Women’s track prepares for intrasquad competition


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Members of the Iowa women’s track team will look at their teammates as competitors this weekend during the team’s intra-squad meet. The annual event will open the harriers’ season at home.

Although there is only one team competing, Iowa head coach Layne Anderson said the meet is run like any other during the regular season.

He said the women are placed in their various events and are marked, measured, and timed accordingly. The results are compiled and analyzed by coaches at the end.

“It is a good opportunity to evaluate everyone and to get an idea of how much progress they’ve made from fall conditioning,” he said.

Because half the team this year is composed of freshmen, the meet gives the newcomers an opportunity to compete for the first time at the college level without the stress of being in a real meet.

Freshman long and triple jumper Leia Scott said she is expecting a lot out of herself. But she said she is going to channel her emotion and use it as a motivational source.

“All pressure is good pressure,” she said. “Of course I’m nervous, but that’s expected. My nerves are just excitement.”

Even with the her teammates competing against one another, she said, she doesn’t expect the mood of the team to change.

Junior middle distance runner Bethany Praska agreed, noting that past years have proven the meet to be beneficial. However, one change from the past couple years is the size of the team, which markedly increased with the addition of this year’s 23-person recruiting class.

The freshmen have helped fill events the team couldn’t fill last year, Praska said.

“There are so many more people to push you this year,” she said. “I think everyone will challenge each other.”

While the Hawkeye fledglings will compete against their upper-class counterparts over the weekend, Praska said, they will later add a great deal of competition to the Big Ten this season.

With last season’s 11th-place finish in the Big Ten lingering over the Hawkeyes’ heads, they are out to redeem themselves.

Anderson said the tracksters feel confident in their ability to be more of a threat in the Big Ten this year.

Although the Hawkeyes do not start competing officially until January 2010, the squad can use the results from the weekend meet as a training mechanism over the winter break.

“If they do well, we would like to see them go home and train to maintain their present level of fitness,” Anderson said.

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