HARTSVILLE, S.C. – With the combination of new talent and returning athletes for both the men and women's track and field teams at Coker University, coach Pete Early is excited for the 2019-20 campaign to begin.
The women's track and field team features 12 returners and 13 newcomers, providing coach Pete Early with a lot of different skill sets as the season is about to get underway.
"This is one of the most talented recruiting classes I have ever had the privilege of bringing in and we are really excited to see them on the track," said Early. "I am excited to see a lot of our returners take the next step this year after a full year in the training program. They have really risen to the challenge so far at practice and set the tone for how the year is going to play out. This group as a whole from top to bottom is fast and has lots of potential."
Perhaps the number one strength for this year's women's team is the depth, and coach Early thinks that will help propel the Cobras to the next level this season.
"Our biggest issue last year was depth, and we went out and corrected that this year by bringing in such a big recruiting class," said Early. "Having the depth and the numbers is going to be crucial to us leaving our mark on the conference this year."
While having 13 newcomers, the Cobras also have senior leadership on the team with Asante Rice, Caterra Barkins, and Tiffany Taylor. On Nov. 26, the Cobras were selected seventh in the preseason SAC poll, while Destiny Ingram, Asante Rice, and Calene Lazare were named Athletes to Watch.
The men's track and field team features 16 returners and 14 newcomers, providing coach Early with a lot of different options this season.
"We are really happy with how the new guys have been training and they have done a great job adapting to our program," said Early. "I expect a lot of contribution from those guys come conference season."
With seven seniors on the roster, senior leadership will be a strength for the Cobras this season. Coach Early can count on Kyle Baker, Razzel Kiplagat, Dre Litsey, Kamian McClain, Tony McElveen Jr., Will Mosley, and Jarrel Mumford to set the example for the incoming freshmen and newcomers.
"We are fortunate to have a lot of our best guys back with us this year and that veteran leadership has been huge for us already," said Early. "These upperclassmen are hungry and it has been showing."
"We are extremely deep in sprints, and that group is really going to carry us," said Early. "We have added some key players on the mid-distance side and are putting a strong emphasis on the field event group to help push us to the next level."
As the men's and women's teams are preparing for the first meet of the season, they both have lofty goals for the 2019-20 campaign.
Our goal for both teams this year is simple: win. Win the rep, win the day, win the race, and win the conference," said Early. "That is our mindset and how we are approaching everything we do."
The Cobras will kick off their 2019-20 season on Saturday (Dec. 7) in Winston-Salem, N.C. at the JDL College Kick-Off Classic. Live coverage can be found at www.cokercobras.com