by Tyler Roaix
Coming off much success in 2017, the Central track and field teams have carried the momentum over into 2018 with an impressive start to the year.
Head coach Eric Blake shared that so far, he is pleased with how his team looks. But his focus is not on the results just yet. For Blake, it’s about “continuing good habits.”
Blake shared that his mindset early in the season has nothing to do with performance.
“Right now, our focus is to just get races and reps in,” Blake admitted. “It’s common, and even okay, that when you come back in an early season like this, that the team is a little bit rusty.”
“We have our conference meet in mid-February, so we have to be at full-cylinders for that. But right now, it is just about getting reps in and shaking off that rust.”
Another worry this early in a season can be injuries. Blake shared how it’s not uncommon for as many as four or five players having to ice down their legs at the end of a meet. With that said, Blake feels as though his runners “have done exactly what they have needed to do” in order to remain healthy.
With classes beginning this week, it can be difficult for the team to adjust to a busier schedule. Blake shared that he will have to adjust the training schedule to adhere to the classes. Throughout the winter, the team has been running two-a-day practices in order to stay in top shape. But that will have to change in order for the student-athletes to balance everything.
“The biggest thing we look for is for the athletes to continue their good habits,” Blake said. “We want to make sure they’re not getting sick with the flu or anything like that. We want to make sure they’re getting enough sleep, but also getting their work done. So it’s a challenge because that’s on them [student athletes] to keep up.”
While the focus may not be on performance yet, the Blue Devils have still not disappointed in terms of results.
On the men’s side, the Blue Devils have performed well in the three events of the year. Most notably, Alston gave a strong run in the hurdles at the Wagner College Invite on Jan. 5. A few days later, he was awarded NEC Track Athlete of the Week for that showing.
The women have also followed through following a third place finish in the preseason polls. They also had a strong showing at Wagner, where four Blue Devils set new personal records at that event alone. The momentum carried over into this past weekend at Yale, when Central took home four first-place finishes on the women’s side.
Blake shared how pleased he is with his team’s showing so far this season.
“The hurdlers have done an excellent job. Both Sierra [Nesmith] and Ed [Alston] do a great job leading the hurdle group… Our vaulters, especially on the men’s side. Sam Borecki has improved so much. The jumps have been strong. I know our distance runners will come around. Everything has been really good so I’m excited for the calendar to turn to February and we get a chance to hit our stride.”
The team’s next meet is the Joe Donahue Invite in Boston, MA on Jan. 19. The NEC Championships take place Feb. 16 and 17 at Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex in Staten Island, NY.