Men's track heads to Arizona


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Today marks the first outdoor meet of the year for the Iowa men’s track and field squad, despite the less than ideal conditions outside.

The Hawkeyes will escape the rainy confines of Iowa City for someplace a bit warmer — Sun Angel Stadium in Tempe, Ariz., for the Arizona State Invitational.

Three ranked teans will headline the tournament  including host No. 22 Arizona State, No. 16 Arizona, and No. 11 Nebraska. Several smaller schools will also compete in the meet.

Head coach Layne Anderson is excited about the start of the outdoor season, and he believes that this team is better suited to preforming outdoors. Iowa adds a number of scoring field events such as javelin and hammer throw to allow for more team points, Anderson said.

“We have an opportunity, and it starts this weekend at Arizona State against good teams in an outstanding meet under what we hope will be sunny skies,” Anderson said. “We’d like to go there and have some [personal records] and some outstanding season-opening marks.”

The Hawks haven’t had a whole lot of time to practice outside. In fact, the sprinters have only been on the outdoor track once this year. Practicing indoors works, but many of the events aren’t able to be worked on until they can get outside. Sprinter and captain Tevin-Cee Mincy looks forward to the chance to finally get outside — even if it is all the way in Arizona.

“For us to get out and compete against some good teams like Arizona State, it will be really good for the team,” the senior said. “We’ll finally be able to test ourselves and see where we’re and gauge what we can do outside.”

Distance runners haven’t been affected as much by the cold weather, because they have been running outside since the end of cross-country season.

“This is when we want to get off to a good start and get things going because once this outdoor season starts, we’re at big meets every week,” Junior Ben Witt said. “A lot of the good people in the country are going to be getting those marks now, so that’s our expectation as well.”

Arizona State will serve as a proving ground to see if they have what it takes to compete in a tough Big Ten. The Black and Gold finished 10th in a disappointing Big Ten indoor meet that old crowned one Big Ten champion — junior Babatunde Amosu in the triple jump.

“We had a young group that with more practice, more time, more competition that gains additional experience,” Anderson said. “I think optimism is high, but the proof is in the pudding — Saturday at 3, 3:30, 4 p.m. the meet will be over, and we’ll have the results.

“From there, we’ll see just how much success we had and what exactly we need to improve on.”

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