The Arkansas State University Track & Field team had some great individual performances last year from athletes Jaylen Bacon, Tiaan Steenkamp, Erin Farmer, Calea Carr, and Christian Ravar Ladislau, all of which competed at the NCAA National Track Meet. Freshman, Hayden Hampton also had a stand out year, competing in the USATF Junior Olympics, which is restricted for athletes under 20 years old. Bacon, and Farmer competed for spots on the Team USA national team, Bacon secured a spot on Team USA’s 4×4 team.
While there were plenty of individual accomplishments, as a team A-State fell short of repeating as conference Champions during their outdoor and indoor seasons. Their first time in five years not winning a conference championship in either season. In order to figure out how the Red Wolves plan on getting back to their winning ways I got in contact with assistant coach, Jarius Cooper. When asked how he was going to capitalize off the great individual performances from last year, Cooper said he has a different approach, saying “One of the biggest things is to remember last year, and let it go”. Coach Coop said he wants his teams to focus on the future, and understand that last year is over. In order to become Sun Belt Champions again Cooper is looking forward to seeing his Women’s team build from their second place finish this year. On the Men’s team he is looking for them to function more as a cohesive unit, Cooper stated “The team allowed the injury of one of their premier male athletes to distract them from pushing the envelope, and accomplishing their goal”. The Assistant Coach also said that he was extremely excited about a change that came from head coach, Jim Patchell, giving him the green light to coach all sprinters and hurdlers. This move will give the group of sprinters, hurdlers, and relay teams a sense of “cohesion”, and will make them better as a group, said Cooper.
The A-State track team has been hard at work during fall practices to get in shape and get back to their winning ways! Lookout for Cooper, and the Red Wolves to dominate on the track this season! Below is a link to the Track schedule so you can support your Red Wolves.