Five to watch in 2008
Nov. 20, 2007
With the official start of the indoor track and field season only two months away GoFrogs.com will give readers an inside look of five individuals ready to shine this indoor season each week leading up to the Flyin' Frogs opener Jan. 11 at the Arkansas Invite.
No other runner in the prestigious history of the TCU women's track and field program has had the type of success that Virgil Hodge has had entering her final indoor season at TCU. The St. Kitts native is one of the most decorated athletes to ever come through TCU in any sport and is the only athlete in the history of TCU to be named a five-time All-American. Last indoor season, Hodge broke her own school record en route to placing seventh in the 200 meters at the NCAA Indoor Championships with a time of 22.99. She also won the 60 meters and 200 meters at the MWC Indoor Championships, which helped her earn the Female High-Point Award at the MWC Indoor Championships. After breaking her own school record in the 60 meters with a time of 7.31 in the prelims at the MWC Indoor Championships, she qualified for the 60 meters at the NCAA Indoor Championships, placing fourth in the prelims. This winter, Hodge has a legitimate shot to win the national championship in multiple events and cap her indoor career at TCU the way she deserves, as a champion.
"Virgil has become the face of the women's program. She has a long year ahead of her and the possibility to be an NCAA champion. As always, the expectations are high for her," said head coach Darryl Anderson.
Entering her junior year, very few athletes can match the success that Candis Kelley has had while at TCU. Kelley enters the 2008 indoor season having won the Mountain West Conference indoor shot put title the past two seasons. Last winter, she set a personal best mark in the shot put during the indoor season with a throw of 50-06.25 (15.40m) at the Tyson Invitational. Kelley, who was named to the all-MWC Indoor team, enters this winter having finished first in the shot put at the Texas Tech Open, Arkansas Invitational, TCU Invitational, Horned Frog Invitational and MWC Championship last indoor season. With that type of success to draw from the sky is the limit for Kelley as she pushes towards becoming an NCAA participant.
"Candis is having a great fall and has really improved her fitness level. We are hoping that she can become an NCAA participant this year and once again win the Mountain West Conference Championship," said Anderson.
JimAnne Hejny may not be a household name entering the 2008 season, but by the end of this indoor season she might be a force to be reckoned with. Hejny only competed during the outdoor season last spring after competing for the basketball squad last winter. An exceptional athlete, Hejny earned two regional-qualifying marks in the long jump last season, finishing second in the long jump at the UTA Invitational with a leap of 19-08.75 (6.01m) and placing third in the long jump at the TCU Invitational with a jump of 19-08.75 (6.01m).
"This fall has been a slow process for JimAnne, but because she is such a talented athlete we hopefully will be able to get her ready so that she can become an NCAA participant and scorer in the long jump," said Anderson.
After garnering All-America honors her first two years at TCU, Kishelle Paul enters the indoor season looking to add to her already successful career as a Horned Frog. Paul, who earned All-America honors as a member of the 4x400 relay team that placed sixth and set a school record with a time of 3:34.75 at the NCAA Indoor Championship, posted a second-place finish in the 200 meters at the MWC Indoor Championships with a personal-record mark of 24.22. She also finished third in the 60-meter hurdles at the conference championships after winning it her freshman season at TCU. A member of 4x400 relay team that won the MWC Indoor Title, she closed out the indoor season being named to the All-MWC Indoor Team in the 60-meter hurdles, 200 meters and 4x400 relay.
"We have very big expectations for her this year. She is a very well rounded sprinter and our goal for her is to continue to win the MWC Championship, while also scoring as an individual at the NCAA meet," said Anderson.
The lone sophomore on GoFrogs.com's first five to watch list, Neidra Covington comes into her second indoor season following an unbelievable freshman campaign in which she earned Female Freshman of the Year honors at the MWC Indoor Championships. Last winter, she qualified for the Midwest Regional in the long jump and triple jump after winning the MWC Indoor title in the triple jump with a leap of 42-09.75 (12.65m), while also placing fourth in the long jump at the conference championships with a leap of 19-11.75 (6.09m).
"Neidra has had a really good fall. She has done a lot of work up until this point and we expect her to have a big season, even better then last year considering she was coming off an injury during her senior season in high school after winning the long jump at the USA Junior Track and Field Championships with a jump of 20'.25 during her junior season," said Anderson.