Elvis Forde has his priorities in check.
With the women’s indoor track & field season now in full swing, Temple’s first-year coach said he is ready to focus on challenging his team to compete at its best.
“The attitude of our ladies has been nothing but fantastic,” Forde said. “Are they challenged? That is the word I use mostly in practice. We are going to challenge [the athletes], and so far they have responded quite well, so we have to keep that message going forward and take every day in practice as a challenge.”
Having already competed in one meet before the break, the Owls traveled to Maryland for the Terrapin Invitational last Saturday, their first competition in more than four weeks.
The Owls left the meet with a few Top 5 finishes, most notably junior Jamila Janneh’s winning mark of 11.76 meters in the triple jump.
“[We are] hoping that the kids understand that this is the level of competition that they have to get ready for, but other than that the positives always kind of outweigh the things that are not so good for us,” Forde said. “That’s what we are focusing on.”
The Terrapin Invitational allowed the Owls to see where they stack up against like competitors within indoor track & field.
Prior to the meet, Forde said he was expecting positive results, despite his team’s entering the competition off an extended break.
“We want to get through with some good performances that we can take a good look at and evaluate, but at the same time we want to keep the injury bug away,” Forde said. “At the early part of the season, those are the things that can usually occur. People in the power events like the sprints, hurdles and jumps are usually the ones that get affected the most during the winter months.”
This so-called “injury bug” has already reared its head through the Temple roster.
Freshman hurdler Attallah Goodman recently suffered a stress fracture in her leg that has kept her sidelined for the time being. Goodman has stayed active with adapting workouts to her abilities, but said she is eager to get back in action.
“My coach expects a lot from me, so I want to meet his standards and I want to meet mine,” Goodman said. “I want to [set a personal-record time] in the hurdles and I just want to be at the level that all the other girls are at. This year I want to get back where I left off, which is my number one goal.”
Goodman said her teammates have stayed supportive throughout her time injured. However, as a freshman, Goodman believes she needs to prove herself, and that her injury hinders her from doing so.
“I want to show them what I got, and let them know that I’m here to do work and that I’m focused,” Goodman said. “The girls are very supportive and we’re really close. We’re like family and we support each other.”
For the most part, the sprinters, hurdlers, jumpers and throwers practice indoors at the Student Pavilion. The facility is climate-controlled and is better on the athletes’ bodies, as cold weather can lead to serious muscle injuries when performing explosive and fast-tempo work.
The distance runners, however, typically train outside on area trails.
Senior distance runner Jenna Dubrow, who consistently paced the women’s cross country team in the fall, said protecting your body and taking the necessary precautions in the cold weather is crucial to staying healthy.
“It’s basically inevitable,” Dubrow said of the conditions. “For distance running, you have to be outside if you want to log the miles. Basically it’s just about taking care of the little things. … You’re out in the elements, so you deal with it. But there are little things that you want to keep on top of and doing the things you can to keep yourself healthy.”
Tyler Device can be reached at email@example.com