Sun Belt indoor titles to be decided this weekend

Lucas Aulbach

With the Sun Belt Conference Championships just around the corner, Assistant Coach Craig Morehead made it clear what WKU’s track and field teams need to do to be successful.

“Don’t make any mistakes,” he said.  “The cleanest team has the best chance to win.”

As the conference championships begin this weekend, the teams’ margin for error is slim.  The meets, which take place in Jonesboro, Ark., will close out the Sun Belt indoor season and will help determine qualifiers for the upcoming NCAA National Championships.

Head Coach Erik Jenkins said though the teams have been preparing for this event all season, they have definitely stepped it up recently.

“Everything has been a little more intense,” he said.

Owensboro sophomore Madison Hale will be performing in several events this weekend, including the 5,000-meter run, and said the teams have worked hard these last few weeks.

“Right now we’re doing some speed work and trying to cut our distance,” she said.

The championship meets will start Sunday and end on Monday. Jenkins said he believes the teams will be up against some serious competition over the weekend.

“There are several fine Sun Belt teams that will be there competing,” he said.

Results this weekend will help determine the participants in the NCAA National Championships, which take place in March. Jenkins said the WKU teams already have quite a few members on the list of potential qualifiers, which will be put together and released in the coming weeks.

There’s more on the line for the teams than just the conference title this weekend, though. The WKU women’s team is coming in with a streak of 15 straight indoor, outdoor and cross country championships. The streak dates back to the 2006 indoor season.

“There is no one else anywhere, at any level, that has been so consistent,” Jenkins said.

While the indoor regular season will be over when the conference championship closes Monday, this isn’t the end for the majority of the team members.

The outdoor track and field season will begin in late March.

But for now, Jenkins said WKU is focused on the task at hand.

“We’re going to take each event one at a time,” he said.  “The bulk of the work has already been done.”