Track and field preparing for season

Lions track and field is among the spring sports that will begin this February. The athletes have been training and preparing for another successful and eventful season. Last season both the men’s and women’s teams placed at the Southland Conference Championships. The final men’s score was 105.5 points, placing them in fourth, and the women’s final score was 60.5 points, placing them sixth. Head Coach Sean Brady is excited for his teams to compete in this 2014 season and hopes their hard work will pay off once again.
“We had a great year on both sides,” said Brady. “In our conference that’s a respectable thing, but you always want to do better.”
The year 2014 brings in new changes for the men and women. Each side has a freshman recruiting class with promise and potential. Brady feels confident the new talent will pick up where the graduated players left off.
“We had a good recruiting class on the men’s and women’s teams, and we feel like the people that we lost last year have been replaced by newer people who can replace their points,” Brady said. “Obviously, it’s early in the season so we have yet to start competing, but on paper our teams look like they can be very competitive.”
In the 2013 SLC Championships junior Alicia Noel had a time of 59.47 in the women’s 400-meter hurdle while freshman Clearance Robinson made a 6-8.75 in the men’s high jump. The Lions made a statement in the throwing events with Jeffrey Milliron making a 163-1 in the men’s discus throw and sophomore Derek Hampton recording a 225-3 in the javelin throw.
The overall level of competition was high for Lions track and field team, and Brady expects that to continue, striving toward the goal of becoming  SLC champions. The men’s and women’s team, however, are in different places, according to Brady.  
“We’re in a position right now to put our teams in a top three finish,” Brady said. “If you keep putting your teams in a top three situation then you can get a little bit lucky, and you can win it. I think that’s where we are this year with the men’s.”
Last season the women’s team came out in the “middle of the pack,” but still did very well, Brady said of his athletes. Now, in 2014, some of the women have increased experience from playing in 2013.
“We’re going to be improved,” Brady said. “From a team perspective, I think we’re going to have a better finish because our young women have matured. We had a huge freshman class last year, and now those are all sophomores so I’m very anxious to see what they are going to do in this upcoming season.”
On Friday, Jan. 24, the Lions head to Arkansas to compete in the Arkansas State University Invitational. See Lionsports.net for more details.