Approach to intrasquad meet no different than any other competition for Hawkeyes


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The members of the Iowa women's track and field team are approaching the Black versus Gold men's and women's combined intrasquad meet no differently from what they do for any competition.

Head coach Layne Anderson said the Hawkeyes are mostly using this as a tool to measure where they are now compared with a year ago.

Then, a month down the road from Saturday, the Hawkeyes can measure where they are for a second time. Another month later, they can measure its scores for a third time, until they reach the Big Ten championships at the end of the season.

To do this, Anderson said, the Hawkeyes must give their best effort so this measure is as accurate as possible.

"Champions, or competitive athletes, compete under any circumstances. Cold weather, hot weather, intrasquad, good competitions, bad competition, big invitationals, championships — it doesn't matter," he said. "We're just saying to them, 'Let's get out there and compete.' "

The biggest thing he wants to see is that the recorded results on paper are better as a team than a year ago as a result from their fall conditioning.

Senior Bethany Praska echoed Anderson's goals.

Praska said in the past few years, the Hawkeyes have increased the volume, intensity, and number of workouts in the fall to improve their team standings. Senior Tiffany Hendricks, the captain of the sprinters, said the group of athletes she trains with started morning runs this fall in addition to weightlifting in their training regimens.

"We've always had some good individual performances [at the Big Ten championships], but as a whole team, we're trying to train hard and do better this year," Praska said.

On Saturday, Praska will compete in the 600 meters and a 4-by-4 relay for the Gold team. She said she personally wants to better her time from this point last season in the 600-meter event and wants to record a time comparable with the end of last season as well.

Hendricks will compete in the open 300 meters and 4-by-4 relay for the Black team.

"It's a good way to see where we are with fall conditioning," she said. "And I feel like we've had one of the best years with conditioning, practice, and team dynamic as a whole."

Hendricks noted assistant coach Clive Roberts has kicked up the intensity of the practices, and the group has gotten stronger from it.

"Where are you on Dec. 4, 2010?" Anderson said. "We know you're going to be better on Jan. 4. We know you're going to be better on Feb. 4. But give us an honest indicator of where you are Saturday afternoon coming off of your fall conditioning.

"If people come out and sort of go through the motions and don't give good effort, then we don't have an accurate assessment of where they are, and we can't provide them the required feedback."

The recorded results from Saturday will bring the Hawkeyes through winter break with tangible goals for the first official meet in January.

"More than anything, we want people to leave Saturday when they close the doors and turn off the lights feeling pretty good about where they are," Anderson said. "Confident, excited, ready to go forward into the indoor season and do something that they've not done."

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