The ETSU track and field teams will head to Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, this weekend to compete in the two-day Southern Conference Indoor Championship.
In the last home meet, the Buccaneer Invitational, the men’s and women’s teams finished with a combined three won events and had five top five finishes.
On Feb. 12, the last regular meet before the conference championship, also held in Birmingham, the Bucs competed at the Samford Invitational, with four top five finishes in that meet.
The Bucs are looking to finish in the top half of the conference at the indoor championship, as well as advance the women that are currently ranked fourth to third and the men that are ranked fifth to fourth.
Junior Matt Moore (Oak Ridge, Tenn.) currently holds first place in the conference in the 60m dash and is hoping to still have that spot after this weekend. Moore is looking to reduce his current 6.65 time by a 10th of a second and get a spot in nationals.
“My mentality is to be resilient on the track and execute to get my goal time,” Moore said.
Sophomore Timia Easley (Columbus, Ohio) competes in the long-jump and triple-jump for ETSU and has set a goal to jump at least a 19 in order to get on the podium. Easley doesn’t have a certain person to beat, but she wants to be sure no one from Western Carolina is joining her on the podium at the end of the meet.
“There is no one in particular I want to beat,” Easley said. “I just want them [Western Carolina] all gone.”
Moore and Easley both commented on Western Carolina University, making them the team to beat for ETSU.
Another dynamic coming into this championship meet will be Senior Ashley Kessler (Knoxville, Tenn.) going against twin sister Lindsey Kessler of Samford University in the pole vault. The sisters are currently tied for first in the conference, and coach George Watts believes it will be an interesting competition between the two.
Watts has been preparing the men’s and women’s teams all season simply by training hard. In his opinion, the meets they compete in before the championship are the best form of preparation.
“We have been preparing all season, and now it’s about sharpening up and resting,” Watts said.
Watts expects his individual champions to foster a greater team score in order to rank high after the championship. The preparation is over, and it is time to put it all to use in Birmingham.