Hawkeyes expect good results at Musco Twilight meet

BY AMY TIFFANY | APRIL 22, 2011 7:20 AM

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On Saturday, a major turning point will occur for the Iowa women's track and field team.

The Hawkeyes will compete in their only home meet of the regular outdoor track and field season.

The 12th annual Musco Twilight meet is set to start at 2 p.m. on the Cretzmeyer Track and continue through the evening under the lights.

"I think it's unique in that it's an afternoon meet," head coach Layne Anderson said. "We have lights, which is not a permanent part of our facility, and we condense the schedule down."

Anderson said the evening portion of the meet — from 6 to 9 p.m., which is geared toward spectators, families, and friends and is time all the finals take place — is the highlight.

The meet begins a chain of season-ending events. In the following weeks, two more big meets take place for the Hawkeyes. The first is the Drake Relays on April 28-30. Two weeks later, they will host the outdoor Big Ten championships for both the men's and women's teams.

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And the Hawks couldn't be more excited.

But this weekend isn't about Big Tens; the focus is on Musco.

The sprinters and throwers have had a number of broken records and personal successes over the course of the outdoor season. The distance runners have also recorded personal records and good performances, but they've had a slower start to their season.

So for the distance group particularly, weather permitting, Musco will provide an opportunity to see where the entire group stands going into the final two guaranteed meets.

"When it comes down to it, you can't blame it on weather, some people did PR … It'd be nice to get good conditions, so we could actually see where we're at," said senior distance runner Lauren Hardesty.

Anderson said he believes the Hawkeyes have had good successes throughout the duration of the season, but the trick is getting each athlete to compete to the best of her ability at the same meet.

It's nearly impossible.

"To find perfection in track and field is an unending quest, so to speak," Anderson said.

Other distance runners, such as junior captain Betsy Flood, agreed but said despite past results, they've been working hard and are hopeful about the upcoming weeks.

"It would be really encouraging to run well," she said. "It would give us excitement for the rest of the year."

Every event group is hoping for positive results. Anderson said the Hawkeyes are coming off a strong indoor season, are relatively healthy, and at the moment, their best athletes have been performing at their best.

It's what seems to be a win-win weekend for Iowa.

"I can't stress the importance of this meet to our entire program. I think this is the second to last meet before the Big Ten championships, so you can never have enough highlights," Anderson said.

"Anything we do and do well will benefit us going forward. Anything we're a little bit deficient in or fall short of, then the good news is we still have a few weeks to correct or fix that."

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