Home meet for men's track

BY BEN SCHUFF | APRIL 22, 2011 7:20 AM

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The Iowa men's track and field team will host the 12th-annual Musco Twilight meet Saturday at the Cretzmeyer Track. The Hawkeyes will entertain athletes from eight other schools, including Drake, Illinois, Iowa State, Minnesota, and Northern Iowa.

While the meet is slated to start at 2 p.m. with the men's discus, the finals for the track events are scheduled to take place at night under mobile Musco lighting that will be brought in specifically for the meet.

Iowa head coach Larry Wieczorek said his main focus will be on his athletes' performance, but the meet provides some special opportunities for him as a coach.

"It's a chance to show off the team with the lights and show off the sport," he said. "I'm trying to show off college track and field as a good spectator sport and make our athletes stars for the night. I want people to see that track and field is fun.

"I've had fans stop me on the street and say 'Hey, we were at the Musco meet. We really had a lot of fun there.' That's what I want."

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Wieczorek will have plenty of stars competing for his squad at the meet. Nine Hawkeyes rank in the top-five in 10 events in the Big Ten. Additionally, the Black and Gold own the second-fastest 4x100-meter relay time and the third-fastest 4x400-meter relay time in the conference.

Troy Doris is set to make his outdoor début for Iowa in the triple jump on Saturday. Doris won the triple jump at the indoor Big Ten championships this year and placed sixth at the NCAA championships.

While the junior has competed in the long jump outdoors, he said he has been fine-tuning the technique of his single-arm approach.

"I've been doing more research and focusing on the three phases of the jump and trying to perfect each one," he said. "I had a great practice [Monday], so I can feel that it is coming along."

The hurdles should be two of the more exciting events on Saturday. Illinois and Iowa boast some of the top hurdlers not only in the Big Ten but in the country.

The 110 hurdles will feature the 2010 NCAA champion in Illinois' Andrew Riley, who has been a dominant force in the high hurdle events both indoors and outdoors over the past few years. The Kingston, Jamaica, native is a four-time All-American — twice each in the 60 and 110 hurdles. The Fighting Illini junior also won the 60-meter hurdles at the indoor Big Ten championships.

Iowa's Jordan Mullen and Ethan Holmes are right behind Riley, ranking second and third in the Big Ten. Mullen ran against Riley at LSU three weekends ago but wasn't pleased with the outcome.

"I'm really looking forward to running against him again because down at LSU I didn't run so hot," Mullen said. "Now that I think I've found my rhythm, I'd like to get up and see what I can do against him."

The Big Ten's top-three 400-meter hurdlers will also be on display. Iowa's D'Juan Richardson leads the conference after posting a season-best time of 51.12 last weekend at Auburn. Illinois' Cody Wisslead holds the second-best conference time, and Holmes' time of 51.54 ranks third in the Big Ten.

With the Musco meet being Iowa's only home meet of the year before hosting the outdoor Big Ten championships May 13-15, Richardson said he and the rest of the team is excited to get out in front of the home fans.

"This is our home track, so we're going to have a little home-field advantage," he said. "It's a pretty cool experience [running under the lights] … It just seems like the crowd is more into it, and it helps the athletes."

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