After a slow winter break, the next few months will be filled with meets
For athletes, a four-week break can be dangerous; in track and field, a four-week break could ruin a season.
For the Portland State Vikings, getting out of shape during the holiday break was not an option. Head coach Ronnye Harrison has been working with athletes who gave up part of their break to stay in shape. Harrison hopes his team has not lost a beat and will continue where they left off in early December.
“Hopefully the number is really low for those who didn’t train for the holiday break,” Harrison said. “There were quite a few [athletes] who stayed here over break. You can’t take vacations in this sport and I’m the type of coach that if they’re going to sacrifice vacation to train, I’m going to sacrifice vacation to help them in any way I can.”
The Vikings did well in their first meet at Boise State last month where several runners set personal records. But Harrison said this month’s meet at the University of Washington will be the first real challenge for his team.
“We’re getting ready to start a huge six [to] seven weeks of travel and track meets,” assistant coach Seth Henson said. “Starting off well will allow us to climb as high as we need to and get us where we need to be before the conference meet.”
After the meet at the University of Washington, the Vikings will travel to Albuquerque, New Mexico for the Cherry & Silver Invitational. The Vikings will then return to Seattle for the UW Invitational. The rest of the season is highlighted by a trip to New York and the Big Sky championship, which takes place Feb. 24–25. With the season set to go by so fast, Portland State has already set high goals for their team.
“[For the men] we’re looking for our highest finish in conference history,” Henson said. “We believe we have the pieces and the right guys to get us to the middle of the big sky. For the women, we really think we have a great shot at winning the conference.”
In a sport with a lot of individuals, Henson is excited about how his team will come together over the next few weeks.
“We have a really talented group that has been together for a while and that’s why our expectations are so high,” Henson said. “We have a great team and we have great camaraderie on our team and I think that is going to be one of our great benefits.”
Portland State travels to Seattle this weekend for the UW Indoor Preview, an all-day meet on Saturday.