Competing at home will be a rare and exhilarating experience for the TCU track and field team, which will play host to 13 teams from around the region Saturday at the TCU Invitational.The annual meet at Lowden Track and Field Complex is the first and only home competition on the Frogs’ schedule, and head coach Darryl Anderson said he is eager to play host to it.
“It’s exciting to perform in front of a home crowd,” Anderson said. “It’s exhilarating. That’s the word to describe it.”
But Anderson said he is not blowing the Invitational out of proportion. He acknowledged that “this isn’t the Super Bowl,” and said the meet is more of a tuneup for the Frogs’ next big competition at the Penn Relays.
The TCU Invitational is one of four events remaining before the conference and NCAA championships begin, and sophomore All-American sprinter Virgil Hodge said she is looking to improve each week before the big meets.
“I’m just looking to keep my rank high and to run faster each week,” Hodge said.
Senior men’s sprinter Lewis Banda agreed.
“I’m taking it one race at a time like I’m supposed to,” Banda said. “If I look too far ahead, I lose focus.”
As for a home field advantage, coach Anderson said, the benefits are questionable.
“We don’t have enough meets here to feel an advantage,” Anderson said, “but I would much rather be at home.”
Quite clearly, so would Hodge and Banda, in spite of their nerves.
“I am more nervous because there will be more people there who know me, but I know how to attack the track here better,” Hodge said.
Banda also acknowledged the nervousness factor but emphasized his ability to just run.
“If I have a bad race everybody will talk about it, he said. “But I’ve run in front of crowds before and I know I’m going to perform.