Women practice daily for FAMU Relays

After finishing 11th in the 2008 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships, the Lady Rattlers of the Florida A&M women’s track team are continuing workouts in preparation for the FAMU Relays, which takes place March 7-8.

The women’s track team, which has been preparing for the event since early in the season, has endured resistance workouts and running techniques as coach Maicel Malone oversees the progress of her team.

Malone, who has coached the team since November 2005, said this year the Lady Rattlers have at least nine freshmen. This is causing the team to take more time to develop and perform at its full potential.

“We’ve been getting stronger in the weight room, working on battalion passes and working on how to run,” Malone said. “Our overall strength needs improvement. They need to get a lot stronger. They need to learn how to apply the pressure and energy to carry them down the track.”

Jeanna Dorcelin, 22, a senior public relations student from West Palm Beach, has been on the track team for five years. Dorcelin said the team has been running faster and practicing harder for the upcoming event.

She said each individual needs to be mentally prepared. Dorcelin also said some of her teammates are not mentally prepared to do their best, which is the key task before a competition.

“I think that I’ve been mentally preparing myself,” Dorcelin said. “I think that’s the most important thing. I do 400 hurdles and that is considered the hardest in track and field.”

LaToya Wright, 19, a freshman elementary education student from West Palm Beach, also runs 400 hurdles and the 4 by 4 relay. She said the team needs to be really strong while running the relays because the event involves three other people, and it is important to be mindful of that.

She said the women’s track team’s has been preparing for the relays daily, and she thinks its performance will meet high standards.

“We’ve been working out every day, so I think we are going to go out there and show out,” she said.

Showing a level of confidence in her athletes, Malone said the team is excited and will give everything it has to perform well. She said if the track team earns the majority of the wins then it means they are improving in areas where improvement was needed.

“It means (that) we’re doing our job,” Malone said.

Members of the women’s track team said they are looking forward to being at the top of the MEAC. They are asking for the support of their fellow Rattlers as they compete in the upcoming relays.

“Come out and support the team,” Malone said. “It’s very important to have a home crowd to our advantage.”