Student athletes from across the nation will try for national titles on Drake’s world-renowned sports field—the Mondo Super X Performance track.
Besides both the men’s and women’s 4x100m relays, five members will compete in multiple individual events.
Ralph Spry, coach of track and field, said the key to success in nationals is consistency.
“We don’t need to do things a whole lot differently,” Spry said. “I told them, ‘Now you just do what you did to get you here.’”
This is Spry’s 14th year at Auburn, and he won the national championship in 2006.
“Having that kind of experience is tremendous help while preparing these guys for nationals,” Spry said. “This experience is priceless for them.”
Harry Adams, Marcus Rowland and Keenan Brock will be competing in the 100m and 200m sprints along with the 4x100m relay.
“There’s definitely a rivalry between the guys to see who brings home the most medals,” Brock said.
Brock said it takes a special chemistry to have success with the 4x100m relay.
“You can’t just put four dudes together and expect success,” Brock said. “It takes unity and support, which we have.”
The last meet for the Tigers was in May, but the off-season is actually a good thing for track and field.
“I like it because we can us this time to get over injuries, let our bodies heal up and catch up on rest,” Brock said.
Spry said this time off has helped his athletes prepare for the competition.
“We want our guys to be at their ultimate peak for nationals,” Spry said. “This gives us enough time to be totally rested and prepare for the competition.”
Maya Pressley, competitor in the women’s high jump, likes to use this time during their break to train and relax, but still yearns for the upcoming meet.
“I feel anxious about it, but mostly focused and prepared,” Pressley said. “Our coaches and trainers have done a great job with us mentally as well as physically.”
Other competitors representing Auburn at nationals are Kai Selvon, CeCe Williams and Stephen Saenz.
Williams will race the 400m while Selvon will run the 100m and 200m.
Like Selvon, Saenz, Auburn’s thrower, also double qualified. He will be competing in the discus throw and the shot put.
The men’s 4x100m team will consist of Brock, Rowland, Adams and Michael DeHaven. The four runners won the third heat of the NCAA East Prelims together. They hold the record for the best time in the nation of 38.30 seconds they put up at the Texas Relays earlier this year.
Selvon, Williams, V’alonee Robinson and Alycia Prior will run in the the women’s 4x100m relay at the national championship.
Spry said he has great expectations for his team this year.
“I’m looking for top 10 finishes,” Spry said. “The top four teams go home with hardware, and that’s exactly what we’re shooting for.”