Though the sun is beginning to shine, the Racer track and field team was set on the indoor championships in Charleston, Ill., Feb. 27-28.
They may not have come out as a team in the top five but there were personal records set and finishes in the top five.
“I think we actually ended up better in a lot of events than what we went in ranked at, which is very good,” said Head Coach Jenny Severns. “Ranks don’t mean much going in because some people have not run in some events yet. Rankings don’t always reflect ability.”
In this case, junior Alicyn Hester from Yorkville, Ill. went into the championship being ranked 12th and freshman Vallery Korir, from Iten, Kenya went into it being ranked 16th but they had both not competed in the 3000-meter race.
Korir finished fourth and Hester finished in seventh. Both runners set personal records and are ranked in the top five best times at Murray State.
“It feels good (to be ranked),” Korir said. “It means all the hard work I have done has paid off. I think it’s a good start and that I can keep building off the previous success that I have had.”
Severns said though this is was an indoor championship, it was difficult to train for because the Racers practice outside.
This proved to be more difficult for some but Severns said it means some people will need to work harder.
“There are definitely areas we need to improve on,” Severns said. “We ended the weekend with two school records and a lot of personal bests though so we can’t be too disappointed.”
With this meet marking the end of the indoor season, the Racers can focus on their outdoor competitions. With an outdoor season, Severns said there are many things to watch for because the weather is never the same and there are always possibilities of mishaps with the track as opposed to indoor where the conditions are always stable.
Even with conditions changing, Severns said the team won’t train much differently since they already train on an outdoor track. She said the priority is to get a few weeks of good training before they think about the next meet.
“We have a lot of freshmen and they’re still learning what hard work really is,” Severns said. “When you win all the time in high school you don’t realize how hard you have to work to be the best you can be. They are figuring it out now. Being great is hard work and not just at practice but you have to make good decisions outside of practice as well and that is new to some people.”
The Racers will travel to the Alabama Relay’s meet on March 19-21 in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Korir said she doesn’t know what the weekend in Alabama is going to look like but it’s the first outdoor competition and she said she and the team are excited.
“We won’t think about the Alabama meet too much right now,” Severns said. “It is a very good competition meet though and we are hoping for some great performances.”
Story by Kelsey Randolph, Assistant Sports Editor