Junior sprinter Shawntoreah Turk is leading a group of veteran runners into the women’s outdoor track and field season.
Turk, who was looking to have a stellar indoor season, had the unfortunate fate of not being able to compete again shortly after her record-setting performance back during EMU Open meet, due to personal health-related issues.
Despite her shortcomings in the indoor season, Turk is remaining optimistic for the young outdoor season and is hoping to continue her streak of low times.
“It’s fun,” Turk said. “I went to the USF meet not expecting much, but I hit a lot of the marks. There’s still a lot of work that I have to do, but it was nice to hit a low mark.”
The new outdoor track season, to some, might call for some adjustments to be made, but, for Turk, there has been little change in preparation.
“It wasn’t difficult at all (to adjust),” Turk said. “Running outdoors is a lot better now; I like it.”
Turk is also excited to finally get back on the track alongside her teammates. Having only competed in two indoor events, there was a lot of downtime for the sprinter. In not being able to run, she was still able to motivate her teammates from the sideline.
“It was hard to see my teammates compete at the highest level of competition without me,” Turk said. “I’m just glad to be back now.”
Now that the first outdoor meet is out-of-the-way, she will be looking ahead to this weekend, where she will be traveling to Indiana instead of Missouri like many of her teammates, to run at the University of Purdue instead the Missouri Relays.
“I expecting to get back where I left off,” Turk said. “Hopefully outdoor season will give us a little bit of leeway to open up and hit our marks that we’ve been projected to hit.”
The field athletes will be traveling to Oklahoma for the John Jacobs Invitational on Friday.
Not all field athletes will be competing, although the athletes who do attend are looking to start their seasons on the right stride.
“I want to do everything that I have been working on in practice,” said sophomore javelin thrower Milica Kulidzan. “Fixing the mistakes I made last meet and improving my mark.”
Kulidzan finished first in her event last weekend at the University of South Florida. She threw a 138-00 to top the competition. Kulidzan is the older of the two javelin throwers attending the meet this weekend.
“I still feel like a freshman, because I am still learning along the way,” Kulidzan said. “We both teach and look at each other’s throws; I teach her (Kylee Dobbelaere) as much as she teaches me.”