By Marketta Bennett
William Peace University is in their second year having a Track and Field team. In the previous year, the men and women team placed fourth in the USA South Conference in Berea, Kentucky.
For the 2019-2020 year, preseason started the week of October 15th. The running practices were held at John Chavis Memorial Park on Tuesdays and Thursdays and lifting days were Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings with yoga on Wednesdays.
“What I can bring to the table being a new coach at WPU is consistency to the team and my knowledge of building something from the ground up since we don’t have a lot of culture stuff that’s established right now,” said Head Coach BT Pham. “Building a strong culture is going to be the biggest thing for us moving forward.”
Coach Pham has the team split into two groups, 100 and 200 meter runners and 200 and 400 meter runners. Both groups have different workouts but the same intensity for an example, the 100/200 group will have 14x200m with a minute rest in between and the 200/400m group will have 9x300m with a minute and 30 seconds rest.
Official season started the week of January 13th. Now that the team is in season, January’s schedule was similar to the preseason workouts, but practice times and running practices are now Monday through Friday.
February started a new set schedule that will go through March where practices are Monday through Friday 7pm to 9pm at Athens Drive High School with lifts on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays unless otherwise.
“From preseason to now, coach has motivated me a lot and helped me get my form straight when I throw,” said Alyssa Crowder, one of the female throwers. “He would say something like ‘stop throwing soft’ or ‘those throws were good, now I just need you to actually start eating and lifting more.’ He’s straightforward and keeps track of my progress and we have conversations at practice about it, which helps.”
Being that WPU doesn’t have a track and field, the meets are not local. The team will have to be invited to a meet in order to compete. The team will have to travel at no more than three hours for the invitational meets and about eight hours for the conference meet in Berea, KY.
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Their first meet of the year will be held at UNC Wilmington on March 14.
The rest of the season follows up with Mount Olive University on March 21st and April 10th, University of Lynchburg on March 28th, High Point University on April 4th, and Berea University on April 19th.
“We need a lot more depth so I think recruiting will be the biggest thing for us right now. We have a strong base of young athletes and once we start that culture that we need of competitiveness and doing things the right way, we’re able to add more athletes with the skill level and can contribute in conference,” said coach Pham.
Women’s Track and Field team member Marketta Bennett awaiting the start.