Track team gears up for second home meet

"I feel like we’re more at ease because we’re at home." -Sophomore sprinter Isatu Fofanah

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The Marshall University track and field team will compete Saturday in its second home meet.

Senior sprinter and jumper Loren Dyer said she is running the open 400-meter dash. At the Akron Invitational, Dyer ran it in 57.36 seconds.

“I’m really trying to break the school record and get as close to it as possible before conference, so I’m excited about that,” Dyer said.

Marshall’s record for the open 400-meter dash is 56.02 seconds, set in 2004 by Yvonne Ferguson. 

Sophomore sprinter Isatu Fofanah broke the school and track records at the last home meet in the 60-meter dash and the 200-meter dash.

Fofanah said the home field advantage for the Herd has helped the team improve and have personal record times.

“It’s definitely important, I feel like we’re more at ease because we’re at home,” Fofanah said. “We know our track, we know how to run corners, how to run straights and just know how it feels on our feet, so I think it’s a huge advantage.”

At the Thundering Herd Invitational Jan. 30-31, the team placed fifth out of 12 competing teams.

The team finished its most recent meet, the Akron Invitational, with 11 runners placing in the top eight of its  respective events.

According to a press release, the Marshall Invitational has eight competing women’s teams and five men’s teams.

Head Coach Jeff Small said it is nice for the team to host and compete against two Atlantic Coast Conference schools at the meet.

Marshall will compete against Virginia Tech and the University of North Carolina.

As the team prepares for the Conference USA indoor championship Feb. 25-26, Small said the Chris Cline Athletic Complex has helped the team’s overall performance.

Following in Fofanah’s example, Small said he hopes to see the team break more records this weekend. 

Fofanah said she and the team want to finish the season well before the championship meet in two weeks. 

“I think we’re just going to continue on the right path to improving times and being good as a team,” Fofanah said.

The Marshall Invitational is 6 p.m Friday and continues 9 a.m. Saturday at the Jeff Small Track in the Chris Cline Athletic Complex.

Kasey Madden can be contacted at [email protected]

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