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SPURS & FEATHERS: Gamecocks already hard at work preparing for upcoming season
Track and Field  . 

SPURS & FEATHERS: Gamecocks already hard at work preparing for upcoming season

Oct. 10, 2016

With the season officially not starting until January, that doesn’t mean that the South Carolina track and field team is not already preparing for the upcoming year. The Gamecocks have been hard at work this fall with initial preparations to get into shape.

The team is working out four days a week, mainly focusing on conditioning so that the athletes will be ready for the next phase of training, which is pre-competition. After fall break, head coach Curtis Frye and his staff will put the team through tests to see how far they’ve come along.

“We just keep having tests,” Frye said. “(It’s) just like doing class. Do they jump as far, are they squatting as much, are they able to run the endurance part compared to last year? We just let them see if they’re behind and let them know if they have to get more work in. Some will, and some won’t.”

The Gamecocks are coming off a strong year last season, and were particularly strong at the end of the campaign in the NCAA East Regional and NCAA Outdoor Championships. South Carolina earned 13 bids to the Outdoor Championships, and the women’s squad finished as a top-25 unit.

Frye recognizes that the Gamecocks lost some talented seniors on both the women’s and men’s side, but he’s been particularly pleased with the incoming freshmen group and seniors.

“We’ve got good leadership, and we have a good young group,” Frye said. “We have momentum as far as them seeing themselves being contenders, but from a coaching point, we have a lot of work to do with our sophomore (and) junior group.”

One thing Frye and the Gamecocks are really looking forward to is opening up their new, world-class track facility in the new year. The update is something that Frye has long been excited about, and it will be a major boost to South Carolina’s recruiting efforts, particularly now that it’s an actuality.

South Carolina is already slated to host the 2017 SEC Track and Field Championships.

“They’re more impressed once they step on it during a recruiting visit,” Frye said. “That’s what the real deal is. People like to see nice things and touch them. Hearing about them, everyone can talk about what they’re going to have, but that thing is a very impressive facility.”

Frye hopes that South Carolina can avoid the injury bug during this training period, and the Gamecocks are about to enter a pivotal period in the process in a couple of months. During winter break, it’s vital that the athletes don’t let up and continue to train, since the competition season will begin shortly after classes return to session in January.