The Ball State track and field hosts the only home indoor meet of the season in the Field Sports Buidling on Feb. 17, 2017. The Cardinals are competing in the Music City Challenge in Nashville Feb. 9 and 10. Kyle Crawford, DN File
Ball State looks to stay hot in Music City Challenge
The Ball State track and field team hopes to continue its hot streak as the team travels to Nashville, Tennessee, for the Music City Challenge at Vanderbilt’s indoor track.
The Cardinals will be competing against teams from bigger conferences like the SEC, ACC and Big Ten, but head coach Brian Etelman thinks they can easily handle it.
“I hope that my confidence kind of rubs off on the kids in terms of just calming them down a bit and them knowing I have confidence in them or I wouldn’t go. I do the scheduling, so if I did not think they were prepared to do it or couldn’t handle it, I would go to something that high level,” Etelman said. “I think if anything, we will surprise some people. The goal is to experience as high-level competition as possible, so that the MAC meet is much more manageable for us from an emotional standpoint.”
Sophomore sprinter Amber Jones had a great meet at Akron, and is looking forward to competing this weekend.
“I am very excited and very confident, because I feel more like myself,” Jones said. “In the past, going through several injuries of this, that and the other, I was kind of out of it mentally, but now I feel much better mentally and physically.”
When asked what the team is doing well, Etelman said, “Everything.”
He said there are always things they can perform better at, but what he needs the most from them is to take more of what they have done, enhance it and be selfish.
“A lot of the message to this point in this year has been competing with some energy, competing with some intensity, taking pride in running for your team, competing for your team," Etelman said. "I think this weekend we need to be a little bit more selfish. I think people just need to focus on getting the marks they need to move up in the MAC and qualify. So, I am kind of giving permission to everybody this weekend to just be selfish, do what you need to do. Don’t worry so much about your teammates, worry more about yourself. I would like to see people be super laser focused on themselves. That would be ideal.”
After her performance at Akron last week, Jones thinks this weekend will be her breakout meet.
“I think this weekend will be my breakout meet per say,” Jones said. “So, that is one thing that I am looking forward to because I know that I can run faster than I have ever run before. I trust in my training and I am just ready to go out there and win.”
Etelman and Jones are both excited for this meet against bigger teams. They are both confident in their team's ability to perform well.
Ball State will compete at Vanderbilt on Friday, Feb. 9 and Saturday, Feb. 10 in the Music City Challenge.
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