Track squads preparing for SBC Championships

Jonah Phillips

One lone weekend stands between WKU and its chance to claim another Sun Belt Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championship on May 10 in Miami.

A select few will head to the Billy Hayes Invitational in Bloomington, Ind. this weekend for a final tune-up meet before the pending conference championships.  Most of the team will be taking the weekend off to rest.

The WKU men will try to repeat the success the found last year — they finished the 2012 outdoor season with a perfect triple crown, winning that season’s indoor and cross country titles as well.

Senior sprinter David Mokone currently ranks first in the Sun Belt and fifth in the NCAA in the 800-meter run fifth nationally, with less than a full second separating him from first place.

He said he’s not paying attention to the numbers, though.

“I try not to look at the rankings because sometimes they can be deceiving” Mokone said.  “Last year I was rank sixth in the region, but I ended 13th missing NCAA by one spot.”

Junior sprinter Joseph Chebet and the 4×100  relay team, both ranked in the top 10 nationally ub their events also have a highly anticipated championship weekend on the horizon.

The throws team is also looking to make noise championship weekend.

Junior Jessica Ramsey is currently the only female in the Sun Belt this season to eclipse the 50-foot mark in the shot put, and broke all three of her own personal records in the shot put, hammer throw and discus in last weeks Troy Invitational.

Senior thrower Houston Croney has confidence in himself as well as his fellow throwers going into championship time.

“I think that both (men and women’s) teams are training smart,” Croney said. “We are ready to peak at our top abilities during the conference championship.”

Senior jumper Sharika Smith will also have her last go at a Sun Belt title with high hopes.  She enters the championship weekend ranking 15th nationally, a mark she earned at the Hilltopper Relays only weeks ago.

The top three spots in the WKU record book are held by sophomore Karleigh Parker. Her record now stands at 13-feet-3 ½ -inches.

Parker sits ranking second in the Sun Belt currently, a position she said she prefers.

“Honestly, I like it better than being ranked first,” Parker said.  “It gives me a challenge to try and beat (Sun Belt leader and Arkansas State senior Stephanie Forman). I like being the underdog.”

The last big name to watch for it Tomas Guerra, who, as a freshman, leads the Sun Belt in the Javelin by a staggering 28 ft. with a throw of 230-feet-9-inches.

“I’m feeling confident,” Guerra said. “With my personal record, I should be able to get All-America honors, which is good for my freshman year.”

Coach Erik Jenkins said the season will be defined by championship weekend.

“Nothing you’ve done previously in the season matters come championship day,” he said.  “Anything can happen.  We just need to go out and compete at the level I know our program can.  The rest will take care of itself.”