Baylor track and field shifts focus to outdoor season, home meet

By Tyler White | Sports Writer

With the indoor season completed, Baylor track and field sets its sights on the outdoor season. After a shortened weekend meet at the TCU Alumni Invitational, the team anticipates its first home meet this weekend.

Though the team originally intended to have an invitational meet before the NCAA Indoor Championship, coach Michael Ford said canceling the meet might have been a “blessing in disguise.” He said the team is focused on fully transitioning into the outdoor season, adjusting to weather and beginning to set its marks for its events following the TCU meet.

“I think the big thing that as coaches and as a student-athlete to get prepared for outdoor is the weather,” Ford said. “Indoor, you don’t have to worry about weather at all, and the tracks are a little different too. Some tracks, the radiuses on the curves are a little wider, and so for us right now, it’s just trying to get marks in.”

Ford said after some of the events being canceled due to weather over the weekend, the team wants to utilize its season opener to compete and get into the groove. With many of the athletes not having competed in numerous weeks, Ford said it’s important to get them back into their events.

“We still want to compete hard,” Ford said. “I think it’s getting our feet wet, because some of them weren’t able to get their feet wet. They got wet because of the rain.”

Junior thrower Makayla Long placed second in both discus and shot put at last weekend’s meet. She said although she wasn’t as happy as she could’ve been with her numbers, it was a great opportunity to get her back into the outdoor mindset.

“I think it was a good start,” Long said. “It’s been almost a year with that. Just kind of getting the feel of what I need to do to execute my technique.”

Long competes in both the indoor and outdoor seasons. She said performing at indoor meets allows her to prepare for the outdoor season.

“Indoor for me is a lot like a warmup for outdoor,” Long said. “It’s kind of just getting back into the competition ring, obviously not have competed since last May.”

As the team anticipates its home opener, Ford said he is excited to have fan support at the meet. He said he is looking forward to having a crowd this outdoor season.

“We always usually have a really good crowd at Baylor, pretty much all our track meets,” Ford said. “And I think that’s the big thing I’m looking forward to most.”

Long said the most important thing for the team is to continue the mindset it has had since fall. She said the team has to put in the work every day to see the results on the track.

“The work has been done at this point,” Long said. “It’s just about going out there and executing your cues for every person, for sprinters, for jumpers, for throwers. It’s just about not letting the moment get too big.”

The Clyde Hart Classic will run from Friday through Saturday at Clyde Hart Track and Field Stadium.

Tyler White is a senior Journalism major from Yorba Linda, California, with minors in religion and philosophy. He is most looking forward to developing his writing and reporting craft in the Lariat and to work alongside other writers. As a member of the Baylor Coed Cheer team, he enjoys supporting all Baylor sports. After graduation, he plans on going to grad school and eventually working in publication for the music industry.