Q&A with Men's Track and Field
After watching the group during a recent photo shoot for the 2007 Texas Men's Track and Field team picture, it became apparent that this group was ready to compete on the national level -- even though it was only Jan. 4.
The motivation, desire and drive this group brings to the track every day is evident when you talk to any individual on the team. The goals are the same -- be better than last year, defend the conference championship and place among the top teams at nationals.
TexasSports.com talked with three student athletes -- senior sprinter Trey Griffin, sophomore high jumper Raymond Harris, and freshman combined events athlete Shawn Schmidt -- to get their thoughts at the beginning of the 2007 campaign.
Senior Sprinter Trey Griffin: My holiday break was good. It was nice to get some time off with the family. Those breaks are needed; they are good for the body because you get some time off from training and school. It is kind of a long semester break right before the season and I've been really anxious to compete. Before the season, you are sitting around waiting for the competition to start. I'm excited because I ran last year and I know what's going to be expected. I put a little more pressure on myself because I know what can happen and have more to lose. Personally, I definitely would like to make it to indoor and outdoor nationals. I also want to do better than I did last year and would like to score higher in the 60-meter dash. In terms of the team, I don't know how we look with the ratings but we have to step up regardless, and come out with a bang and finish real strong as a team.
Sophomore High Jumper Raymond Harris: Over the last few weeks, I got the chance to go back home and spend time with my family. I also worked out over the break so I was ready to come back. The first couple of days at home I rested but then the Tuesday or Wednesday (after Christmas), I went back to practice. I was really ready to come back because I worked out over the break so I wouldn't be sluggish come January practice. Our goals this season are to bring another Big 12 Conference Championship home and make the top three at nationals. Personally, I want to clear an NCAA qualifying height in the high jump.
Freshman Combined Events Athlete Shawn Schmidt: I worked really hard this fall. I'm looking forward to getting out there and getting some college experience. It's been a hard fall for me adjusting to college. I think the team's really come together. We really have a shot this year at doing great things. I'm just looking to do my best to contribute to the team. In the back of my mind, I definitely want to be at the national meet and if I could get an All-American that would be great but I just want to do my best and contribute. I'm surrounded by a great group of training partners, and I think I've learned a lot from the last semester and I've got a lot more to learn in the upcoming years.