Women’s track and field will be without a few members but looks to stay competitive at the Harvey-Simmons Invitational in Ann Arbor this weekend.
Track and field director Willie Randolph cites the need for extra rest and the flu amongst some players as the reason for keeping some of the athletes back in Mount Pleasant for Saturday’s meet.
“Right now, we’re just trying to let the bodies start to catch up a little bit and trying to be more specific on our technique,” he said.
The Chippewas will be leaving behind some of their throwers and jumpers in order for them to get some more rest in preparation for the upcoming outdoor season and for Jan. 26, which Randolph considers an important point of the season. Things will begin to get more competitive with all Mid-American Conference schools having started their seasons by that date.
In preparation for Saturday’s meet, it has been mostly business as usual for the team during their weekly practices. With the cold and flu season as well as a new semester underway, Randolph knows that it can be challenging when the forces of nature intervene and the need for academic success remains an underlying theme throughout the year.
“We’re not changing a lot,” Randolph said. “We’re just making sure we’re adjusting to what is going on, especially with the sick bug that’s going around right now.”
Despite the recent stresses put on by academics and sickness, the women’s team has senior middle distance runner Charnele Lyons back from injury. After being gone for over a year, her coach and team are glad to have her back from her long, injury-ridden journey.
“She’s been out from the track scene since cross-country last year,” Randolph said. “To see her get out there and turn on the lights of competition, it was really good to see.”
Lyons posted a runner-up finish in the 800m at the 2011 Simmons-Harvey Invitational with a time of 2:16.21 after being red-shirted for the 2010 outdoor track and field season.