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Women track presses forward following Adidas Classic

BY CODY GOODWIN | JANUARY 24, 2012 7:20 AM

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Iowa's results from the Adidas Classic in Lincoln, Neb. last week weren't normal.

The Hawkeye women's track and field team is used to dominating performances, setting records, and — above all else — winning. But when the Adidas Classic rolled around, those same tracksters didn't post the results they grew accustomed to during the early part of the season.

Compared with the 12 individual event winners from the season-opening New Years Classic, the Hawkeyes only brought home two winners from Lincoln this past weekend. Those two — Nicole Erickson in the 600 meters and Mareike Schrulle in the mile — led Iowa to a third-place finish, helping the team tally 98 points. That was 19 points behind second-place Houston and more than 100 behind the meet champion Cornhuskers.

So what happened?

"We seem to think there may have been some intensity lacking," head coach Layne Anderson said. "There were some areas where we were a tad bit off — but we'll get there."

Anderson said the coaches took some of the responsibility when it came to preparing their athletes.

"We try to get them to understand you may not always feel great, but you still have to line up and compete," he said.

One point he also made was the absence of certain key athletes. Many of the distance runners were coming off of the cross-country season at the start of the indoor track campaign. Anderson said training varies between the track and cross-country and that some women needed time to adjust to the different terrain.

This was true of senior Betsy Flood, who made her season début in Lincoln and crossed the finish line in third place in the mile.

Two more Hawkeye athletes continue to sit on the sidelines with injuries. Freshman Kayla Beattie, who was a junior national champion and Pan-Am champion in both the 3,000 and 5,000 meters, has sat out with a heel injury. Anderson said Beattie would have only run the mile had she been healthy, but that could have added as many as 10 points to Iowa's score.

The other injured athlete is Ashley Liverpool, a returning Big Ten runner-up in the 400 meters a year ago. Had Beattie and Liverpool both notched first-place finishes, the resulting 20 team points would have vaulted Iowa into second at the meet.

While it would have undoubtedly been nice to have the duo back, many of the healthy athletes attributed the disappointing outing to possible nerves.

"We did well in some areas, but we could've done better in others," Erickson said. "It was our first big meet against big competition. We went in with the wrong mindset."

Erickson also pointed out the meet's location and that it was the Hawkeyes' first meet away from the Recreation Building this season.

"Nebraska's a new team, coming from the Big 12," she said. "It was just a new experience getting to see them."

Assistant coach Scott Cappos admitted the team isn't where it would like to be right now, but he said the athletes are slowly getting better each day. He said he couldn't take away from the solid individual performances at the meet.

"It's just early in the season. We have a long way to go, but we still had a lot of great performances to be proud of," he said. "The first meet on the road against a couple of powerhouse programs makes you look a little bit worse than you actually are."


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