Though the Mocs’ men’s track team has already sustained multiple team injuries, they are looking forward to tackling this year with a season full of records.
Recently concluding their cross country season, the track team is now up and running, preparing for their first meet on Feb. 21.
However, three of the 13 runners have been sidelined due to injuries.
According to Head Coach Ben Martucci, it has been a difficult season for the freshman class, two of whom are injured.
“It’s been tough, but they have a good mind set of what they want to accomplish,” Martucci said.
David Yarborough, a freshman, has been injured even since the beginning of the cross country season.
“Entering the track season still injured definitely put a damper on my spirits,” Yarborough said. “But coach and the team have been extremely supportive. They have kept my spirits high and helped me stay focused on the goal for this season, which is keeping a positive attitude.”
According to Junior Kyle Butler, a balance of competing hard but staying healthy is a must for success in the upcoming season. If patience is overlooked, injuries can happen too easily to those who are still in good physical shape.
“It’s a long season so trying to stay injury free is the main focus,” Butler said.
Despite the injuries, the team is still on a steady route for progression since track is a more individual focused sport. As a result, each member has a different strategy entering the season. Some will focus on short events while others will concentrate on longer events.
“I try to get these guys mad personal records every year. That is the main goal,” Martucci said.
Though it is a distinctive sport, the entire team is put onto the same training program so the members can be team oriented and improve together, yet still work on their individual strengths simultaneously.
As a result in the meets, though the scoring may come down to individual results, there will always be camaraderie among the team, which creates a beneficial atmosphere.
As a whole, the team feels like they need to work on increasing the volume of their training because Florida Southern’s program is not comparable to the nation’s top schools. The Mocs have to run on pavement and do not have access to many trails.
Nonetheless, the team is displaying assets as they prepare for the upcoming season. According to Martucci, this year’s team is very driven and knows what he expects of them.
“When it is race day, they understand what is on the line,” Martucci said.
Martucci’s goals are to have his top five to seven guys finish sub 15:30 in the 5k’s, along with having each runner attaining their own personal records.
“My personal goal is to set a personal record in every distance I race, which would show improvement over last spring,” Butler said.
Ultimately, though the upcoming meets are scored individually, the team will be focusing on performing as a group and what they will accomplish together.
“They have each other’s back 110 percent of the time,” Martucci said.
Photo courtesy of fscmocs.com