After the first Florida A&M University cross-country match of the season at the Jacksonville invitational Aug. 29, the team is preparing for their upcoming match at the Albany State invitational Sept. 13.
Macial Malone, head coach for the girl’s cross-country team expects the team to finish fourth in the conference as well as having two top 15 finishers.
“Hopefully, we’ll have a solid season,” Malone said. “I have to increase the mileage and sooner in the season we will be doing more intervals.”
Malone said the team has a young squad and there are some things the team needs to work on.
“One of our star players, Yatandrea Burke graduated,” Malone said. “I think we need to get more mileage under our belt.”
Natassia Friday, 19, a third-year business student from Fort Lauderdale, said the team has to improve on preparing their new freshman with adjusting to the team.
“This year we have some fairly new people,” Friday said. “We got some great young ladies that come out to the team. We have to get them mentally ready.”
Jeanette Hulse, 18, a freshman criminal justice student from Fort Lauderdale, said she is trying to adjust to her first year on the team.
“It’s a lot harder in high school because I was a captain, I was in charge,” Hulse said. “Now I’m learning more about running because I got other people to look up to.”
Friday said the difference from last year and this year is the team practices have been harder.
“We have been working out more this year. We have been going out stronger,” Friday said. “This year, our training is more intense.”
FAMU runners placed fairly close to each other in the first match, Friday said it shows how successful the team was.
“I think the team did good,” Friday said. “We were closely around each other.”
Hulse said the team practices about twice every day to prepare themselves for their upcoming opponents.
“As a team we have 30 minutes runs,” Hulse said. “We train really hard.”
Hulse said her first race this year was at the Jacksonville invitational and she figured out what she needed to work on.
“We raced in the Jacksonville invitational. I came in 14 out of 30 in my first cross country meet,” Hulse said. “I need to work on my 400 drop and turn. I need to focus on my arm movement.”
Malone said the next match is in Albany, Ga. and it’s their first time opening.
“We looking to win it,” Malone said.
Earlena Boswell contributed to the article as well.