Women’s track heads to Iowa State


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The Iowa women’s track and field team heads to Iowa State today to compete in a bitter showdown in the minds of many Iowa students and athletes.

But the Hawkeye-Cyclone rivalry that normally amplifies competition has no particular significance on the track or in the field.

“It’s not like this is basketball or football,” Iowa distance coach Layne Anderson said. “Track and field is a team sport, but also more individual. We don’t go there saying we have to be a better team than Iowa State. We go there looking to set as many personal records as possible.”

Besting personal records seems to be a trend on the track lately, however.

After a weekend of setting career bests at Notre Dame’s Meyo Invitational and Nebraska’s Husker Invitational, many of the women enter this weekend with a bit more self-assurance.

Junior Amanda Hardesty set a personal record in the 3,000 kilometers at Notre Dame on Feb. 5-6, while also hitting the provisional qualifying mark for the NCAA championship meet. In Ames, Hardesty will compete in the mile to “change it up a little.”

She may also switch roles with her twin sister, Lauren Hardesty, who ran the mile last weekend and may be assigned to the 3K at Iowa State. Lauren Hardesty also set a personal record at Notre Dame with a 4:52 time in the mile.

“I think last weekend was a good confidence booster,” she said. “It’s comforting to have a solid race under my belt going into this weekend and going into Big Tens.”

With the Big Ten championships two weeks away, some of the Hawkeyes remain focused on tournament competition.

Meanwhile, others have different priorities.

Iowa throwing coach Scott Cappos said his squad of first-year throwers is using the conference meet as more of a learning experience rather than an opportunity to win.

“I think they’re starting to make some progress,” he said. “They’ve got a ways to go before they’ll be top-notch throwers at the Big Ten level, but they’re making big improvements. This weekend will be a good battleground for them to improve, too.”

The throwers set a few personal records at Nebraska as well, but they are still far from the marks of top competitors. There are no freshmen in the national top eight in throwing events.

Freshman sprinter Raven Moore agreed being a true freshman inhibited her initially. But she said she needs to stay focused on her abilities rather than her age as the competition heats up.

Moore, who also set a personal record at Nebraska with a 24.8 in the 200 meters, said the increasing level of opposition is ultimately benefiting the squad.

“As of now, the meets get harder and harder,” the Atlanta native said. “And for the rest of the season, I can see our team getting stronger and stronger. The more competitive it gets, the closer we get.”

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