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Men tracksters seek momentum

BY MATT SCHOMMER | FEBRUARY 19, 2010 7:30 AM

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The Iowa men’s track and field team has one final hurdle before next weekend’s Big Ten championships.

Hosting the Iowa Invitational today at 5 p.m. at the Recreation Building, the Hawkeyes will try to do some last-minute tweaking to a well-oiled machine.

Coming off some career performances in the Cyclone Classic on Feb. 12-13, momentum is key for Iowa before the Big Ten’s best gather in Minneapolis.

It’s been more than a month since the Hawkeyes have been home, and the timing couldn’t be better.
“It’s often more fun to be at home and do it in front of the home crowd,” head coach Larry Wieczorek said. “You’re not traveling, so you can be a little more rested. You can sleep in your own bed and kind of stay in your own routine, so it’s an advantage from that standpoint.”

The Iowa Invitational has historically been a low-key event for the Hawkeyes, but that doesn’t mean the men in black and gold won’t try for some top finishes.

With sophomore Erik Sowinski and senior Adam Hairston sitting out this meet, other Hawkeyes will get the chance to step up.

Hairston said the Iowa Invitational is mainly to make last-minute preparations before the Big Ten championships. Several other Big Ten teams will host their own events this weekend.

“We’re holding some people out of action and moving others into events a little more than we usually do,” Wieczorek said. “But we are still looking to get something productive of [the meet]. From a coaching standpoint, we want to come out of it with some positive things.”

The coach feels the team is not where it needs to be yet, he said, and this weekend should provide an opportunity to correct some shortcomings.

One of the focal points of the track and field team, the throwers, hit plenty of those snags last week in Ames. The squad hopes to use this weekend as a springboard to get back on track.

“We’re a lot more ready to go this weekend,” throwing coach Scott Cappos said. “I think we are in a lot better shape because of our training, and we are expecting a lot better results than the last few weeks.”

Unlike the runners, all of the throwers will compete in the meet in hopes of peaking at the right time.

“This is kind of the big one right before the biggest one,” Cappos said.

For the first time in two years, no Hawkeye throwers have provisionally qualified for the NCAAs this late in the season, which the team will try to change.

Cappos said the Hawks have made adjustments in the weight room the last few weeks, and he expects that hard work to come to fruition during the meet.

“It comes down to training, and I think all the throwers expect to do really well this weekend,” he said. “We’ll be ready to roll.”


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