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Link: Floreal infusing track program with energy

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Just months into his tenure as head coach of Kentucky track and field and cross country, Edrick Floreal has already seen results.

During the cross country season, the Wildcats improved significantly, with Cally Macumber and Chelsea Oswald each earning All-America honors and Luis Orta joining them at the NCAA Championships. The Cats also participated in their first track meet of the season last week at Indiana with encouraging finishes by many athletes.

However, it's not all about faster times and longer distances. Mark Maloney, in writing this story that appeared in the Lexington Herald-Leader, uncovered another side of Floreal.

As head track and field coach at the University of Kentucky, Edrick Floreal sometimes morphs into his alter ego:

Edrick the Entertainer.

Hired by UK last July to replace the retired Don Weber, Floreal and his staff are on the brink of bringing new twists to the program.

For instance, the annual Rod McCravy Memorial meet in Nutter Field House will feature elevated runways on the infield and temporary stands that will reduce the homestretch to six lanes.

A new facility will enable UK to host a collegiate outdoor meet for the first time since the Southeastern Conference Championships in 1996.

Floreal says he learned plenty at Stanford, where he succeeded Vin Lananna as head coach when the latter took over at Oberlin and, later, Oregon. Lananna stressed making the sport fan friendly.

"I don't want to just be a track coach," Floreal said Wednesday at his desk inside UK's Joe Craft Center. "I want to be sort of an entertainer -- a guy that's out there with the public doing community service, get the community to know you a little bit more. You really worry about the fan and about the community enjoying the sport."

The track and field team competes next at the McCravy Invitational on Jan. 11-12. In the meantime, check out Maloney's complete story.

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