Freshmen Jumpers Could Key Conference Title Run
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - With the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Indoor Track & Field Championships beginning this weekend in Landover, Md., the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats could get a scoring boost from an unexpected source -- the rookies. Ed’Ricus Williams and Kenneth Fisher are two freshmen that are making noise on the team, with both rising up the MEAC standings. Both qualified for the conference championships, and are looking to make an impact at Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex, Feb. 14-15.
They are also part of the largest track squad in B-CU history, which qualified 20 men and 17 women for the conference championships, also a school record.
Both represent the state of Georgia. Williams is a 6-4 high jumper from Warrenton, while Fisher is a 5-11 long jumper and triple jumper from East Point.
Both earned qualifying marks in their respective events during earlier meets this season. However, Williams made the right progress at the right time, moving into the top spot among MEAC high jumpers at last week’s Armory Collegiate Invitational, reaching a height of 2.06m (6-09.00 ft.).
“It feels pretty good qualifying. I came here as an inexperienced jumper,” Williams responded. “I have really progressed. I felt pressure, but I knew once I cleared the mark that I made it.”
Fisher, on the other hand, ranks fifth in the conference in the long jump at 7.25m (23-09.50 ft.), with just 7.5 inches separating him from the MEAC leader, fellow freshman Jared Kerr of Maryland Eastern Shore. He earned his top long jump mark in the opening meet of his college career. In the triple jump, Fisher sits in 11th, having raised his stock in the past two weeks, earning a mark of 14.55m (47-09.00) at the Southern Miss Invitational.
“It’s exciting,” Fisher said. “I knew that I would qualify, and being a freshman just adds to the experience.”
The two will be counted upon to try and help B-CU win a conference title.
“There is pressure, but to win events as a freshman is a big achievement," Fisher acknowledged. "It feels great to know that the team depends on me. We all must do our part."
“It is pressure, but that is why I came here,” Williams added. “I knew that I would play a big role eventually. I am used to it.”
Bethune-Cookman Director of Track & Field Donald Cooper knows that he has something special with both student athletes.
“Ed’Ricus is from a small Georgia town like myself. He didn’t receive a lot of coaching or the best facilities, but he is raw and had to rely upon his athletic abilities,” Cooper noted. “Fisher also has a lot of talent. He ran club track in Atlanta under the radar until he won a national event, then scholarship offers poured in, but we still got him.”
Fisher and Williams are shaping the programs present and future.
“They have made a tremendous impact. Both came in with tremendous accolades. They are blue-chip athletes. They’re success is huge for recruiting. They are winning medals in their first year of competition and we have big goals for them,” Cooper said.
Williams and Fisher took shots at other sports, but eventually found a home on the track.
“I played basketball before, but I knew this was my sport since my sophomore year of high school. It was my first year in track, and I finished fourth in the triple jump at State. I also finished fourth in the event at Nationals in the Junior Olympics,” Fisher recalls.
“I had played football since I was young,” Williams added. “I picked up baseball and basketball by middle school, and I ran track my junior year of high school. I wasn’t going to run, I went to stay in shape. I finished second at State and realized I could have a future in track.”
They both credit their success to hard work and dedication.
“The high jump is a very technical event. Without form, or with little form, there is only so much that you can do. I was a late bloomer. I didn’t start jumping until my junior year of high school. I didn’t have a high jump coach or equipment there. Here at B-CU they took a shot on me,” said Williams.
“In both the triple and long jump, it’s all about speed on the runway, height and keeping your feet out. You must continue to work hard on your craft,” Fisher said.
Both athletes are looking to make their mark early, heading to their first collegiate conference championship this weekend. Now it’s just time for them to rise to the occasion.
With a postponed start due to inclement weather on the east coast, the MEAC Indoor Championships run Friday through Saturday at the Prince George's Sports and Learning Complex in Landover, Md.
For all the latest information on the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats, including meet results and recaps, visit B-CUathletics.com. Be sure to follow the official Twitter feeds at @CookmanTrack and @BCUathletics or "Like Us" on Facebook at BCUAthletics.