Feb. 8, 2013
FORT WORTH – The TCU track and field team has reached a crucial juncture in its season with the Texas A&M Invitational on Saturday in College Station. Field events begin at noon with action on the track starting at 2 p.m.
“In between the first two meets we did not have the time to make adjustments as a staff,” TCU head coach Darryl Anderson said. “We have had two weeks to train and we have been able to see some progress on the track. We are excited to get back on the track and compete against some good teams. We want to see some high-level performances.”
The Horned Frogs want a strong meet this weekend with an eye on their debut at the Big 12 Championships in two weeks. Everything from travel to eating arrangements are being made as close to what the plan is for the conference championships in Ames, Iowa.
“Our team understands this meet is a dress rehearsal for our first Big 12 Championships,” Anderson noted. “We want everything we do to be similar to how we do it in couple of weeks in Ames. The team has to get on the track and compete both intensely and with intent. We want to go to the conference meet on a high and with some confidence.”
The TCU men’s squad has had a lot of lessons go their way in the first two meets of the season. There have been successes sprinkled in as Charles Silmon is the current Big 12 leader in the 60-meter dash and both he and freshman Sam Watts are not far behind the league’s top mark in the 200-meter dash.
“We are starting to see a hunger with our men’s team,” Anderson stated. “We have a lot of young guys with a ringleader in Charles. You can see them getting hungry and wanting to get back out on the track and compete again.”
One of the surprise performers for the Frogs has been sophomore Joshua Washington. He is among the league’s top performers in the 400-meter dash this season and he has been a crucial component to TCU’s 4x400-meter relay team which ranks among the top-20 nationally. Anderson has been pleased with his progress.
“We continue to see Josh improve in practice,” Anderson said. “He and the mile (4x400-meter) relay team are getting ready to do something. I hope this weekend is a starting point for them. They will get a great challenge from Texas A&M and Houston, two of the best in the nation in the event.”
The TCU men welcome back thrower Paul Osunwa, who was injured over the winter break. The coaching staff hopes his return to the shot put will allow the Horned Frogs to be in contention for some team points at the Big 12 Championships.
The TCU women’s team will also see a duo make their season debuts as distance runners Agnes Kemboi and Ashley Eckhoff will make their first appearances on the track in 2013. Kemboi, the TCU record holder in the indoor 3,000-meter run, has worked her way back into competition shape. Eckhoff is back after recovering from injuries sustained during the cross country season.
“Agnes is going to be back,” Anderson said. “We want to see where she is at and where she could possibly be a couple of weeks. We need our young distance runners to continue to improve.”
However, TCU will be without Lorraine Ugen for the second consecutive week. Her only mark of the season from the Auburn Invite back on Jan. 19 still ranks tied for 11th nationally. The Horned Frogs expect her to be ready for the Big 12 Championships.
“We will be without the services of Lorraine Ugen this weekend,” Anderson noted. “We expect to have her back for the conference meet. For this week, that is something that we will have to absorb.”
Regardless of who is competing for TCU this weekend the theme remains that there is a lot that the coaching staff wants to see. What happens on the track will set the tone for the remainder of the indoor season.
“The team and staff have understood throughout the entire process what the plan was,” Anderson concluded. “We have a lot of areas we need to step up in, and have a lot of things that need to be accomplished. Everyone that travels to A&M this weekend is going to be held accountable for their performance, coaches included.”