After a trip to outdoor nationals last spring, junior Grant Amoateng (Bristow, Va./Patriot) was ready to jump right into this season of indoor track.
At the Bast-Cregger Invitational, the first meet of the season, he set a new personal record in the long jump at 6.92 meters, which is now the No. 2 mark in EMU history, and was the top D-III finisher in both the long jump and the triple jump. He was chosen as the ODAC Field Athlete of the Week following his performance.
To the casual observer, this seems like a phenomenal start to any track season. Amoateng, however, has high expectations, and took his success with a grain of salt.
“I wanted to start out strong and I set a mark, the kind of marks I wanted to hit,” he said. “I maybe did not hit it, but it’s a great start for me, for the season. Better than last year.”
Amoateng is also conscious of how going to nationals last spring affects him going into this season.
“Going to outdoor nationals last year, I don’t have a target on my back, but I have a lot of expectations to settle,” he said.
In preseason training Amoateng focused on his performance and his season under coach Michael Allen, who holds the EMU records that Amoateng is looking to break this season.
“Honestly, working with him is probably the best thing I ever had,” Amoateng said. “I think it’s a blessing for me to just be coached by a record-holder. He expects me to break both of his records this year, and I’m aiming for the challenge.”
“Amoateng is not only an athlete, he is a worker,” Allen said. “This season I expect him to shatter both the indoor and outdoor jump records while keeping ODACs and Nationals the focal point.”
As a junior, Amoateng is looking to provide leadership to the team this year, to “make sure everyone’s positive, just make sure I take some of the freshmen under my wing, to make sure they adjust to college track well, or just transition to college in general,” he said.
A social work major, Amoateng hopes to work in a school or a hospital after he graduates, and coach on the side.
When Amoateng was in seventh grade, his teacher noticed Amoateng’s speed in gym class and suggested he go out for track.
“What keeps me going is just this motivation to keep going and run the sport I love, the sport that took me to college, and that I enjoyed the most,” he said.