The track and field team has high expectations this year, the team’s head coach said.
But right now, the team is just trying to get everyone healthy and back into the swing of things, he said.
“So far it’s kind of been a work in progress; it always is this time of year,” head coach Darryl Anderson said. “We train up until Dec. 1, and then they’re off for five weeks. We come back and we’re scampering to find a groove and a rhythm.”
Many team members are injured, coming off of injuries or finishing rehab, Anderson said. The Flyin’ Frogs return seven All-Americans to the men’s team and out of the seven, only Mychal Dungey has competed in the indoor season so far, he said.
“We finally have 90 percent of our men training now,” Anderson said. “Last week of practice was our best week of practice of the year.”
Dungey said it’s tough to see his teammates injured.
“We’re like a family, so when you see your brothers on the sideline, it hurts,” Dungey said. “We are moving forward, and we are working hard, but at the same time you want those guys with you.”
Anderson said the NCAA provisional times set by junior sprinter Jessica Young and the women’s mile relay team were the highlights of the indoor season so far. The team will participate in the Texas A&M Invitational beginning Feb. 13 before moving on to the Mountain West Conference Indoor Championships, where the women’s team is the defending champion. The conference championship are scheduled for Feb. 26 to 28 in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Anderson said he would like both the men and women to finish in the top three at conference, but Dungey has a higher goal for the men’s side.
“I want us to finally win,” Dungey said. “Last year the girls won conference and they got their ring. I’m not jealous, but I want us to be on their level.”
Following the indoor season, the team transitions into its outdoor season with a series of meets including two at home, the Horned Frog Invitational and the TCU Invitational.
Anderson said he thinks the men’s team has a chance to be special once the outdoor season begins and everyone is healthy and on the same page. Several of the Flyin’ Frogs, including seniors, juniors and sophomores should all make the NCAA Outdoor Championships, he said.
On the women’s side seniors Jessica Clarke, Candis Kelley and Kishelle Paul, juniors Neidra Covington and Young and sophomore Stormy Harrison should also make the NCAA Championships, he said.
“We’ve got a lot of expectations, and I think they are valid and real expectations,” Anderson said.
For Dungey, team success is number one. He said the team goal is to win the outdoor Mountain West Conference title and see as many team members as possible qualify for the NCAA Championships.
“I want to do well, but I’d rather have our team do better,” Dungey said. “We have a chance if we just keep working hard. If we work hard, everything will take care of itself.”