The Weber State University track and field team is looking to end the indoor season strong at the conference tournament.
As a whole, the team has performed well and looks to have many of its injured athletes fully healed in time for the tournament.
Dan Walker has been the head coach of the track team since 2007 and has been a part of the program for 32 years.
“I expect that our whole team will be the surprise of the conference,” said Walker. “The kids are healthy, and we have an amazing coaching staff who knows how to prepare kids to win championships.”
The Wildcats are going into the tournament with 13 athletes in the top eight in their respective events.
Seniors Ellie Child, Garazi Larrakoetxea and Tawnie Moore are some of the standouts on the women’s team and have been for several years.
Child heads into the championship weekend ranked second in both the 5,000 and 3,000 meters. She was the champion last season in the 3,000 meters and finished second in the 5,000 meters.
Larrakoetxea is currently ranked second in the long jump, and Moore is the favorite in the 60 meter hurdles.
Moore has been solidifying her legacy as a Wildcat since she first stepped onto the WSU campus. The university’s records book has features her name in almost every event in which she has competed.
“I’ve really been trying to lead by example,” said Moore. “I hope that from my previous experience and success this year that people have seen what it takes to win.”
The men will be led into action by senior Justin Herbert and sophomore Jordan Cross.
Herbert comes into the weekend ranked fourth in the 35-pound weight throw, an event in which he placed seventh last season.
Cross is currently ranked sixth in the 5,000 meters and seventh in the 3,000 meters.
“Track is a team sport made up of a lot of individuals, and we are expecting both the men’s and women’s teams to place in the top half of the conference,” said Walker.
Moore is the defending champion in the 60 meter hurdles and holds the school record of 8.45 seconds going into the weekend.
“I feel ready. I’ve been doing a lot of mental preparation. I’ve been preparing for this for a long time,” said Moore. “I know what I need to do. My body feels ready. My goal for conference is to go out and beat my record again.”
As one of the veterans on the team, Moore knows what it takes to win.
“We have the capability to win conference. Everyone just needs to buckle down and really focus on their practice habits and mental game and just put everything together,” said Moore.
The conference tournament began on Feb. 23 and will carry through Feb. 25.
The Wildcats will begin to prepare for the outdoor season after the indoor championships, with the first indoor meet taking place on March 17 in California.