The WKU track teams are splitting up to go to separate meets this weekend in order to compete in exclusive midseason events.
Assistant Coach Craig Morehead said while most team members will be in competition at the Rod McCravy Invitational in Lexington this weekend, some distance runners will travel to Bloomington, Ind., to compete in a meet at Indiana University.
Many of the distance runners at WKU will be competing in the 5,000-meter run at Indiana. Morehead said the event is rarely offered at midseason meets, and the teams are ready to take advantage of the opportunity.
The meets will mark the first weekend road trip for the teams this semester, one which has been marred by snow and other poor running conditions.
“Our performances have been pretty impressive so far, especially considering this weather,” senior runner Barry Quinn said. “(Snow) usually forces a lot of setbacks.”
Quinn, who will be in Lexington this weekend, said he has confidence in the runners going to Indiana but acknowledged that running such a distance would be difficult.
“The 5k is always competitive in Indiana,” he said.
Quinn said he’s also been impressed by the younger members of the team.
“It’s really great seeing all the young guns start to step up,” he said.
Head Coach Eric Jenkins will be with the majority of the team in Lexington this weekend. He said that assistant Michelle Scott, the women’s distance coach, will be the only coach going to Indiana.
“I’m usually the coach who goes to events like these because I train for events from 800 meters to the 10k,” Scott said.
Scott seemed confident in the team and stressed the importance of performing well in the 5k run. She said the goal was to get some of the women on the team under 18 minutes, 30 seconds for the run, which would help push them into a more competitive division in the Sun Belt Conference Championship.
Scott, who ran at WKU as a student, said 11 runners will be in competition this weekend at Indiana, including eight women and three members of the men’s team.
Morehead said the teams are having to adjust to the new semester because it changes their training routine.
“With no school we could practice and lift whenever we wanted to,” he said. “School started, so our schedule and routines have to change.”
However, he also said he believes the new routine holds other benefits for the team.
“Coming back isn’t a bad thing,” Morehead said. “The kids are managing their time better.”