Top Cat: Leader motivates other track teammatesThursday, January 29 2009 - Illinois Intercollegiate - Chandra Golden
Junior focuses on assisting to win conference title
Ross Meister/Staff Reporter
In the EIU Mega Meet on Saturday, she won the 60-meter hurdles at 8.76 seconds and the 60-meter dash at 7.75 seconds. By being focused, Golden is able to be a huge competitor in her events and a leader on the track.
"She's a leader in a couple different ways," head coach Tom Akers said. "She's very focused on being successful in her events, and is a leader with attitude. As an upperclassman, she will lead with wisdom, and will be an intense competitor."
Golden's leadership and veteran presence will help guide the new faces on the team who need to make a change to get to the conference title.
"There are highs and lows. There's good spots and bad spots (on the team)," Akers said. "I'm really happy with where we're at since we've got a lot of young kids on the team. They are trying to find their niche and make their mark, so I think that each week we're getting a little bit better."
Golden said she sees her role as a leader because she's a team captain.
"I will help the team by serving as a motivator," Golden said. "As a captain, it is my job to encourage others whether they're high or low. I encourage and instill belief in oneself and in the team that anything is achievable"
By Golden being the veteran to guide the underclassman, the team will be able to take it to the next level, which is something that they couldn't do in previous years.
"Any time that you have a team that doesn't have a leader, it tends to flounder (because) it doesn't have focus or direction," Akers said. "We have had teams that haven't had leaders, (since) some kids don't have that personality. That's something that you can't implant in a person. (Golden) has obviously been one over the past few years."
There was no team meeting after last season to assess the season and set goals for this season.
The motivation from the second and third-place team finishes along with new individuals is what is motivating the team to perform better this year.
"It's hard to say (what happened from this year's team to last years team). You bring in some new faces, and that obviously helps out a little bit," Akers said. "You have some seniors that have tasted it being conference champions. We're not satisfied with where we're at yet."
Golden said that finding motivation was easy.
"Placing second and third in conference was enough motivation," she said. "Having tasted victory the prior year, and then coming back with (that) place in conference did not leave many people happy. That in itself is motivating us."
Ross Meister can be reached at 581-7944 or firstname.lastname@example.org.