Track and Field heads to Grand Valley

Mark Shanahan, Staff Reporter

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The Eastern men’s and women’s track teams will be have more athletes competing in the one-day Grand Valley Big Meet in Allendale, Mich. on Friday.

“We’ll probably have more competing up there than we did at Notre Dame,” he said. “They allow us to get more people into the meet and this is a crucial meet for us as far as trying to determine our conference line up. We are going to try and compete as many people as we can.”

At last years’ event, junior sprinter Calvin Edwards, former runner Pablo Ramirez, former pole-vaulter Mick Viken and junior thrower Janie Howse all won gold medals.

Coach Tom Akers reflected on the last few times at this meet.

“We’ve been there the last three or four years,” he said. “It’s sort of like Indiana, sort of like Notre Dame, it depends on what year. Some years it’s loaded sometimes its not.”

Akers talked about the differences between the one and two day meets for the athletes.

He said one of the biggest differences is just getting out of rhythm.

“Away from home, not sleeping in your bed just makes you a little more fatigued. I prefer a one-day meet,” he said.

The number of people they can take on the trip and injuries play a role in who goes on the road this Friday.

“I think we will have a few people back in the lineup that we didn’t have this last weekend and there might be a couple that will end up resting this weekend as well either because of injuries or illnesses or maybe just because of the numbers game,” he said.

Remaining focused is one of the biggest things Akers wants to do heading into the meet on Friday.

“We talked about it at our team meeting right before practice this week and that’s just focus,” he said. “Focusing on things that we need to do better. We spoke about it Friday night while we were at Meyo. We had some performances on Friday night that just didn’t look like we were there ready to compete.”

During practice this week, Akers mainly empathized not only to be prepared mentally at the end of the week but to work on being in the frame of mind to improve during the course of the week.

“It’ll just come a lot more naturally at the end of the week,” he said.

Mark Shanahan can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].