February 20, 2018
Before the men’s track and field team compete in the second-to-last event of their indoor season, team members are reflecting on a successful run thus far.
“We really set the tone on both sides, and now everybody is trying to come to our school now. They see that we are making big moves,” said LaChristopher Smith, senior sprinter and communication major.
According to Smith, the team set the tone by beating the defending indoor and outdoor champion during their first meet at the Adams State Multi on Dec. 8-9.
The track and field team will compete in the RMAC Championships Feb. 23-24 with a visit to the Colorado School of Mines. The team has set a goal to finish in first place at the conference.
“Every day at practice, we all set our goals. We want to go out there and show everyone what we are about because just last year at the RMAC Championships, they predicted us to place No. 8,” said Smith.
“We are practicing harder because a lot of teams let up before conference. We are actually putting more effort out going into the RMAC Championships.”
Last season, the men’s team ended up finishing No. 4 by one point, while the women’s team finished No. 6. During the preseason this year, both teams were predicted to finish No. 4.
Smith has his hopes for qualifying for the Division II tournament. With a time of 6.87 seconds, he is tied for No. 27 in all of Division II for the 60m and tied for No. 27 for the 200m with his time of 21.69 seconds. The top 16 qualify for the NCAA Division II tournament.
“I’m planning in also qualifying for the 4x400m, so I can earn provisional times in all three events that I do. I’m just trying to move up in my rankings,” said Smith.
“I think it’s the top 16 that goes and, in both events, I’m down by 0.6 seconds, which is not big at all. I’m planning on putting in the hard work to move up.”
On Jan. 23, both the men’s and women’s teams jumped up the US Track & Field and Cross-Country Coaches Association rankings. The women’s team moved to No. 8 from No. 50, while the men’s team moved to No. 24 from No. 52.
As of Feb. 15, the men are ranked No. 41 and the women are ranked No. 14.
As one of the only seniors on the team, Smith is saddened that the season is almost over, but that doesn’t mean he plans on leaving.
“It sucks to be competing in my final indoor season, but it is all for the best. I get to see everyone progress as the years go on because after this, I’m not going anywhere. I’ll still be helping, and I’ll be with the baseball team next year,” said Smith.
For more information about the track team’s schedules, go to gomountainlions.com.