Track and Field Season Preview: Starting markFriday, December 11 2009 - EIU Early Bird
Early Bird Invite opens up season
Dan Cusack/Assistant Sports Editor
"I think we definitely can win it again this year," junior sprinter Marcus Williams said. "I don't want to sound cocky, but unless things go wrong, like injuries, we should win again this season."
Both teams' seasons start today with the Early Bird Invite at 4 p.m. at Lantz Fieldhouse.
The men return nine individual OVC champions from the last indoor season and a number of athletes who finished in the top three.
Red-shirt sophomore Zye Boey won two individual titles last season including the 200-meter dash and he was also a member of the 1,600-meter relay.
Boey qualified for nationals in the 200-meter dash and his time of 10.20 in the 100-meter dash ranked 79th in the world. He also ran a 6.66 in the 60-meter dash, which was 35th in the United States and 73rd in the world.
The Panthers also return junior pole vaulter Joe Noonan who won the event last season as well as sophomore hurdler Tyler Carter who won the 60-meter hurdles.
Williams said this season is different from last season because the team has more depth.
"Training has been going good and the freshmen have stepped up so far," Williams said. "We are looking good."
Junior hurdler Preston Smith said that times in the Turkey Trials were good, and the team should be even better than they were last season.
The women's team won the Ohio Valley Conference in a different way. The team only won a handful of individual events, but the team placed in the top three in almost every event.
Senior hurdler Chandra Golden placed second in two events, including the 60-meter dash and 60-meter hurdles last season.
Senior thrower Kandace Arnold is poised to have another big season as she won the shot put with a throw of 46 feet, 10 inches.
"I think we are tired of practicing," Williams said. "I am tired of running against my teammates - I want to run against other people."
Smith said the meet right before break is beneficial to the team.
"It lets us know where we are at this time of the season and it is right before Christmas break," Smith said. "After that we don't have a meet for another month, so this gives us a chance to get our feet back and get us back into that competitive gear."
Smith said the time off between meets has its goods and its bads.
"Fortusteeplewebly, it allows us to get a meet in, then with the layoff you get a little thirsty so then coming back in January you are ready," he said.
Dan Cusack can be reached at 581-7944 or email@example.com.