Iowa track and field set for first competition


SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

The Iowa track and field teams will have their first competition on Saturday in the annual Black and Gold intrasquad meet.

Head coach Layne Anderson’s and Director of Track and Filed Larry Wieczorek’s athletes come off a disappointing 2011-12 indoor season with the men’s team finishing eighth in the Big Ten and the women finishing 10th. However, Anderson said, he’s not worried.

“It wasn’t a lack of talent or a lack of ambition on people’s part. It was more injuries and not having kids ready to compete because of physical setbacks,” he said. “It’s a more competitive conference. Our performance is a reflection of our progress we did or didn’t make; we just have to have our kids at our best and competing.”

Anderson’s women’s squad has a 23 freshmen this season, but when it comes to being competitive in the conference, he’s not worried.

“I think we have a level of expectation in that we have a young group, but it’s a talented group, and we’re expecting to perform a higher level than last year,” he said. “We’re not going to use inexperience as a reason to lower the standard of expectation.”

Despite the number of newcomers to the program, the Hawkeyes have some experience. The distance runners are headlined by Mareike Schrulle, fresh off of a seventh-place finish at the NCAA cross-country mneet. Also returning are team captains Raven Moore, Megan Ranegar, and Jasmine Simpson.

The distance runners who ran in the cross-country season will not compete in Saturday’s intrasquad meet, but distance runner Ranegar said she thinks it will help those who didn’t race this fall.

“It’s a really good starting point for the girls on the distance team who have been training with us but haven’t gotten to compete,” she said. “They have a lot to be excited about, and they just haven’t gotten to show it yet.”

While the meet may seem like a glorified practice, Ranegar said, the atmosphere is different.

“You’re putting on the Iowa uniform, you’re putting on your spikes, and you’re racing each other,” Ranegar said. “You know it’s still your teammates, but there’s definitely a feeling of competition that you don’t get at practice.”

Everyone else on the team who didn’t have a fall season will compete, including Simpson, who said she’s excited.

“We’ve been practicing all summer and fall just to get a level where we’re basically competing,” she said. “It’s really awesome to get to put that uniform back on and get a feel for where you’re at, do well, and hopefully show all the training we’ve been doing is working.”

Simpson, a thrower, shows no lack in confidence in herself and other throwers on the team.

“The returners we have for weights are going to do a really good job this year,” Simpson said. “I think the record [for indoor weight throwing] will be broken this year.”

With a blend of new and returning talent, Anderson is careful about making predictions for the season.

“We have a lot here on paper, but at this stage, it’s still all preliminary,” he said. “Until we get into the fire and start competing in January, we’re going to be seeing where these individuals stack up at the Big Ten level.”

In today's issue:

Privacy Policy (8/15/07) | Terms of Use (4/28/08) | Content Submission Agreement (8/23/07) | Copyright Compliance Policy (8/25/07) | RSS Terms of Use

Copyright © The Daily Iowan, All Rights Reserved.