Season Preview: Outdoor Track & Field

RIO GRANDE VALLEY¬‚Äď Three weeks after an impressive at the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Indoor , The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) track & field program will officially kick off outdoor .¬†
The Vaqueros wasted no time getting to work for the second phase of the year with hopes of building on the momentum created while competing indoors. Now the time is here for the Vaqueros to go back to their roots and bring speed, power and stamina to the outdoor campaign. 

“We are expecting to do better than we did during our indoor season,” head track & field/cross country coach¬†Shareese Hicks¬said. “Having more competitions outdoors will help us get more prepared and go through a variety of different situations. I believe we have the right amount of competitions to get really sharp for WAC Outdoor .”¬†
UTRGV opens the season March 14 at Houston’s Kirk Baptiste Spring Break Invitational. The Vaqueros will compete in six meets prior to the conference , all in consecutive weeks. They’ll have two weeks to recover and reset before heading to Orem, Utah for the WAC Outdoor .¬†
Qualifying student-athletes will advance to the NCAA West Preliminary by ranking in the top 48 nationally of individual events or in the top 24 as a relay team. The top 12 finishers in each event at the West and East preliminaries move on to the NCAA Outdoor Championships. 
UTRGV sent five student-athletes to the NCAA West Preliminary in 2023. Three were freshmen who will look to return to the postseason and aid a plethora of success for the program ‚Äď men’s jumper¬†Jedidiah Udunnamen’s sprinter¬†Sam Johnson II¬and women’s jumper¬†Rayja’nae Pettit
The trio was among some of the top performers during UTRGV’s indoor season. Those student-athletes, along with¬†Symoria Adkins, Hannah Hilding, Zo√ę Adams, Gael Romo¬and others are expected to carry their momentum gained over the last couple of months to the outdoor campaign.¬†
A few fresh faces making their UTRGV debuts outdoors that Hicks believes will make an impact are¬†P’soularia Maxey, Trinity Kirk¬and¬†Daniel SiaffaMaxey and Kirk will add depth to the already dynamic women’s crew. Siaffa will be joining newcomer¬†James Voss¬to make some noise in the men’s hurdles, with the junior college transfer Siaffa eager to get back in action in the 400-meter hurdles. Additionally, La Feria alum and specialist¬†Julian Trevino¬will be wrapping up his career after missing the outdoor season last year due to injury. Hicks said he has already proved he can be one of the best in the WAC.¬†
Hicks and her coaching staff have been teaching the Vaqueros to focus on the little things on and off the surface so they can live up to their potential this outdoor season. With a heavy schedule on deck full of top , taking care of and maximizing their bodies will be key for the Vaqueros, and they have the support staff needed to put the whole thing together and make noise this season. 
“We constantly emphasize taking care of the little things off the track that tend to play a huge role in performances on the track. We are also being vigilant at consistently doing things the right way on a daily basis, even if it makes us uncomfortable,” Hicks said. “Our main challenge will be staying healthy and we have a training staff that has done an excellent job in that regard. They have been invaluable to our success.”¬

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