Notebook: Iowa tracksters shake up training before outdoor season

BY CODY GOODWIN | MARCH 07, 2012 6:30 AM

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The Iowa women's track and field team will take full advantage of its time off between the indoor and outdoor seasons.

The Hawkeyes wrapped up indoor competition with a 10th-place finish at the Big Ten meet on Feb. 25. Head coach Layne Anderson opted not to send any athletes to last-chance meets in order to give his team time to relax and recuperate. Because of this, the women tracksters won't compete again until the Arkansas Invitational on March 30-31. That's 33 days off between live competitions.

"We're going to revamp, revitalize, and reorganize some initiatives we haven't done to get this team to understand the true potential it has," Anderson said.

In other words, Iowa's women's track team will spend the next four weeks training for the outdoor season. But the Hawkeyes won't work out in the fashion that they're used to.

"Some girls will take some time off, as needed. Others will do a little bit of cross-training as needed," he said. "We encourage a lot of time in the training room for everybody."

Anderson handed a large share of the training duties to fourth-year assistant Clive Roberts; fellow aide Christi Smith told The Daily Iowan that Roberts "has really taken control of how our athletes train."

Roberts said Iowa's 21-point showing at the Big Ten meet left him feeling like his athletes need to be "mentally tougher."

"We've gotten back to our conditioning work," he said. "I thought that even though we were fit indoors, it just didn't come together. We're looking to make them a little mentally tougher."

On Tuesday afternoon at Cretzmeyer Track, he had his tracksters jump 11 hurdles during a run that didn't quite clear the entire 400-meter loop. In comparison, the official 400-meter hurdle event only has 10 hurdles spaced evenly throughout the track.

Roberts described the workout as "brutal" but said he hopes it will help break down the mental barriers he said his athletes carry.

"If you ask them, that's tough," he said. "It's great to get the 400-meter hurdlers outdoors because it helps simulate what they're going to be competing in when the season comes around. Getting outdoors is great for us."

Doris and Sowinski qualify for NCAAs

Iowa seniors Troy Doris and Erik Sowinski made the list of national qualifiers for the NCAA indoor meet announced Monday by the NCAA.

Doris will compete in the triple jump; his best jump — a mark of 53-5 feet (16.28 meters) — has been ranked as high as third in the nation this season. The two-time Big Ten champion holds the school record in the event with a leap of 54-0 feet.

Sowinski will run the 800 meters, the same event in which he won a conference title this year. His preliminary run in the event set a school and Big Ten meet record; he crossed the line at 1:47.62 minutes.

Head coach Larry Wieczorek said his two seniors were the most deserving athletes on the team to qualify for the national championships.

"They both go into the NCAA championships as team captains, school-record holders, and Big Ten champions," he said in a release. "We think they're ready to compete with the best athletes in the nation, and we have high expectations for what they can accomplish."

Doris and Sowinski will compete for national titles on March 9-10 in Nampa, Idaho.

Follow DI women's track and field reporter Cody Goodwin on Twitter.

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