Track goes to New MexicoBy Tyler Waldrep | 01/28/2015 12:12am
The University of Alabama track and field team is preparing for this weekend's New Mexico Team Invitational. UA Athletics
Coach Dan Waters said the team’s expectations have risen due to the recent success.
“We had a very good meet,” Waters said. “Several people punched their ticket to the NCAA Indoor [Championship] meet by producing excellent performances. I think what we are starting to see is a new level of expectation for our team, both from what our coaches feel we can achieve and what our athletes feel we can attain. That’s an important step for our program.”
One of those performances belonged to senior Alex Amankwah, who posted the top time in the world for the men’s 800-meter so far this season at 1:46.86. Amankwah said it was good to see his practice pay off but he does not want to grow complacent.
“It feels good to work really hard and it to show in the meet,” Amankwah said. “We are all hungry for more.”
Amankwah’s teammate, pole-vaulter Lakan Taylor, is also looking to build on recent success after finishing the Vanderbilt Invitational as the top female collegiate pole vaulter. Taylor said the team is aiming higher and is not content with their current success.
“I can go higher and higher and progress from here,” Taylor said. “We want to build and build until we are at the top.”
The track and field team will need support, in addition to confidence, in order to continue building upon the team’s success, Waters said. He said a good team dynamic will be important going forward.
“Our student-athletes have developed more of a true ‘team’ identity and a sense of pride in how their teammates perform,” Waters said. “That’s one of the things we set out to do when we came here - to develop a more team-oriented mindset in the program.”