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Track and field team heads to Birmingham for C-USA Indoor Championships

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Marshall University junior Mercedes Dowell goes to throw a discus during a match earlier this season at the Chris Cline Athletic Complex.

Marshall University junior Mercedes Dowell goes to throw a discus during a match earlier this season at the Chris Cline Athletic Complex.

Imani Spradley

Imani Spradley

Marshall University junior Mercedes Dowell goes to throw a discus during a match earlier this season at the Chris Cline Athletic Complex.

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The Marshall University track and field team opens competition Wednesday in the 2016 Conference USA Indoor Championships in Birmingham, Alabama.

The meet will be held at the Birmingham Crossplex.

Senior Shanice Johnson said she is concerned about competing on the banked track.

“It will be the first time I’ll be running on a banked 200-meter track, but you have to know how to run on one in order to run great on it,” Johnson said. “But it seems like the team is ready.”

The top athletes to finish each event will earn all-conference and first team honors, second team honors or third team honors depending on the order each competitor finishes.

Johnson said although her team is looking to finish at the top, its main focus is to beat personal records.

“Honestly, this meet, we’re all looking to break our personal records,” Johnson said. “And if we don’t beat them, then it wasn’t a successful meet for us. We just want to leave everything on the track, show up and show out.”

Sophomore Victoria Dent said the team has made breaking personal records its main objective.

“A lot of girls have potential to do big things down in Alabama this week and get all-conference in their events,” Dent said. “But others are expected to do well and get some personal records in their events due to this track being really fast.”

Dent said her team is looking forward to the great competition and to bring home some wins.

Marshall will compete against the other 12 universities that make up C-USA in the indoor championships.

The team is coming off a performance in the Buckeye Tune-Up at Ohio State University where junior Hope Julmiste had a lifetime best, senior Asia Bange finished third and posted a school-record in hurdles and sophomore Barkley Castro placed third in the 600-meter run.

Freshmen Lauren George finished fourth in field events in the long jump.

The team begins the conference championships 10 a.m. Wednesday with the first day of competition ending at 9:30 p.m. The two-day meet picks back up 10 a.m. Thursday, lasting until 5:45 p.m. and will be followed by an awards ceremony.

Brittanie Fowler can be contacted at [email protected]

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