Elvis Forde knew there would be some rust to shake off.
After more than a month without a competition, the Owls traveled to Maryland on Saturday for the Terrapin Invitational.
Junior Jamila Janneh continued her streak by bringing in a first-place finish in the triple jump with a mark of 11.76 meters. This is Janneh’s second win in as many meets this season, and she says she isn’t even at her best.
“I felt pretty good going into today,” Janneh said. “It feels good knowing that even though I’m not performing at my [absolute] best, I can still go out there and get a win for the team.”
Janneh said she wants to see herself perform even better in the weeks to come.
“I would definitely like to see myself go forward and get some further marks in,” she said.
Other notable finishes were brought in by senior Nicole Cummings, who finished fourth in the long jump with a distance of 5.49 meters. Cummings came down with an injury after the race, though, but Forde said Sophomore Simone Chapman claimed a fourth-place finish in the triple jump with a mark of 11.29 meters.
Kiersten LaRoche brought in a third-place finish in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.95 seconds, while Michelle Davis-Timothy claimed a third-place finish in the 400-meter dash with a time of 56.74.
Temple’s 4×400 relay and distance medley relay both claimed fourth-place finishes.
Forde explained that even though there were some noteworthy finishes, he also noticed a few areas in which the team needs to improve moving forward.
“I will say I’m about 50/50,” said Forde. “We had some pretty solid performances, and the next 50 is realizing that we need a lot of work. You could see there was a lot of rust there, and having to manage a whole day of [competing in] a track meet is something we are going to have to get back into the rhythm of doing again.”
Fatigue from a long winter break caused some issues with performance, according to Forde.
“It takes a little bit more to recover from that, and I don’t think from a coach’s perspective that they were all recovered,” Forde said. “I think part of what happened is that they might be a little fatigued. We came back last week and we worked double sections a day. [We want to] get them back to the routine and the workload that they haven’t had in the last month or so.”
Forde said not having the ability to work as much on speed while practicing in the indoor Student Pavilion has been an early problem for his team.
The facility does not house an indoor track surface, meaning the team is forced to practice on turf.
“We prefer to work there and be healthy and strong and fit, but we may not be as fast and as explosive as we want because of the surfaces there,” Forde said.
Despite all of this, Forde remains optimistic for the remaining weeks.
“I see a lot of good things moving forward, and that is where the whole optimism on those things is coming from,” Forde said.
The Owls will travel to New Jersey on Jan. 24 for the Princeton Tiger Open.
Tyler Device can be reached at email@example.com.
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