The Guilford College track and field team began their indoor season with the Wake Forrest Invitational at the JDL Fast Track on Jan. 19.
The meet had a combination of Division I, II and III schools participating.
“When you run track and field it’s not running against the person next to you or the school that you’re running against,” said Assistant Coach Marla Lindsay. “It’s about running against the clock.”
First-year Ranicha Sargeant leapt 4.43 meters to place sixth in school history.
Sophomore Carmen Curtis ran a 8.59 second 60 meter dash to finish in 17th place and first-year Zarea Pitts placed 19th with a time of 8.76.
First-year Taylor Tremblay took 29th in the 800 meter with a 2:50.46 run. Sophomore Marian Cooper finished the mile in 5:45.40 to place 22nd.
“Everyone on the track team has been working very hard in practice, and it definitely showed in the performances on Saturday,” said Cooper.
The Guilford women’s relay team of senior Shannon Petsch, Tremblay, Cooper and first-year Ananya Bernardo finished the 4×400 meter relay in 4:53:02.
“Those young ladies did a wonderful job and I was really proud of the way they ran,” said Lindsay.
Sophomore Kyia O’Neal, first-year Micheleigh Higgins and first-year Kennedy Ruff competed in the shot put.
On the men’s side, sophomore Asa Bell sprinted to a 12th place finish in the 60 meter in a time of 7.34. Bell, sophomore Tuari Walker and first-year KJ Dorsey placed 23rd, 32nd and 37th respectively in the 200-meter dash.
First-year Amir Abdur-Rahim sprinted to a 54.98 time in the 400 meter.
“With all the time, effort, and hard work we put in during practice, we continue to get better week by week,” said Abdur-Rahim.
Dorsey placed 13th in the long jump with a 5.86-meter leap, and Walker jumped 5.16 meters.
“Everyone came back a little raw, but I think they saw where they need to work on, a lot of them vocalized that and that’s a good thing,” Lindsay said. “We didn’t lose a lot, so I definitely think we’re still on the right path.”
At the JDL College Kick-off on Dec. 2, 2018, Sargeant ran the 60-meter dash in a school record of 8.49 seconds, beating the old record by 0.01 seconds.
This season has seen a large increase in number of student-athletes on the roster. Last year, the team had seven on the women’s roster, while the women’s team this year currently has 15 student-athletes.
“When you bring on people who are already athletic minded, they already kind of know how to manage being a student and an athlete,” Lindsay said. “It seems like the kids we are getting now have a good grasp on that and they love to run, that’s the most important thing.”
This is the first year for Director of Track Operations Marty Owens.
He is joined by Lindsay and assistant coach Richard Vinson on the staff. Lindsay will focus on sprints, jumps and hurdles, while Vinson will lead the throwers.
Vinson is a graduate of Southeast Missouri State University where he advanced to the 2018 NCAA Division I National Championships
“It only gets better from here on out,” Abdur-Rahim said. “We all just have to listen to what our coaches tell us and trust them. We just need to continue to work hard and stay dedicated.”