Slack seeks improvements for Beijing
Despite her super-human efforts in carrying her collegiate team to a third-place finish in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II Champion-ships in Allendale, Michigan from May 21-23, Jamaica's Salcia Slack believes she can be even better should she make Jamaica's team to the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Beijing in August.
Slack, the engine of the University of New Mexico (UNMH) Highlands team throughout both indoor and outdoor seasons, proved her worth again at the championships, scoring 301/4 of her team's 42 points, which earned her women's and all-round high-scorer awards.
The Jamaican won her second heptathlon title in a row with a score of 5691 points; was runner-up in the 100-metre hurdles in a career-best 13.42 and in the 400-metre hurdles in a career-best 58.24; and was sixth in the long jump. She also ran a leg on the fourth-placed 4x400m relay that clinched her UNMH program a third-place overall team finish.
Despite the herculean effort, Slack feels she can top it in Beijing this summer.
"I know I have a lot more to go, but if I continue staying focused and dedicated I know I can do a lot better at Worlds," she said.
Her one caveat is that she needs to address a couple of injuries. She has an MRI planned to determine the cause of a sore elbow and she also has concerns over a bad knee.
"I just need to fix this elbow and my knee to a point where I can tolerate the pain and I know I can improve," she said.
business as usual
When it comes to her school, the former Holmwood Technical standout said she was only too glad to lead UNMH in her final outdoor season.
"Thirty points of 42; it was obvious that I carried the team, but it was not something I planned," she said.
"I only felt pressured when I didn't make the triple jump finals because I knew that those were points we needed to win the championships."
Otherwise, she said it was business as usual.
"I didn't feel I had to carry the burden because coach (Patrick Johnson) always says if I don't want to do it anymore I can stop."
She said she wasn't disappointed with her score in the heptathlon because she was only doing enough to win. She was, however, very pleased with her personal best times in the sprint and 400-metre hurdles.
"I am so happy with my time," she said of the latter event. "Using one leg to hurdle 10 hurdles with no rhythm and running it for only the fourth time of my life, just heats and finals, who wouldn't be happy?"