Herd looks for success at Virginia Challenge

After an abnormal weekend off last Friday and Saturday, the Marshall University track and field team returns to action this weekend. The team will compete Saturday in the William Walton Invitational in Harrisonburg, Virginia hosted by James Madison University.

Prior to last weekend off, the team had competed the previous three weekends to begin the outdoor portion of its season. During indoor season, the team at one point competed in six consecutive weekends.

“I think we are all pretty anxious and excited to compete this weekend after having last weekend off,” distance runner Meagen Carter said. “This is a chance for us to all come together again and race after getting in some good training the past two weeks.”

Two weekends ago, the team had a split squad as roughly half the team traveled to Gainesville, Florida for the Pepsi Florida Relays. The other half made the much shorter trip north to Athens, Ohio and Ohio University for the Cherry Blossom Invitational.

Although the team was split up, it was still a successful weekend. The team recorded two victories and three school records over the two meets. The 4×800 meter relay team, shuttle hurdle relay team and distance medley relay team all broke school records. The previous school record in the shuttle hurdle relay had stood since 1998.

“A couple of those records were pretty old,” head coach Jeff Small said. “It was great to get them off the books and get some new and better times.”

With this weekend’s meet for the Herd, the season gets down to the final few weeks of regular season competition. Next weekend, the team will travel back to Virginia for the University of Virginia Challenge in Charlottesville. The following weekend will be another split squad weekend, as some will travel to the historic Penn Relays in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The other part of the team will compete at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina.

Following a weekend off, the team will then compete at the Conference USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in San Antonio, Texas. That meet takes place after the school semester is over, beginning on May 11.

“We’re getting into the heart of the season now,” Carter said. “We have some competitive meets coming up and this weekend is getting us ready for those.”

Patrick O’Leary can be contacted at [email protected]