WKU track and field to return to action this weekend

By: Hunter Frint

The WKU men and women’s track and field teams will head back to the indoor season this Saturday after a setback regarding travels to a meet in Lexington due to hazardous weather conditions.

The track and field schedule was no exception to the delays and cancellations brought on by the snow and ice last week. The program was prohibited from attending last weekend’s meet at the Rod McCravy Memorial but will travel to Vanderbilt this weekend in Nashville.

Though the indoor season has been in play since December, this meet will be the program’s first while spring semester classes are in session.

The meet in Nashville will present a familiar setting for the program as this will be their third invite this season.

“We want to keep getting better, and obviously Vanderbilt provides another opportunity being an school with a fantastic indoor track facility,” Head Coach Erik Jenkins said. “We want to be able to go out as a team and get better. For one, it’s competition, and secondly, it’s the idea of being able to see the things we need to continue to work on to be successful.”

WKU participated in the indoor opener hosted by the Commodores on Dec. 5 and came home with favorable results: five wins overall.

The Hilltoppers also picked up two wins at the Commodore Invitational on Jan. 15 and 16 as juniors Emmanuel Dasor and Jenessa Jackson picked up victories for the program. Dasor won the 60-meter dash, and Jackson won the weight throw event.

Jackson managed to set a new personal record of 18.88 meters. Jackson also had a strong effort in the shot put, finishing in fourth with a throw of 14.74 meters.

On Jan. 19, Conference USA honored Dasor after his record-breaking weekend in the 60-meter dash at the invitational. Dasor took home the winning spot with 6.68 seconds, a program record. He is currently ranked in the top 20 athletes in the country for the 60-meter dash.

This season’s returning athletes for the women’s track and field team include junior Carrol Hardy, junior Sandra Akachukwu and junior Kaila Smith. Showing promise and talent in the men’s program is sophomore Julius Morris, senior Ja’Karyus Redwine and junior Emmanuel Dasor among others.

Under Jenkins’ leadership WKU has collected 27 C-USA and Sun Belt Conference championships along with 57 All-American selections.

“I like our team, and I like the direction we’re heading [in],” Jenkins said. “We’ve got a lot of people who need to still step up, but we’ve also got some folks who are making good strides. It looks like they have the opportunity to go on and maybe move forward to the national championship, but we’ve got a lot of work to do.”

The Vanderbilt Invitational this weekend will begin at 4 p.m. central time on Friday and 10 a.m. on Saturday at the Vanderbilt Student Recreational Center.