High School track and field athletes from across the country competed in Marshall University’s High School Open Indoor Meet Saturday at the Jeff Small Track in the Chris Cline Indoor Athletics Facility.
The meet, which consisted of sprints, distance runs and field events, was open to any high school student, grades 9-12, who registered for the event.
Since AAU track and field starts before the high school season, the competitors who are affiliated with AAU teams got a head start on their high school seasons.
High school freshman Malcolm Fletcher said the meet was his fist opportunity to compete against high school athletes.
Fletcher, who has competed since he was in the seventh grade, said he started competing against AAU athletes in 2008 after encouragement from his coaches.
“I realized how talented I was,” Fletcher said. “And I decided to get better.”
Fletcher, a student at Capital High School in Charleston, West Virginia, competed for the Capital City Striders.
Fletcher said while he has practiced with his AAU team, his high school team will not begin practicing until the spring.
The high school athletes who participated had the opportunity to meet Marshall athletes, including members of the university’s track and field team who assisted the high school students during their respective events.
Sophomore Melany Belot, who is a sprinter, hurdler and jumper for the Herd, said she was glad to help out and support the high school athletes.
Belot said she knew from an early age that she wanted to be a collegiate athlete one day, and she saw the potential to achieve the same goal in many of the athletes at the meet.
Sage Shavers can be contacted at [email protected]