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Tracksters hope for home, sweet home

BY MARIO WILLIAMS | MAY 01, 2015 5:00 AM

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The Iowa track and field team is scheduled to compete at the Musco Twilight at the Cretzmeyer Track. Field events begin at 2 p.m. Saturday with track events following at 4:15 p.m.

The team last competed at the Drake Relays. The women finished ninth, and the men finished 16th. Although they left Drake Stadium in a less than exciting fashion, Iowa Director of Track and Field Joey Woody is expecting much more this weekend.

The 16th anniversary of the Musco Twilight will be the first time the Hawks get to compete on their home track this season.

“I’m looking for great performances,” Woody said. “Just for the kids to finally be able to compete on their home track usually takes them to a whole new level.

“It’s pretty exciting for the whole team to be able to get out there in front of their hometown.”

Thus far this outdoor season, the team has traveled to Arizona, California, and Florida. Traveling has definitely been a big deal for the Hawkeyes, and Iowa assistant coach Jason Wakenight enjoys the luxury of not having to travel for one weekend in the schedule.

“Our athletes really appreciate being able to do something where their family and friends get to come and watch them,” he said. “It’s more of a comfortable setting; it’s a special thing.”

The Musco meet is also Senior Day, and the program will recognize 12 seniors. They include Adrianne Alexia, Babatunde Amosu, Keith Brown, Brennan Davey, Jack Eckert, Gabe Hull, Kevin Lewis, Shannon Maser, Annemie Smith, Joceyln Todd, Kaleb VanCleave, and Ben Witt.

A number of conference teams, including Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Nebraska will competing with the Hawkeyes, in addition to Iowa State and Northern Iowa.

On the track, the team will compete in a number of open events including the 100 meters, 110 hurdles, 200 meters, 400-meter hurdles, 800 meters, and 1500 meters. In addition to that, the athletes will also perform in the sprint medleys, and its most popular relay events, the 4-by-1 and the 4-by-4.

Field events will include the discus, javelin, and shot put.

At the Drake Relays, the team had one relay squad advance to finals. A few standout performances came in individual events as well. Although the weather may have been a factor in the athletes’ performance in Des Moines, the team should not have to worry about weather this time around.

This weekend is also the last regular meet before the Big Ten Championships in East Lansing, Michigan.

“I think the biggest thing is for our kids to show up and be ready to compete,” Woody said. “We need to be tough, and really protect our home track, and just know that we’re here to win.”

One athlete definitely ready to compete is sophomore O’Shea Wilson. He will run unattached for the first time since his injury.

“I really want to impress the home crowd since it’s our meet,” Wilson said. “Even though I’m running unattached, I’m still a part of Iowa, and I want to represent Iowa well.”


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