Hawkeye tracksters primed for the indoor Big Ten championships


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The most important meet of indoor track season is finally here,

And the Hawkeyes will spend their weekend in Geneva, Ohio, to compete in the Big Ten meet. It will begin at 9 a.m. today and continue through Saturday.

The Hawkeyes have dedicated the past two weeks to Big Ten preparation. After 16 first-place finishes at the Feb. 21 Iowa Invitational, the track teams started off championship week focused and ready to work hard.

Much of the women’s team sat out the Iowa Invitational, including sophomore MonTayla Holder. A young team captain, Holder has led the women throughout this season and hopes the time off will show in this weekend’s performances.

“The Big Ten is the last chance we get to go hard before outdoor season, so we’re really trying to give it our all by taking a week to rest up and train,” Holder said.

Iowa struggled a bit at last year’s indoor championships; the women finished 11th and the men seventh. This time around, the team hopes to rack up the points and see an overall improvement.

Senior Ashlyn Gulvas, the school-record holder for the indoor weight throw, wants to see “just execution” from her teammates to score as many points as possible.

The past week hasn’t been that much different from others in terms of structural preparation for the men’s team.

“This week, we’ll be doing the same things we’ve been doing,” senior captain Tevin-Cee Mincy said after the Iowa Invitational. “Introducing new things might mess up my technique.”

Mincy took the men’s 60 meters title on Feb. 21 but hopes to run a better time at Big Tens. His best time of the season — 6.73 at the Bill Bergen Invitational — is good enough to rank in the top 40 nationally and second in the Big Ten.

As with Mincy, freshman O’Shea Wilson also noted that preparation for the meet wouldn’t be anything out of the ordinary besides putting more time in to practice.

Wilson jumped a season high 7.53 meters in the long jump at the Big Four Duels on Jan. 18, 29th best in the NCAA this season.

The Black and Gold could also get a boost this weekend from sophomore Klyvens Delaunay, who has followed up an incredible freshman season with a solid campaign this year — despite sitting out roughly the first month and a half of the season. Delaunay’s best jump of the year (15.88 meters) is second in the Big Ten only to Penn State’s Steve Waithe.

The Hawkeyes’ field events and sprints have been strong points this year, and the Hawks will try to continue that this weekend and beyond. There is potential for the distance runners to leave a mark as well, but a lack of depth has haunted the team so far this season.

This meet is also the last chance for athletes to qualify for the NCAA meet in Albuquerque, N.M., March 14-15.

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