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Iowa looks forward to home meet

BY MARIO WILLIAMS | SEPTEMBER 19, 2014 5:00 AM

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With much more competition coming in the Iowa men’s cross-country team’s first home meet of the season, Iowa head coach Layne Anderson wants to follow the same tactic the team has used all season.

The squad competed well in its last meet, with six players finishing in the top 15. Senior Kevin Lewis came on top for the team finishing in fourth place. Lewis is looking forward to Saturday’s meet and will use this meet to evaluate himself for the big meets of the season.

“I plan to use this Saturday’s race as a steppingstone to keep on rolling, because the most important races are still a month and more away,” Lewis said.

Anderson is expecting his runners to compete just as they did in the squad’s last meet. There aren’t many changes to the team’s training methods for this meet. The head coach also looks forward to the advantage of the squad hosting the Big Ten Preview.

“We’d like to complete as effectively as we did [Sept. 12],” he said. “We’ll have more fans here at this meet than we will at any other meet.”

Sophomore Taylor Soltys, who came in 13th last weekend, echoed the coach.

“Hosting the Big Ten Preview is exciting,” he said. “It give us a chance to prepare for the real focus of the season, which is performing at the Big Ten championship at home later in the season.”

Senior Ben Witt, who came in 10th place at Iowa’s last meet, also hopes to run as the squad did last week. Witt is prepping for the Big Ten Preview by continuing to work hard during workouts.

“I’m continuing to put in tough training and using the race last week to analyze what I need to work on a bit for the race strategy as we head into some tougher competition,” he said. “If we as a team do what we did last week and improve just a few things here and there, it will be an exciting result.”

Scouting the opposition

Four teams will run in the Preview alongside Iowa — Wisconsin, Michigan, Northwestern, and Kansas State.

Lewis, Soltys, and Witt all believe that the Badgers and Wolverines will be the team’s biggest competition.

“Both teams are perennial powerhouses in the Big Ten, with Wisconsin in particular being a very dominant team,” Witt said. “It doesn’t get much tougher in the conference than these teams, so it’s an excellent chance to see where we stack up at this point in the season.”

On the other hand, freshman Michael Melchert believes otherwise about the team’s competition and matchup.

“Obviously, Wisconsin is always a great team, but we are our own opponents,” the freshman said. “We just need to race better each and every week.”

Follow @marioxwilliams for news, updates, and analysis about the Iowa men’s cross-country team.


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