Rattlers prepare to take on coach’s old team

 The women’s cross country team will be heading to Albany, Ga. for the Albany State University Invitational.

This will be the team’s third meet of the season and they hope to improve upon the 10th place finish from last year‘s Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference (MEAC) standings.

In the two meets this season they already have two top 5 finishes, a trend they hope to continue throughout the season.

The Lady Rattlers totaled 84 points in the first meet of the season, the Troy Trojan Invitational, which helped them to a fourth place finish. Three top-15 finishes from Chandelic Jackson (12:57.68, 11th), Shanay Mayes (13:02.93, 14th), and Clarricia Golden (13:04.84, 15th) were the biggest help in the final rankings. The meet was held at the Troy Oaks Golf Course in Troy, Ala.

The streak continued at the next meet, this time with the team winning first place overall. The Lady Rattlers dominated the competition and swept the top three spots as well as fifth place at the Bethune Cookman Invitational in Daytona, Fla. Leading the way again were Jackson (17:52.44), Mayes (17:53.12), and Golden (18:11.00). Fifth place was taken by Stephaun Martinez (18:31.36).

Coach Darlene Moore is all too familiar with Albany territory being a graduate as well as former coach for Rams. Moore graduated from Albany State in 1990 and Coached the Rams from 2007-2009.

“I’m excited about going to my Alma Mater,” Moore said. “However, the only thing on my mind when I get there will be beating the Rams and any other competition that stands in our way,” she added.

This is also a trip home for the team’s top runner, Chandelic Jackson. Jackson is a native of Dallas, Ga. She attended East Paulding High School.

The young team still has some work to do even with the fast start.

“The team is making wonderful strides. With a little more cardiovascular training, and pushing the turnover rate at the finish, they should only get stronger from here,” Moore said.

The talent level of these young runners has the coach elated about the possibilities for the future.

“This is a young team. It is composed of 6 freshmen and 1 sophomore which makes for a strong nucleus for years to come,” Moore said.