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September 21, 2023

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BG Track and Field hosts last home indoor meet of the season

The Falcons’ track and field team will host Miami University in the Tom Wright Open Jan. 24 in the Perry Fieldhouse.

Unlike the previous events, this one will be scored. In preparing for the track meet, coach Lou Snelling said they will try to improve their team to be consistent and, more importantly, make the Mid-American Conference championship.

“Our big goal is qualifying for the MAC championship,” Snelling said. “In order to do that, we’re going to make the best possible choices in order to get ready for the event.”

Snelling is currently in his third year as head coach and he’s seen a steady increase with the team in standings within the MAC Conference. In his first year the team increased to eighth in the conference and then rose to sixth in the next year.

“We’re in a much better place than last, which should give us a lot to build on. We have a lot of confidence and excitement but we also have much to improve on,” Snelling said. “The main thing now for us is how much can we move up in the MAC Conference, because that’s what really matters.”

Sophomore Tiera Parker set a new personal best in the triple jump from the team’s previous event in Ann Arbor, Mich. Snelling said he plans to continue seeing her improve on her skills and abilities.

“She’s taking good steps. The jumps were kind of new to her as first,” he said. “She managed to score some points on the jump outside and this year is a continuation of last year and she currently ranks fifth on the list in triple jumps.”

Sophomore Alicia Arnold has impressed the coaching staff as well, finishing fourth in the long jump but set her own personal season-best leap with 18-6.

“She’s one team member that’s going to keep improving; she has a lot of the tools and placed seventh on the list in the 60s so speed-wise, she’s just blessed in that department and is going to help us in multiple areas.”

The practice and training session the track and field team had has been rocky for coach Snelling due to winter break and the harsh weather here in BG.

“It’s tough, you know, we’re one of the few winter sports that have a break unlike basketball and gymnastics who are up here,” he said. “They know what they have to do; they have a plan of what to do but it’s harder to do when you’re on your own, and this winter the weather got in the way more than anything else.”

Despite the break and weather setbacks, Snelling believes that they’ll get better as the season goes on.

“I don’t think we had an amazing break but the further we go the better we’ll get with the training,” he said.

For their meet Friday against Miami, the triple jumps, quarters, weights and distance groups will be things the crowd will want to watch and see, he said.

Junior Brooke Pleger will be competing in her first meet since the USA championships this past summer.

“It’s so far so good when you see the steps that we’ve made in one year’s time, you feel really good about the team the improvements over last year,” Snelling said. “It feels good to see the team move in the right direction.”

The field events will begin at 5 p.m. and the running events at 6 p.m. in the Perry Fieldhouse.

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