UA track and field to travel to StarkvilleBy Tyler Waldrep | 04/07/2015 11:40pm
On Friday the men’s and women’s track teams will travel to Starkville, Mississippi, to compete in the Border Clash. UA Athletics
The unofficial mantra around Alabama’s track program could easily be co-opted by a car commercial – run faster, be stronger and improve.
Senior Nia Barnes said she is pleased with the progress so far but the teams have a long way to go. She said the hunger she shares with her teammates motivates them.
“[We are] people who are never satisfied,” she said. “We want to prove that Alabama is a force to reckon with.”
On Friday the men’s and women’s track teams will travel to Starkville, Mississippi, to compete in the Border Clash. Coach Dan Waters said he hopes the momentum the team had last weekend in the Florida Relays carries over at Mississippi State.
“Our top people were outstanding,” he said. “I left the meet feeling we are ahead of schedule in our performances for this time of year.”
Waters said the numbers the leaders of the team put up now are especially important. He said their performances can encourage the rest of the team to aim higher in their own events.
One of those leaders, Alex Amankwah, won the 800 this past weekend and set a new personal record time by finishing the event just under 1:45. Amankwah said he felt blessed to see his hard work translate into success against collegiate and professional athletes.
“Competing with pro athletes and elite guys, it’s definitely one of the biggest honors,” he said. “It pumps me up, and it excites me because where they are at is where I want to be.”
After the Florida Relays, the men’s team is No. 8 nationally. The women’s team was also rewarded for their performance, moving up 11 spots to No. 18.
Amankwah said the rankings are nice to have but are just numbers right now. He said he is not going to let them distract him from trying to win championships.
Barnes said it is important the team believe in itself. She said the way athletes prepare themselves mentally will help determine their success going forward.
“You will not find your confidence in success,” she said. “But you will find success in confidence.”