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UNT track and field in Lubbock to compete in Red Raider Open
Quentin Hope / Staff Writer
The UNT track and field team is approaching its fifth indoor meet of the season as it travels west to Lubbock, Texas to compete in the Red Raider Open.
The early success for the team has been highlighted in the past few weeks through a various number of broken school records, conference leaders and individually earned conference honors.
“This is the time to perform,” junior distance runner Matthew Russ said. “Coach has brought in a good group. Everyone is pushing each other and feeding off everyone’s success.”
Russ is one of many members of the Mean Green who lead the Sun Belt Conference in their respective events.
Last week, head coach Carl Sheffield emphasized how much time and effort the coaches have put into the team’s distance running this season. The effort has turned into success for Sheffield and Co. as the Mean Green continues to shine in that area.
The distance runners have been holding down their part of the success, but junior sprinter Clinton Collins said that the sprinters have not performed to their highest level.
“Honestly, I think the sprinters are underperforming, and we can do better compared to the distance runners,” junior Clint Clark said. “They’ve [distance runners] had a lot of good performers this year and I commend them. I’ve tried to put that kind of focus into the sprinters because I know what were capable of.”
For the indoor season, many sprinters don’t participate too often due to the different levels of stress sprinting has on the body, compared to running long distance. Many athletes will take it easy for half of the season while still preparing for the Sun Belt Conference championships and the outdoor season.
“I just try to focus on more of the 200-meters and 400-meters to get my endurance and speed ready for outdoor,” senior hurdler Steven White said.
Last year, White was an Olympic trials qualifier in the 400-meter hurdles, and he is looking to stay focused on the Texas Tech track complex, which is designed in a perfect circle.
“It’s a pretty tough track and you’re leaning the entire time,” White said. “It will take the freshman by surprise, but all they have to do is keep running.”
The team will face the tough track today through Saturday.