Track teams eyeing championship season

Dillan Schorfheide, Track Reporter

Winning the OVC 2017-2018 Indoor Track and Field Championship is not old news for Eastern’s men’s and women’s track teams.

Earning the championship, at none other than the team’s home venue of the Lantz Indoor Fieldhouse, is driving the team this year to achieve the same outcome at the end of the indoor season.

Lea Viano, a senior who runs in distance events, said the championship is a little far off, but it is still in the back of the team’s minds that everyday leading up to it is important.

“Yes, winning conference is always our goal, year in and year out,” Erin Howarth, the cross country and distance coach, said. “We will do whatever it takes to achieve that goal and think about it all the time.”

Viano said the championship is definitely a motivation for herself and the team this year.

“If we come to practice every day, work hard and give our very best then the championship is our reward,” she said.

Working hard every day is what Howarth said is the key to success and ultimately winning the championship at the end of the season.

She said it is important to keep in mind the process goals that lead to the outcome goal of the championship.

Some of these process goals she mentioned are going to practice every day ready to work with a positive mind and healthy body, stretching and drinking plenty of water.

“There are so many ‘little’ things that need to be achieved day to day to reach that major outcome goal at the end, those are the things that we will keep in mind day to day,” Howarth said. “Every day has a purpose, every workout has a purpose.”

Viano, and others who ran during the cross country season, have had a little bit of down time until the start of the track season, so she said she thinks everyone is ready to start training hard and get in the best shape over Christmas break to have the best possible season.

“I am looking forward to this season,” Viano said. “It being my last indoor track season, it’s very exciting and surreal. It’s going to be a special season and I’m thankful to be able to compete with my teammates.”

Howarth said both the men’s and women’s teams have lost key scorers, so some young athletes are going to have to be asked to step up. She said that is often not what a coach wants to do, rather than relying on veterans, but that the coaches know that there are student-athletes on the team who can and will and cannot wait to step up and score some big points.

“There’s a lot of excitement on this team and a great energy that can win championships,” she said. “Sometimes the most talented team doesn’t come out on top with the hardware, but the one with the most heart and guts. We certainly hope that’s EIU come February!”

The first action of the season for both teams is the Illinois Classic held at the University of Illinois on January 12 and 13.

Dillan Schorfheide can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]