Track and Field team prepare for the OVC Tournament
The Southeast track and field teams are preparing to compete in the Ohio Valley Conference Championships on Feb. 23 and 24. Since 2013 they have won seven conference titles between the men and women’s indoor and outdoor teams and they are looking to continue their success in Charleston, Illinois.
Southeast opened the indoor season Dec. 8, when it hosted Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in a dual meet, and most recently hosted the Redhawk Open. It has all built toward the OVC Championship.
“Track season is full of preparation for this weekend,” Southeast head coach Eric Crumpecker said. “Everything we do during the season, going to meets and practices, builds us up to peak at the conference meet. Hopefully we will have some of our best performances this weekend.”
Crumpecker is pleased with the overall indoor season performance.He said the majority of the athletes have remained healthy and have gradually improve.
“Several athletes have stood out. We have a couple freshmen who have come on sprints who have ran well,” said Crumpecker. “Colin Schwab has had a good freshman season with the 400-meter indoor. We’ve had a couple newcomers; Johnathan McDonald has had a big year for us, we are really looking forward to seeing what he does. Haile Wilson had done well running in the 60 meter.”
“On the women’s side, Anya Tonga, a semester transfer, she is leading the conference now in weight throw. She’s had a big year. We have a lot of people we are excited about, especially heading into outdoor, that’s where our focus is really at,” Crumpecker said.
Tonga, a junior took second in the women’s weight throw at the Redhawk Open and owns the longest throw in the OVC this season with a toss of 60 feet, 3 inches.
Wilson, a senior, covered the 55 meters in 6.48 seconds at the Redhawk Open to place third, while freshman Colin Schwab took a park sixth- place finishes earlier this month at the Hoosier Open, clocking 22.41 in the 200 and 50.25 in the 400.
Senior Sierra Maddox, who was the two-time state champion in the pole vault at Jackson High School, said keeping mental focus is important at they head into their next big meet.
“For my event specifically, pole vault is more mental than any of the other events, in my opinion,” Maddox said. “A lot of the time we just have to think about ourselves, and not so much about the competition. It’s all about focusing on yourself and what has to be done so you can succeed.”
Staying healthy is a key component going into the final meet, according to senior distance runner Angie Sumner
“I make sure I focus on the little things like getting enough sleep, recovery, treatment and doing all of my runs,” Sumner said.
Eastern Illinois is the defending champion on the men’s and women’s side. The Southeast men last won the last two OVC Outdoor Championships, but last won the indoor title in 2015. The Southeast women’s last indoor title came in 2013.