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Iowa women's track team prepares for new season outside

BY CODY GOODWIN | MARCH 21, 2012 6:30 AM

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The winds of change are sweeping through the Iowa women's track and field team.

Literally.

The uncharacteristically pleasant March weather has the tracksters outside on the Cretzmeyer Track in Coralville, where they're training and preparing for the upcoming outdoor track and field season. The weather brings slight breezes every now and then to cool the Hawkeyes as they sweat out another day's workout.

This makes head coach Layne Anderson excited — really excited.

"On paper, we certainly thought we were a better outdoor team than indoor team," he said. "We're really focusing on what we weren't able to do in the indoor, and that's build some positive momentum."

The momentum should be easy to grasp for Anderson's team, especially with the help of a few changes that will occur as the athletes transition from the indoor to the outdoor season.

The changes aren't drastic, but they could be enough to help build the Hawkeyes' confidence. The addition of some new events will provide some of the aforementioned momentum; assistant coach Scott Cappos will lead four throwing events for the Hawkeyes, up from only two in the indoor season. The new events are the hammer throw and the discus.

Cappos spoke highly of each event in terms of potential points for the team. South African native Annemie Smith is well-experienced in the hammer throw — but her points won't come until later in the season, because the freshman is recovering from an appendectomy in the latter part of the indoor campaign.

Another athlete to watch is Iowa City native Majesty Tutson. The junior finished second in the conference last year in the discus, and Cappos said he believes she'll contribute even more this coming season.

"All of the events are very good for the Hawkeyes outdoors," Cappos said. "It's going to help our team significantly."

He said the athletes have been training for the outdoor season all year long. They performed specific training methods during the indoor season in order to help with the added events, he noted.

"Whether we train inside or outside, our main focus is the outdoor season," he said. "We train the discus a lot, we train the javelin a lot; we gear our training more toward the hammer throw than the weight throw, and we feel like it'll pay off come May."

His athletes agreed. Junior thrower Rachel Curry said all the throwers are excited about the outdoor season.

Curry, who is taking a redshirt this outdoor season, has spent the last few weeks helping her teammates. She said she's taking the spring off to even up her career path; she redshirted during her freshman indoor season, so taking this break gives her another two full years to represent the Hawkeyes as opposed to one and a half.

Curry said it's exciting to see the team back outside again and preparing for what she thinks will be a good season.

"I can tell that we're taking the next step to get out what we want from throwing," she said. "If we keep working hard, it'll show in May."

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


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