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Iowa track team set to split up and compete in two very competitive meets

BY JORDAN HANSEN AND KATRINA DO | FEBRUARY 14, 2014 5:00 AM

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This weekend presents a unique opportunity for the Iowa track team. The Hawkeyes will split the team between two separate meets, the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark. and the Cyclone Classic in Ames.

“At this stage in the season, the objective is to get our athletes in the appropriate level of competition,” head coach Layne Anderson said. “Get them in a facility that allows them to run fast, jump far, throw far, jump high.”

Both meets feature nationally ranked competition, with the meet in Arkansas taking precedence.

The Tyson Invitational features ten ranked teams, including four top-10 teams. The Iowa men will take on the No. 1 ranked team in the country in Arkansas, as well as No. 5 Wisconsin, No. 6 Florida State and No. 9 Nebraska. The women will face No. 6 Arkansas, among others.

The Cyclone Classic is no pushover either, as 100 All-Americans from 16 different conferences will make their way to Ames to compete. Of the 56 teams that make up the meet, seven are ranked in the top-25.

To put it all in perspective, between the two meets, the Black and Gold will face 17 out of the top-25 teams.

All tall order, no matter how it’s sugarcoated.

“We’re looking for a total team effort, we want to see an outstanding level of performance from all of the athletes that we take,” Anderson said. “We feel the people we put on the plane or on the bus are there because we, as a coaching staff, believe they’re ready to compete at that level.”

The coaching staff views these meets as places to improve, especially director of track and field Larry Wieczorek.

“Both of these meets are important for us to take a step forward to becoming a better track and field team,” Wieczorek said. “Among the things I’d like to see this weekend is people moving up in the Big Ten rankings and then competing well against national competition.”

Improvement and adversity have been the name of the game all season for the Hawkeyes and senior captain Tevin-Cee Mincy has noticed both.

“As long as our team is still willing to fight after they’ve had bad performances, I know anything is possible,” Mincy said. “This meet will be a great way for everyone to show how much work they’ve been putting in.”

The competition level doesn’t waver at all when considering the women’s portion of this weekend’s events.

Last weekend’s Husker Invitational in Lincoln, Neb., recorded a total of 11 personal bests men and women combined, including a new Iowa record set by freshman Katharina Trost in the women’s 800 meters. Among the women’s personal-best recordings included freshman Alex Hernandez and sophomores MonTayla Holder, Lake Kwaza, and Cindy Saliba.

The Hawkeyes left the Husker Invitational with a strong set of individual performances, but the team will “continue to pursue a total team performance,” Anderson said in a release.

The Tyson Invitational will involve diverse competition—the level of events will range from college athletes to the Olympic training level.

This week also saw an emphasis on preparing for championship season, something that comes up quickly in a short indoor season.

“We saw last week that we had to get a lot better,” Wieczorek said. “This is an important weekend, two weeks out from the Big Ten Championship.”


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