Herd track and field kicks off season with Marshall Opener



Members of Marshall University’s track team compete in a meet last season at the Chris Cline Athletic Complex.


Marshall University’s track and field team opens its season Thursday with the Marshall Opener against Ohio University and Radford University.

Last season, the meet was between Marshall and Ohio and was called the Ohio Dual.

Marshall head coach Jeff Small said he expects his team to do well in its first meet of the season.

“I feel like we’re in a pretty good position to win the meet,” Small said. “We beat Ohio last year pretty easily. Also, we’ve been training all year, and we’re feeling pretty confident. I think this is going to be a good, competitive challenge because there’s going to be more athletes in each event with there being three teams.”

Junior thrower Mercedes Dowell said she and her teammates are looking forward to getting the season underway.

“I think this first meet will go really well,” Dowell said. “We’re all really looking to beat our PR [personal record]. We just had an inter-squad meet, and we all did better than we had even hoped.”

Small said while he is confident in his sprinters and hurdlers, he feels the team’s throwing will be the most improved area of the team this year due to several new additions.

“We’ve got four or five really good freshman throwers that will make an immediate impact for us,” Small said. “I think we’re just stronger overall this year, but what’s going to really make us stronger is our new throwers. I think they’re going to re-write the record book. We have a couple of freshman that we think will qualify for nationals.”

Dowell said aside from adding skillful throwers, she thinks the team will have a good season due to players and coaches feeling more comfortable with one another.

“It just feels like a family environment,” Dowell said.

Thursday’s meet begins 7 p.m. on the Jeff Small track in the Chris Cline Athletic Complex.

Imani Spradley can be contacted at [email protected]