Trey Simons has bounced back from injury with a bang.
The Moorehouse College middle-distance runner suffered a calf injury last season but has returned to form while representing his school in cross country.
Simons already has multiple wins under his belt, including a first place at the Cedric Walker HBCU Cross Country Challenge in North Carolina last weekend. He appears to be reaping the rewards from a game plan his coaches have drawn up for him.
“My coaches and myself sat down and had a talk last season,” Simons told The Royal Gazette. “I was injured and we just looked at what we’re going to do better this year and everything seems to have fallen into place.
“I had a good season last year but I got injured going into regionals. I still ended up making it to nationals as an individual qualifier but three and a half miles into the race I had to pull out because I had a calf injury. I was actually in the top 15 when I dropped out.”
Simons, a two-times Carifta Games medal-winner, intends to put that disappointment behind him with a top-ten finish at the NCAA Division II Championship in Florida on November 18.
But first he must qualify for the event at the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Cross Country Championships, which is held two weeks earlier in Indiana.
“We’re really putting all of our emphasis into the postseason, which is regionals and nationals in November,” Simons said.
“Right now I’m not really trying to go out there and kill it.
“I’m just going out there and doing enough to win and that’s really been the strategy this season. But we’re definitely going to switch gears going into the offseason.”
Simons’s other victories this season came at the Willie Laster Invitational, University of Alabama-Huntsville Invitational and Falcon Classic, hosted by the University of Montevallo.
As well as a top-ten finish at the NCAA Division II Championship, Simons is aiming for a national title during the outdoor track and field season, which starts in February.
“I know I can fulfil this accomplishment and my coaches are confident as well,” he said.
Tracking the 24-year-old Moorehouse senior’s progress is Cal Simons, Simons’s former coach and teacher.
“It’s good to see Trey out there doing so well and I’m excited,” he said. “I know last year leading up to cross-country regionals he was doing extremely well and then he ended up getting hurt.
“But I’m glad to see him doing well and I know he’s worked hard this summer getting himself in shape and I’m just looking for bigger and better things from him.”