ORU’s third team all-conference athletes for this year’s indoor track and field season know this is only the beginning. Seniors Lauren McFarland, Tim Jones and sophomore Madison Reynolds all expect their preparation and work to propel them into a successful outdoor season.
They believe their practice methods were a big contributing factor to their success this season but expect to get better heading into the spring.
McFarland, a pole vaulter, made all conference for her second-straight season, right after posting her season’s best performance of 3.85 meters at the Air Force Academy Collegiate Open. McFarland said an excellent practice plan from head coach Joe Dial, plays a big role in late-season momentum and success for the entire team.
“Coach Dial bases our workouts so that we peak at conference,” McFarland said. “You kind of start low and end up higher and higher.”
Triple jumper Tim Jones also took advantage of his opportunity to rise higher by posting his best distance of the indoor season at 15.13 meters in the championships. He said his teammates would describe it as “clutch.”
Jones gives a lot of credit to his coaches to help him finish strong this time around.
“I think it was just a mental game honestly,” Jones said. “Coach told me that it’s my senior year. Make sure you have fun but make sure you jump like it’s your last jump. And every jump felt like it was my last one, but every jump just got better and better.”
Madison Reynolds didn’t let the upperclassmen turn up the heat without her. The sophomore won five-straight events heading into the conference championship meet. Reynolds placed third at the conference meet with a time of 54.80 in the 400-meter race and did not finish outside of the top three in any event all season.
They hope their success carries over on the outdoor track and includes the entire team.
“I expect us to do very big things with all of our relay teams,” Reynolds said.
Tim Jones said he and his teammates expect to set more personal records this season.
All three athletes agreed they are anticipating performing in the outdoor season more than the indoor.
“I definitely enjoy outdoor even more than indoor because instead of doing two little laps I can do just one and get more out of it,” Reynolds said.
McFarland said the outdoor season is easier for her.
“I really love being in the sun and you have the wind at your back which helps push you and jump higher,” she said.
Tim Jones is hoping when it’s time to jump in the fresh air, he and his teammates will have an even greater pep in their step.
“Outdoor is just a tad bit more fun,” Jones said. “The sun, the crowd, the wind is on you. It’s something about the outdoor; that wind, that breath of fresh air, it just makes you want to turn up.”
As Lauren McFarland digs for the best vault, or Madison Reynolds leans on her curve, the Golden Eagles expect to turn up right into the National Championships.