A free weekend gave the Wildcats time to conduct a team practice on Saturday, the second of the season.
Cold conditions and construction of the new track have limited available practice time, so team members have been working individually.
Athletes like Meshe Marine, sophomore hurdler from Cedar Park, say team practices increase the chances of group success.
“You have people there to push you and motivate you which builds a bond as a team,” Marine said. “It helps everyone improve their skills by having someone else there to compete against during practice.”
Head coach Keith Barnier said he expects the team to practice how they want to play.
Barnier has the team do its hardest workouts when it has enough time to rest, but will organize maintenance workouts closer to race day. This ensures the Wildcats are healthy and able to do their best when it’s time for the meet.
During an organized track practice, the athletes run to build endurance. Several different track and field events requires team members to separate to work on individual efforts.
But before they separate, the team begins with a five-minute jog before Ray Walker, new volunteer assistant coach, takes members on an hour-long run.
After warm-up, the team splits into groups according to their events – sprinters, hurdlers and distance runners – during which athletes focus on technique and building their performance.
Barnier said he has high hopes for his team this season but wants his performers to stay healthy through conference play so they are well for championships.
With only two meets left until the Southland Conference Indoor Championships on Feb. 17, the Wildcats are hoping to get in more team practices.
Marine, who is recovering from a torn labrum in her left hip, is preparing for a strong meet. She said she is holding herself to high standards after seeing great competition in the first meet.
“In order to perform better in meets, it starts on the track with practice,” she said. “Team practices help improvements, but also boost team relationships because you know that the team wants you to succeed just as much as they want to succeed themselves.”