Tennessee Tech’s track and field team will be competing this weekend at the Ohio Valley Conference Indoor Championships hosted by Eastern Illinois University.
The team, under new coach Wayne Angel, has been breaking school records and personal bests. However, Angel said they are aiming for new bests rather than aiming for the crown.
Senior Atlanta Westbrook agreed that the increased intensity in training has resulted in the better times. Earlier this spring, Westbrook broke Tech’s record in triple jump, only to have it broken a week later by teammate Chelsea Mills.
"It shows our training is paying off," Westbrook says. "It would be frustrating to do the amount of hard work we're doing now and not see any results. We're ready for it physically, and now we're working on getting ourselves mentally ready for it."
Senior Brooklyn Kimball said team cohesion is crucial in handling the higher expectations of the coaching staff during the championships.
“It comes from our coaches," Kimball says. "We are facing a higher level of competition, and we're putting ourselves into a position to do better. We're rising to the occasion at our meets.”
"Right now, we want improvements,” Angel says. “I'm a realist. It's a process. We don't want a quick fix at Tennessee Tech. We just know we're moving in the right direction. It's a matter of being patient and taking it a step at a time.”
The bigger steps to improvement start with setting new school records during the OVC championship. Athletes to watch during the meet include Mills and Westbrook in the triple jump, freshman Madison Stremler in the 800-meter, freshman Sonel Bezuidenhout in the 3,000 and 5,000, Kimball in the 200 and 400, and the 4×400 relay team.