Jan. 10, 2014
BEAUMONT – For the first time in 2014, the Lamar men’s and women’s track teams will suit up for competition on Saturday as the Cardinals set out for nearby Houston to compete in the University of Houston Indoor Opener at Yeoman Fieldhouse.
Lamar will be one of 10 schools participating in the event, which serves as the season-opening day for much of the country. Joining the Cards in Houston will be Houston, Prairie View A&M, Texas Southern, Texas State and UTSA as well as conference foes Houston Baptist, Sam Houston State, Stephen F. Austin and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
Despite only having a week of training in the books, head coach Trey Clark looks to this weekend’s competition as a valuable tool in getting ready for the rest of the season.
“Any time you have competition lined up, there’s some expectations that I have for the team and this is no different,” Clark said. “However, I think the emphasis for this meet is on shaking off some of the rust as we continue our training for later this year. Sometimes you get tired of seeing the same people every day, and this will be an opportunity for some of the kids to go up against someone different.”
A number of veterans are back in the fold for 2014, beginning with the seasoned jumps trio of Erin Brown, Beatrice Douglas and Carissa Hill. All are coming off of strong seasons for the Lady Cards last year, and they’ll be joined by freshmen Brianna Foley and Nicole Alozie.
On the men’s side, Robert Badillo and Xavier Broussard are aiming to start off their sophomore campaigns well.
Clark is also looking for a good season out of his sprinters and middle distance runners this year, and Saschelle Slaughter and Trevon Davis hope to highlight the group after standout performances in 2013. Elzbieta Gawron, Chasity Peters, Sarah Shim and Sydney Wandix will round out the veteran sprinters for the women this weekend, and they are set to be joined by freshmen in Jared Benford, Thomas Lightfoot, Kevyn Smith and Chance Williams on the men’s side.
TaMar Hicks put together a solid opening season in the red and white last year, and he’s hoping to build off of it this time around, beginning with the 400, where he’s slated to be the only returner. Bianca Allen
, Nia Davis
, Rachael Davee
, Brandon Franz
and JaLana Owens
are all looking to make their LU debut.
After a big fall season that saw the Cards take home both the men’s and women’s Southland titles in cross country, the distance group looks to be a major part of the plans for 2014. A number of runners are set to compete in the 800 and mile runs in Houston, but a few will stay in Beaumont to continue their preparations for next week’s meet at Texas A&M.
Lastly, four more Cards are scheduled to race in the 60-meter hurdles, including Douglas, Brielle Johnson and Dominique Taylor for the women and Trey Burton for the men.
The UH Indoor Opener will begin for Lamar at noon on Saturday.