New mindset means new attitude for both the mens and womens track team

Florida A&M University’s Indoor Track and Field program is in Landover, Md., at the Prince George’s Sports & Learning Complex for the 2009 MEAC Indoor Championships.

The women’s track and field team finished 11th in the 2008 MEAC Indoor Championships with 18 points respectively.

The men’s track and field team finished the 2008 indoor Championships in 7th with 44 points. 

Mike White, 20, a junior from Tampa, competing in the pole vault, attributed those standings to a lack of perspective.     

“Last year, we were more in the negative.  We were debating what we should do and how we should do it,” said White, a pre-med biology student. “Once we figured out the right perspective, everyone went and shot at what they needed to get done to improve from last year.”   

As of Feb. 1 2009 in official MEAC standings, FAMU men’s team has 13 team members in the top ten MEAC rankings in six of the 15 individual events for the indoor season, with top 10 rankings in two of the three-team events.  

White was ranked fourth in pole vault at last year’s championships and is looking to rank in the top 2 this year. White is currently ranked third in the MEAC standings.   

“Personally, I’m hoping I can place in top two,” White said.  “If I can pull it off I’ll be kind of proud of myself.” 

Maicel Malone, FAMU women’s track and field coach, expressed confidence in the potential for her ladies to do well at the University of Florida Invitational. Malone said the women’s team has been working very hard and the results are showing as the runners have been progressing every week.

“We started of the season at the Clemson meet equivalent to the level we finished off at during last year’s MEAC championship competitions; so we should finish the season a lot better than we did last year,” Malone said.

Change was a recurring theme when descrbing the team’s improvement and much of this change is from new faces on both the me and women’s teams due to aggressive recruiting. 

Kierra Holiday, 20, a criminal justice student from Upper Marlboro, Md., is a result of such recruiting.  The multi-faceted runner brings a variety of skills to the team, as she will be competing in the 60-meter hurdles, the open high jump, and the pentathlon. 

The pentathlon is five events stretched over one day, which entails the 60-meter dash, high jump, long jump, shot put and 800-meter hurdles. 

Holiday said she feels the off-season recruiting will make a big change in MEAC Championships. 

“[Women’s head coach Maicel Malone] recruited a lot of new people such myself, and new faces always make a team better,” Holdiay said.

White and Holiday also spoke of change in the mind state of the program and taking a more positive approach.

“People have individually been working beyond regular practice just to improve,” White said.  “I feel like the older half of the team is definitely working towards more positive results.” 

Holiday said she sees a significant change in the women’s team’s mindset.

“The change we’re going to see this year will be new faces, better attitudes a will to win, and more of a will to fight,” she said.