Marauders Gear Up for PSAC Outdoor Championships
This weekend, Millersville’s track & field team will compete in the PSAC Outdoor Championships at Bloomsburg University. The men have 13 individual competitors entered into 22 total events, while the women have 15 individual athletes taking part in 24 total events. The team has been strong individually all year long.
Two of Millersville’s top athletes are ready for their final shot at a PSAC Championship in Keith Ogden Jr. and Elicia Anderson. Both have at least provisionally qualified for the NCAA Championships, but are completely focused on the meet at hand. “The approach is to keep doing what you’ve been doing all season,” Ogden said. “You don’t want to get hurt at this time.”
Injuries are a big reason why the team has toned down its training during the final week of the season. “This week we just relaxedon training, tried to take it easy and just take it into the weekend,” said Ogden. Distance Coach Andy Young reiterated Ogden’s statement, explaining that any athletes who have nagging injuries don’t want to irritate them heading into the conference Championship meet.
Ogden has competed in nine total events over three years at the PSAC Outdoor Championships, but has never won. His highest place was second last year in the 400-meter hurdles. This time around, he will compete in the 200-meter dash and the 400-meter hurdles as well as whichever relays the team places him on, and knowswinning a PSAC Championship in his senior year would be special.
“It would mean the world to me,” Ogden said. “I’ve been here four years now and I’ve been trying to work toward that. Last year was my breakout year, so everyone’s chasing me now. I got to get after it.” The sprinter also holds an NCAA Provisional Qualifier in the 400-meter hurdles.
Anderson knows plenty about other athletes chasing her at the PSAC Championships. She took home first place in the 10,000-meter run last year. Although she has qualified in all the major distance events for these Championships (3K, 5K and 10K), she will skip the 10K, opting not to defend her title with an NCAA Automatic Qualifier in the event already secured.
While Anderson wouldhave liked to compete in the 10K, she says she was not pushed much in her win last year. The level of competition in the 5K, however, keeps her motivated. “If I won PSACs in the 5K, I’d be ecstatic,” Anderson said. “I’m not planning on it, but it would be really great to do that so that would be a huge accomplishment for me.”
Both athletes, while concerned with their individual events, are also invested in the team portion of the weekend, rooting for other teammates. “A lot of the young people have been stepping up lately towards the end of the season,” Ogden said. “We’re looking to do better than we did last year. Looking for everybody to step up.”
Anderson also will keep interested in her teammates’ events, as she is particularly concerned with how the other distance runners will finish in their own races this weekend. “Hopefully we all just run a really good time,” she said.
The PSAC Championships begin Thursday in Bloomsburg, Pa. and run through Saturday.