Cougars look to build on history with strong indoor season
Coming off third place finishes in both men’s and women’s indoor track & field in the inaugural season of the American Athletic Conference, the Cougars look poised to continue to improve on the program’s strong history.
“We want to stay there and we want to continue to get there,” Coach Leroy Burrell said regarding the program’s history. “We want to exceed what we’ve done on a regular basis, and it’s not always easy. It’s important for us to develop the athletes that we have and get them to compete at the level we feel they’re capable of, and we feel that will lead to success in the program.”
Quite a few Cougars have already gotten off to a quick start this season as junior hurdler Isaac Williams and sophomore thrower Damon Thompson set new school records in the 60m hurdles and men’s weight throw, respectively.
Williams’ time of 7.72 gave him the second fastest time in the world, according to IAAF.
“It illustrates the kind of talent we have on the team first and foremost,” Burrell said. “It gives us some really lofty goals and expectations for later on this season and if we can open up at the best we’ve ever had here, we certainly should be able to improve throughout the season and put ourselves on the national list to win a championship or two.”
Junior LeShon Collins and sophomore Cameron Burrell look to lead the Cougars in sprints this upcoming season. | File Photo/The Cougar
The Cougars host one of the best rosters in the country top to bottom and look to make a big impact at the AAC championships and NCAA championships.
“We have a really good roster of athletes who can seriously contend and be among the top 16 in the nation to qualify for nationals,” Burrell said. “We just want to put ourselves in position and we feel we have a really well-rounded group. We need to make sure to prepare them properly and give them the best possibility to show what they can do.”
Overall, the upcoming indoor season should be one of accomplishment for the Cougars and will be a preview of things to come this outdoor season.
“We feel like we have a really talented group, so through the early portion of the indoor season we want our athletes who we feel can compete at a national level to put themselves in a position to qualify for NCAA indoor championships,” Burrell said.
“The rest of our athletes who we feel can be a factor conference level we want to establish positioning for seeding for conference championship. Our whole goal is to show what we can do throughout the season and prove it at a few key meets, namely conference and nationals.”