Stretch run of outdoor season in sight for WKU

Lucas Aulbach

The outdoor track and field season is nearing its end, and several WKU athletes are vying for conference honors as they come down the stretch.

“We have many people in the top five of their events in the conference right now,” Head Coach Erik Jenkins said. “We’re in a good position at this point in the season.”

Two weekends remain in the regular season. Most athletes at WKU will be in competition just once more this weekend, while a small group will also be in competition at Indiana University next weekend.

The WKU teams are split up again this weekend, with most of the group competing in the Drake Relays in Iowa, while the distance squad will travel to Butler University in Indianapolis for another meet.

The Drake Relays is the second largest regular season outdoor meet, Jenkins said, and it’s also the site of the NCAA National Championships.

Assistant Coach Jarrett Murphy will be at Drake this weekend.

“There’s going to be a very high level of competition at Drake,” Murphy said. “With the NCAA Championships being held there, a lot of it’s about giving kids who will compete there again a chance to get a feel for it.”

Jenkins said the young WKU team has stayed close to the top of the Sun Belt Conference standings for most of the season.

“There are three or four other teams we’re really competing with at the top of the conference right now,” he said. “Anyone can win.”

Junior Alex Miller said he’s been pleased with the teams growth throughout the season.

“It seems like we’ve been doing progressively better and better, and that’s a good thing,” he said.

Jenkins said the key to competing in the upcoming Sun Belt championships is staying prepared and healthy.

“The work has been put in. Now we need to stay healthy,” he said. “We’re going to work on a few relay times and get to really know the dynamics of the meet.”

Murphy agreed that health is key, saying that the teams have done well to be in their current position.

“Everyone has performed well,” he said. “It’s been a long season, but we’re still on the right track.”

Jenkins also praised the team for performing well throughout the season despite much of the squad consisting of underclassmen.

“We’ve got a young team here that has weathered the storm all year, and they’ve really done a good job,” he said. “We’re always looking for people who are in it for the long haul.”

Miller said he shares the same goal as the rest of the team coming down the stretch.

“Basically we’re just all trying to get ready for conference,” he said.

Miller will be competing in the high jump at the Sun Belt outdoor championships, which will take place during June in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Jenkins said the teams are looking to step it up with the season winding down.

“The championship is closer than you think,” he said. “There will be no shortcuts from here on in.”