Iowa women's track and field wraps up disappointing season


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A disappointing season is drawing to a close for the Iowa women’s track and field team.

The squad finished off its indoor season with a lackluster last-place finish at the Big Ten indoor met at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio, this past weekend.

“We just weren’t very good; it’s that simple,” assistant coach Clive Roberts said. “We need to figure out how to be better. We’ve got the kids in the program to be better.”

The Hawkeyes managed just 11 points this past weekend at the Big Tens, more than 100 points fewer than the first-place Illinois, which gathered 115 points.

“The fact that we got embarrassed at the Big Ten championships should not sit good with anybody on the team. We’ve got to identify which of those kids have major issues with that,” Roberts said. “We also got to identify which kids don’t have major issues with that situation. If they’re content in that, we got to figure out how to get them a little upset.”

The Hawkeyes were without some key athletes throughout the season, including distance runners Brooke Gambrall and Mareike Schrulle, who placed seventh in the NCAA in cross-country last fall.

This forced some younger athletes to step up and compete a little earlier than they may have been ready for.

“We only have three upperclassmen in our sprint group — that’s a lot of pressure on our underclassmen,” junior Adrianne Alexia said. “I think for not ever really competing at Big Tens, we had a lot of [personal records] in our group, so I think that was really good.”

Head women’s coach Layne Anderson highlighted Alexia, along with fellow sprinters Kaitlyn Nelson, Lake Kwaza, Raven Moore, and high jumper Khanishah Williams as individuals who had made great improvements during the season.

“I thought there were improvements by other individuals; they just didn’t carry over to the championship meets,” Anderson said. “You can’t run well, jump well, or throw well at the Iowa Open and then go and only have a portion of that performance at a conference meet.”

A handful of Hawkeyes will get one final chance to compete in either Ames or South Bend, Ind., this weekend at a “Last Chance” meet. These meets are held the week before the NCAA meet to give a final shot to athletes to qualify for the national meet in Fayetteville, Ark.

Alexia, along with Williams and Nelson, are some of the female runners going for the Hawkeyes.
“I’m looking to pick up another second at least, maybe two,” Alexia said. “It’s more or less making sure I stay engaged in my race, just getting out hard and keeping that momentum the entire time.”

The track and field program has three weeks off in between the indoor and outdoor seasons to train in some of the events exclusive to outdoor track, such as the hammer and javelin throw, along with other events that are in both indoor and outdoor track.

“We’re moving in the right direction,” Alexia said. “It’s just taking us longer to get there.”

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