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Hawkeyes split competitions, head to Ames, Arkansas

BY MARIO WILLIAMS AND COURTNEY BAUMANN | FEBRUARY 13, 2015 5:00 AM

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The Iowa track and field teams are scheduled to travel to two events this weekend, one in Ames, and one in Fayetteville Arkansas. Both meets are set to take place today and Saturday.

Iowa State Classic — Ames

The mid- and long-distance runners had their first meet of intense competition last weekend at the Sevigne Husker Invitational in Lincoln, Nebraska. The Iowa State Classic marks the second two-day event for the Hawkeyes in as many weekends.

After they underperformed, Hawkeye Director of Track and Field Joey Woody wants to get his athletes tuned up before heading to Ames.

“This week is more about making sure our athletes are getting rested up and feeling even more tuned up,” he said. “We need to focus on building more confidence as we go into these last couple weeks of the season.”

After facing a more competitive situation in Lincoln, Nebraska, Woody believes his athletes will be more prepared for Ames.

“They probably weren’t quite as ready as we thought they were last weekend,” he said. “I think they will be a lot more ready this weekend.”

This week, Woody and the coaches have made some adjustments to get the Hawks refreshed and energized for another meet on the road. The squad’s training load has been a lot lighter than what it has been.

Middle-distance and men’s relay coach Jason Wakenight believes a change in training will set the runners up for success in Ames.

“The training is set up to make them feel 100 percent in the competition,” he said. “It’s their job to execute the race strategy, make sure they’re good competitors, running to the finish line, and competing for wins. As long as they do that, I’ll be pretty happy.”  

The team will once again compete against Drake, Iowa State, and Northern Iowa, who competed at the Big Four Duals in Ames on Jan. 24. In addition to those teams, there will be more than 10 others, including Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois.

Tyson Invitational — Fayetteville, Arkansas

While mid- and long-distance runners will be heading to Ames, the short sprints, hurdles, and jumpers will make their way to Fayetteville for the Tyson Invitational.

“The reason we’re going to Arkansas is that the level of competition is pretty high,” said jumps and women’s sprints and relays coach Clive Roberts. “We’re going to be competing with the best schools in the nation.” 

In fact, 15 of the top-25 ranked men’s teams will be participating, as well as 13 on the women’s side. Included in those numbers are four of the five top-ranked men’s teams, as well as four of the five top-ranked women’s squads.

The lineup will include track powerhouses Florida, Arkansas, and Texas A&M, as well as Nebraska and Penn State.

“There are a lot of ranked teams there, which is great, because it gives us the opportunity to go against the best,” Woody said. “Our athletes need to see that. The more often they see that, the more they expect to be at that level and compete at the highest level.”

The coaches hope the team is more prepared for the upcoming competition than it was for the last one, in which the performances seen were not quite up to par.

“I don’t necessarily think we had a great weekend last weekend,” Roberts said. “I expect for them to come back this week and be ready to go. We’ve had some really nice days of practice, so it’s good to see them coming back. My expectation is that we’re going to be who we are, beating people and running fast and jumping far.”

Follow @marioxwilliams and @cbomb12 on Twitter for news, updates, and analysis on the Iowa track and field team.


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