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Track coach looks to seniors for leadership and improvement

Submitted by Alton Young on February 3, 2014 – 3:58 pmNo Comment

Photo by Nelson Chenault

The schedule for the Trojan indoor track and field team gets busy with several events this month as the team makes a push to the end of February and the conference meet.

The next few meets will serve as preparation and a gauge for the team.

“We’re coming off Christmas break, so the first couple of meets really are just kind of trying to see how things went over the break, how our conditioning went, and seeing where we’re at,” UALR head coach Milton Williams said.

Williams also said that he is looking for some of his younger guys to step up, with the older athletes leading the way.

Williams’ wishes are coming to fruition, as the team started the year with a good performance in the Arkansas State Invite Friday, Jan. 24, led by seniors Rebecca Grisom and Markus Pearson.

Peterson won the 3K with a time of 8:39.66 — his second win in the event in only the second race of the season.  The criminal justice major was always involved in sports as a kid and remembers getting started in track because of soccer when one of his teammates told him he should go out for the track team.

Peterson wanted to quit after his first year of AAU track, but he was convinced by his father to stick with it. Later on in school, Peterson’s attitude changed.

“Throughout high school, I knew I wanted to run in college some day and UALR just seemed like the right place for me,” Peterson said.

The path to UALR was a little different for Grisom, who placed 7 in women’s shot put at Friday’s invitational.  While in high school, she juggled the idea of a future of volleyball or of track.

The history and secondary education major followed the advice of her high school track coach, which resulted in a career at UALR.

Coach Williams, who has served as head coach of both the men and women’s teams since 2004, remains motivated by the improvement of his athletes.

“Anytime you see an athlete improve and reach a goal, it becomes fun for you,” Williams said.  “It’s a fun thing for me just to be around it, to watch them improve.  That keeps it interesting and fun for me.”

The SunBelt Conference championship will take place Feb. 24 in Birmingham, Ala.  The rest of the season will serve as preparation for the meet at the end of February.

“We’re trying to establish ourselves for the final push at the end of February…and we look for improvement over the past year at the same time,” Williams said.

“I think that our kids have had a good fall and I think we’re set to have some pretty good performances.”

The next two meets for UALR will be Feb. 1 at Tennessee and Feb. 7 at Alabama.


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