Red Wolves Attract Track Athletes

by Marvin Davis
Delta Digital News Services

JONESBORO – The Arkansas State University track and field teams’ history attracts athletes who are willing to work.

A-State track alumni include special athletes like Earl Bell, an Olympic pole vaulter, and Jaylen Bacon, an All-Conference runner.

Junior Christopher Hill chose A-State because of the traditions and competitiveness.

“I came to Arkansas State’s program because of its tradition of bringing in athletes with a solid ethical foundation, which make us want to be more than just conference champions. We want to be national championship contenders,” Hill said.

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Christopher Hill relaxes in the union after one of his classes.

Many memories can be made on the track team that result in creating bonds with teammates.

“During my freshmen indoor season at New Mexico Don Kirby Meet, I had a great experience watching professionals and collegiate run together, as well as enjoying my time with my teammates,” Hill said. “One of the benefits of being on the track team is creating memorable moments, friendships and inside jokes.”

The A-State coaching staff has new members and things are still running smoothly.

“The new staff members have suggested new ideas, which complements the ideas of staff members with years of experience. It’s phenomenal to see all of us working together,” Hill said.

This season, Hill will run the 60-meter and 200-meter for the indoor season. He will run the 100-meter, 200-meter and the 4×100-meter during the outdoor season.

Junior sprinter and hurdler Amari James of Little Rock decided to attend A-State because of the competitiveness of other athletes and the memorable moments experienced during his initial visit.

“A-State has produced multiple Olympians and the program is successful,” he said. “A-State was the only university that gave me a chance to run at the Division I level.”

James will compete in the 60-meter hurdles, 4×400-meter relay and the triple jump for the indoor season. During the outdoor season, he will compete in the 110-meter hurdle, triple jump and the 4×400-meter relay. James recalled some memorable moments on the track team.

“Going to Arizona and racing against Aries Merritt, the world-record holder for the 110-meter hurdles, was one of my most memorable moments,” he said.

James said he feels adding funds to the track program can improve the team capabilities and push the track program over the top.

“If we had more money, the team could own its indoor back track and weight room,” he said.

Jadyn Lewis

Sophomore Jadyn Lewis prepares for a workout with coach Jim Patchell. (photo by Marvin Davis)

Other members on the track team like sophomore Jadyn Lewis, a North Little Rock native, had different reasons to come.

“The coaching staff, performance expectations and the campus atmosphere during my visit was the reason that landed me at A-State,” Lewis said.

Lewis will compete in the 400-meter and possibly the 200-meter and 4×400-meter relay.

“I feel as though the students and community should come out more to the track meets to enhance the atmosphere, that’s just my theory,” she said. “With the resources we have, the program is doing great. The men’s team won the indoor and outdoor conference titles and the women are right there.”

 

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