stay fit during the break by doing vigorous exercises to get ready for the Ed Temple Classic.
Senior Lindsay Thomas ran 10 miles a day to prepare for the meet. Her work paid off, as the Sicklerville, NJ native was able to use the training to her advantage by finishing first overall in the mile run.
“Everyone did pretty well at the meet as we improved on what we worked on in practice,” Thomas said.
The Lady Rattlers also placed first in the 4×200 meter relay.
“We did well at The Ed Temple Classic, but there are things that we still need to improve on, and we must work extra hard every practice to get better,” Thomas said. “We are always looking to improve week to week to be the best and to make it to nationals.”
Jasmin Foster, a Dallas native, used the break to catch up on much needed rest.
“On days that I traveled, I rested more because traveling takes a toll on the body,” Foster said.
The senior said it is important to watch your eating habits during the break.
“Eating right matters,” Foster said. “It is important not to overindulge. It’s not when you eat but what you eat. Snacks are OK as long as it’s yogurt, fruit or salad.”
Foster is not the only member of the team who stressed that an important diet equals success.
“During the break I took vitamins, ate food with carbs and drunk a lot of fluids,” Thomas said. “Coach always tells us to stay away from fried, greasy foods.”
Malone stresses that the little things are important in competing in every event.
“The fitness level of our runners must increase, and we must develop our technical skills to get better,” Malone said. “Hard work will take us to the next level.”
Great things are expected of the Lady Rattlers who hope to improve every meet.
“We have some players who are on the edge of being able to qualify for regionals,” Malone said. “I expect a lot of things from sprinters Ashley Gillis, Jasmin Foster and Jesseka Forbes.”
Florida A&M University’s next meet is the Florida Intercollegiate located in Gainesville on Saturday.