Track and Field prepare for Indiana Relays

During the Men’s 100 Meter Dash, WKU senior Ja’Karyus Redwine, right, finished in 6th with the time of 10.77 seconds at the Hilltopper Relay Meet at Charles M. Rueter Track and Field Complex on Saturday, April 9, 2016. (WESTON KENNEY/HERALD)

Jeremy Chisenhall

With a few indoor meets under its belt, the WKU track team is looking to make a national championship meet and jump into the outdoor season at this weekend’s Indiana University Relays.

Behind veteran leadership, WKU has the personnel necessary to potentially achieve that goal. The program has 11 seniors returning this season, as well as 11 juniors. Some of these upperclassmen are already making their mark this year, such as junior Desmond Mobley, who posted a WKU season-best 1.95 meters in the high jump at last weekend’s Vanderbilt Invitiational.

Senior Ventavius Sears is another upperclassman who has gotten a solid start this season, as he qualified for the triple jump finals after a jump of 14.63 meters. In the finals he topped that jump with one of 14.65 meters, which was good for eighth place.

The team’s most decorated runner, Emmanuel Dasor, is a senior sprinter who represented his home country of Ghana in the 2016 Rio Olympics and also competed in the World Indoor Championships.

The women’s team also has some upperclassmen carrying the torch, such as senior Jenessa Jackson, who notched her fourth straight top-10 finish in weight throwing last weekend. Her throw of 18.17 meters was good enough for fifth place. Junior Morgan McIntyre has also impressed early on, as she was WKU’s top participant in the women’s pole vault, finishing 13th with a height of 3.7 meters.

But it’s not just the upperclassmen who are already putting up impressive performances. Early on in the season, sophomore Maor Seged holds the team’s season-best time in the 200-meter dash (22.25 seconds). Sophomore Jadzia Beasley has also impressed, as she qualified for the 60-meter final and finished in seventh place last weekend.

“The sprinters have definitely carried the team,” freshman Donnie Fry said on what he expects from this season. “But with the new guys that are coming in, we have four new freshmen including myself, I think [the distance team] has a real good potential to start scoring in these events.”

Besides Fry, this year’s team features 10 freshmen. The hope, as Fry said about the distance team, is the younger runners can help make WKU even better in their respective events.

Fry also praised the upperclassmen, specifically the 4×4 team, which is primarily made up of juniors and seniors.

“Our 4×4 is definitely going to be very strong this year, with Julius Morris, Emmanuel Dasor, Ventavius Sears and Maor Seged,” Fry said.

Fry also praised WKU’s new transfers, such as sophomore Austin Hayes from Lindsey Wilson College, junior Eli Minor from Iowa Central and sophomore Davante’ Payne from Tennessee State.

Minor is already showing his ability this year, as he was one of three WKU runners to advance to the final in last weekend’s 60-meter dash.

Head coach Eric Jenkins commented on the last couple of indoor meets, saying the team performed “okay” at the Vanderbilt Invitational, according to a press release.

“It’s time to refocus our efforts and work on consistency as we get ready for the conference and hopefully national championships,” Jenkins said.

The team has now competed in four meets and has a few left to go before the Conference USA Indoor Track & Field Championships. Following that and the national championship meet, the outdoor track season will begin in March.

Reporter Jeremy Chisenhall can be reached at 270-745-6291 and [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @JSChisenhall.