Iowa track teams to measure progress at Bill Bergen Invite


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Iowa men’s assistant track coach Joey Woody said he thinks every practice and every event in for the Iowa track and field teams is in preparation for the Big Ten championships this February.

Both squads will get a chance to test their mettle against some of the top-tier programs in the Big Ten when they take part in the Bill Bergen Invitational,. hosted by Iowa State, today.

“The biggest thing is really getting good one-on-one head-to-head competition,” Woody said. “We’re going up against Minnesota, Iowa State, Wisconsin, and some other schools. Whether it’s winning our heat or whatever it is, we want to come out ahead of those guys.”

Minnesota is ranked eighth in the nation, and Wisconsin is ranked tenth. Other ranked teams taking part in the met are No. 16 Kansas State and No. 24th Texas-Arlington.

The men’s team is coming off of a second-place finish in the Adidas Classic in Lincoln, Neb., where the Hawks finished nearly 100 team points behind Nebraska. Woody said the team always likes to compete well against other Big Ten programs.

“I think it’s always a good indication of where we’re at when we go head-to-head- against Big Ten competition,” he said. “We just want to keep seeing improvement from where we’re at. We’ve had some good marks so far. We can start to see a little more progress in our performances.”

The men’s team will send numerous athletes who have recorded top times and distances in the Big Ten this season. Klyvens Delauney has the third longest triple jump in the conference at 48-10.25 inches. Keaton Rickels’ 600-meter time of 1:19.09 is fifth best, and Jordan Mullen’s 60-meter hurdle time of 7.86 is second in the Big Ten.

Tevin-Cee Mincy, who holds Iowa’s eighth-best 60 meter time in school history, said the squad has some ground to make up on an individual level.

“We’re going to try to lower our times to get more paper points going into the Big Ten [championships],” the junior said. “We’re not sitting so high, so we’re trying to better ourselves because those paper points really show.”

On the women’s side, the Hawkeyes will take on two ranked foes, No. 18 Wisconsin and No. 9 Iowa State. For the 23 freshmen on the team, it’s their first meet against a top-10 school and with their second meet against a Big Ten school.

The women are coming off of a third-place finish at last weekend’s Adidas Classic in Lincoln, where Ashlyn Gulvas captured the weight throw and Khanishah Williams won her second-straight high jump. Nebraska won the event, scoring 207 points, more than double Iowa’s 85 points.

“She’s [Williams] undefeated on the season and we’re optimistic that she can jump even higher,” women’s head coach Layne Anderson said.

MonTayla Holder, who had a strong showing in the 400 meter, placing second, also encouraged Anderson. Raven Moore also scored for Iowa with a third-place finish in the 60 meter. Anderson said he hopes that these performances start to be the standard for his team.

“We’re still missing some really important people,” he said. “We can ill afford to be without our top folks.”

Thrower Guvlas said that elevating her performance is necessary to be able to keep up with the top-tier talent the Big Ten has to offer.

“When Big Tens come around, a million things have to be stepped up higher,” she said. “The scoring is ridiculous.”

For now in the season, Anderson hopes that some of the less experienced athletes can become more familiar with Big Ten talent.

“We’re going to get some folks in the lineup competing this week and the next and then get ourselves ready for the Big Ten championships, which are five weeks away,” he said.

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