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Rivalry weekend for track and field in Seattle

Casie Moe | Evergreen track and field reporter

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Trekking to Husky territory, WSU will bring the confidence of their early season wins to the UW Indoor Track and Field Invite.

So far, WSU Director of Cross Country/Track & Field Wayne Phipps has been impressed by the success of many members of the team and his coaching staff to prepare the athletes.

“What’s neat about our schedule is it kind of helps us-it parallels our preparation,” Phipps said. “The first University of Washington meet is a very good meet, but this next one’s a little bit better and the one after that is a little better than that and Mountain Pacific is obviously our culmination of our regular season.”

Currently ranked third in triple jump in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) from her win in the event at the Cougar Indoor Open, redshirt sophomore Greer Alsop is an example of preparation panning out well for WSU. She will also be competing in the triple jump at the UW Invite.

On the men’s team, sophomore Brock Eager is preparing to beat his win in the 35-weight throw last weekend which was also a personal record for him. The winning distance of 19.27-meters also pushed him to second in the MPSF for weight throw.

It takes these personal records and the individual efforts of each athlete for the WSU track and field program to grow with victories. Even still, the athletes have to remember that it is a process, as explained by captain and senior Dominque Keel and to reach the point of winning events, it takes preparing week by week.

“I have my goals for the season and so I’ll assess each meet, what I should have been at and from there, be like, ‘Ok for this meet, this is the goal I need to perform and this is what I need to do,’ and then a lot of self-talk,” Keel said. “I think that after I’ve done that for a full week, once I get to meet day, I’m just so excited because I know I’m prepared, know I’ve trained well so when I’m behind the blocks, I’m excited, I’m confident, I know I’ve trained well to hit and execute what I need to do in that meet.”

The third official indoor meet of the season, this is where most athletes have reached the point where they are relaxed entering their event.

Winner of high jump in the first meet and UW and in the WSU Open, junior Kiana Davis has visualized what she expects for herself and knows how to approach this next meet at the Dempsey Indoor facility.

“I think that we were just able to get out our pre-meet jitters like with the first meet out of the way,” Davis said, “and now, for me personally, I’m just going in a lot stronger this year so now that I’ve made the heights and jumped as far as I have so far this year, I’m more comfortable going into a meet confident of where I’m at right now.”

Although, there are some freshman who sat out for the first two meets and will be competing for the first time in an indoor track and field setting. Phipps and his fellow coaches have been managing the practices to set the freshman and all the athletes up for triumphs in their events.

For the UW Invite, the whole team and the captains like Keel will be able to continually reassure the young Cougars.

“There’s a lot of encouragement, just reminding them (the freshman) that this is a process,” Keel said. “We can’t expect to get our June time at Nationals now so it’s going to be a process and being process-minded versus in the moment and knowing, ‘okay, this is going to be a 6-month span of time and stuff not a one-week type of thing.’”

Up against their state rivals, WSU will meet on Jan. 29-30 with UW at the Dempsey Indoor facility in Seattle for the University of Washington Invitational. The results will be posted at www.wsucougars.com following the meet.

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Rivalry weekend for track and field in Seattle