This season the Texas Wesleyan University track and field team looks to improve from its successful indoor season with dedication and hard work.
As the outdoor season comes to a close, the team is focusing on qualifying as many athletes as possible for the NAIA national meet in May, head coach Natnael Amare said.
“So far we have had long jumper Ongelic Hill and distance runner Oraine Wint qualify for the NAIA national outdoor meet,” Amare said.
Hill is an NAIA indoor All-American and posted the second best leap by an NAIA athlete this season with 5.68 meters at the Bobcat invitational in San Marcos, Texas on April 1. TX. Wint qualified with an NAIA B standard time of 3:54:53 in the 1500 meters, one second shy of the A standard mark, According to ramsports.net.
Wint is a three-time All-American and could potentially represent his home country, Jamaica, in the future, Amare said.
“Oraine has to win here first,” Amare said. “He could have a bright future and potentially be on a pro team if he keeps improving.”
Although the team has not won a meet this season, getting top three in each individual event is what Amare is looking for out of his athletes.
“I’m focusing more on each person setting a personal best or improving at each meet,” Amare said. “If they buy into what I’m teaching and believe in it, they will improve.”
Senior distance runner Becky Lavarn said she has improved under Amare this season due to the hard work he instills in the team.
“Coach has taught me to believe in myself and built my confidence up by showing me that I am competing against myself,” Lavarn said. “He pushes me during my workouts to prove that just because I say I am tired does not really mean I am tired and that it’s all in my head.”
Lavarn thinks that once she leaves, the program will be in good hands due to the determination of the many underclassmen on the team.
“I believe every one of them could potentially lead the team next year,” Lavarn said. “If they keep working hard and realize the amount of potential they have, they can become leaders and All-Americans.”
Senior computer science major and distance runner Antony Kimaiyo believes in Amare and thinks that if each member of the team stays focused on their goals, they can reach them.
“Traditionally we have been taught to not think about what is going to happen, but to stay focused and committed to what it takes to make the best outcome happen,” Kimaiyo said.
Once Kimaiyo graduates, he says to watch out for Alan Ramirez and Fernando Orellana, two exceptional freshman who in every aspect give their all.
“They are very dedicated and disciplined, and their consistency is constant,” Kimaiyo said. “They really believe what coach is teaching and show it with how they perform.”
Kimaiyo said he is truly a student-first athlete; he is really excited to graduate and venture out into the real world where he thinks he can make a difference by becoming an app developer.
“My obsession and fascination with technology has been growing and I would like to venture into the real world knowing I have the best morals and qualifications,” Kimaiyo said. “I want to be the change I want to see in the world, because coach Nat helped me make the change I wanted to see in myself.”
The track and field team will compete Saturday at the East Texas Invitational at Texas A&M Commerce in Commerce, Texas. For more information go to ramsports.net.