After vigorous training the Florida A&M women’s track and field team is physically fit to participate in this weekend’s Florida Relays in Gainesville.
The relays will begin Friday and conclude Saturday.
FAMU looks to build on its notable performance during the March 22 Florida State Relays when it manufactured several top-10 performances against nationally ranked competition.
To contend with the elite teams, head coach Darlene Moore said the athletes have been participating in endurance and weight exercises.
“This meet comprises some of the best collegiate and professional athletes,” Moore said, “so the girls must be on their A-game. In the gym, we have been doing extensive weight training. We also have worked on increasing endurance by running longer distances.”
Dynasty Jones, who ranks 12th in the Eastern region in the 400m dash, said she is nervous about the relays because it is her first time.
“Right now, it’s a mental thing because I’m kind of nervous, being that this is my first time there,” said Jones, who ran a personal-best time of 54.5 in the 400m dash during the Florida State Relays. “But the workouts are helping a lot, so I should have a good outcome.”
Mid-distance runner Ariel Allen, who ranks 14th in the Eastern region in the 800m dash, said she is entering the relays with confidence because the team’s training is working to her advantage. She also plans to use this meet as a chance for improvement.
“I feel great because my hard work has been paying off,” Allen said. “I’m 100 percent physically prepared for the Florida Relays. I would like to say that I feel accomplished, but I don’t because I know that my ranking can be better with more hard work and dedication.”
With temperatures projected to be in the high 80s during the relays, the team has worked together to ensure everyone is able to handle the heat. Moore said she has kept the athletes healthy by providing water, shade and extra recovery time after trials.
“With the extremely hot weather, staying hydrated and eating healthy will play a big role,” Moore said.