Track and field continues preparation at invitational

 
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COLUMN BY DEVONTAE BROWN —

The Northern Arizona University Invitational on Jan. 19 was a day of competitive nature and enduring events for the NAU track and field team. The team continued to get stronger, gain additional depth and channel their will to never quit, which bodes well for this years’ team to become Big Sky Champions.

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Jade Childs competes in the womens 60 meter hurdles during NAUs meet Saturday. (Photo by Jenni Solberg)

Whether it was personal records for certain events, Big Sky Conferencequalifying times or improving on areas of weakness, the team is creating huge momentum going into the next meet, the second of five home indoor meets.

One of the many impact performers from the weekends event was true freshman sprinterIsatu Fofanah, who broke her previous personal record in the 60-meter dash with an astonishing time of 7.40 seconds. She first broke the NAU record on Jan. 12 at the Lumberjack Team Challenge.

“It feels really good; reality hasn’t really set in yet,” Fofanah said. “I am honored to be where I am at because I never thought I would be at this point as a freshman this year.”

This team works well with preparing, executing and delivering consistent results to put the team in a position to contend every time. Whether freshmen or upperclassmen,everyone contributes in some manner to push each other and their competition.

“I did know right away it was a personal record. The thing I’m most excited about is that I’m consistent on lower heights,” said junior high jumper Lauren Laszczak about her performance. “I try to work on my weaknesses; such as holding my curve or going straight up; those are the things I work most on at practice.”

The point of this meet was to measure performance against opponents while helping your teammates to do better, while of course the ultimate goal is to win. NAU has to remember to stay disciplined and keep its confidence high. Even the slightest doubt can cause defeat. This team is constantly improving and correcting mistakes to increase their chances of a stellar year.

“Each weekend we have ‘pockets’ of event areas doing well; the thing now to improve on is consistency,” said director of track and field and cross country Eric Heins. “Our goal is [for] the team to win a championship in the Big Sky Conference, so we need to have every event area having their best day on the same day. The biggest thing is consistency amongst the events.”

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Deante Kemper competes in the mens high jump during NAUs meet on Saturday. (photo by Jenni Solberg)

What stood out from the past weekends meet wasthe women’s team with qualifiers and personal records. The women have a good team close on the edge of being great. The team as a whole should expect to see more support for one another, driving each to break their own record and qualify in more events. They compete not just for themselves, but at a chance for defending their conference championship. As long as they make good decisions they put themselves in place to be a force to be reckoned with.

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