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Tracksters staying healthy

BY COURTNEY BAUMANN | MAY 04, 2015 5:00 AM

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Although the Iowa track and field team finished well at its home track meet May 2 — the Hawkeyes snagged seven titles — there were some names noticeably missing from the lineup.

A few of those absent from the competition were women’s sprinters Elexis Guster and Sheridan Champe along with Will Teubel and Brendan Thompson on the men’s side. No women’s relays teams competed at Musco Twilight, either. MonTayla Holder, Lake Kwaza, and Brittany Brown each competed in only one event.

Taking place at Cretzmeyer Track, it would have been exciting for hometown fans in attendance to see athletes competing in their specific events, but Iowa coaches are looking at the bigger picture heading down the stretch toward the Big Ten meet.

With the big event fewer than two weeks away, Director of Track and Field Joey Woody and the rest of the coaching staff, especially associate head coach Clive Roberts, are doing everything in their power to make sure everyone is healthy.

“You just have to use wisdom at this time of the year. If you lose someone right now two weeks out, sometimes it becomes very difficult to get them back,” Roberts said. “Even though they probably could have run, you just never know. You use wisdom.”

Prior to the meet, both Guster and Champe experienced minor muscle tweaks, and the coaches decided not to have them compete in order to avoid any further injuries. This also allowed the two Hawkeyes to have a little bit of extra rest before the conference meet.

As disappointing as it was for those who did not get to run in front of a home crowd, Champe agreed with Roberts that it was for the best.

“I wanted to run, obviously, but knowing that I have Big Tens and regionals in two-plus weeks, I needed to think about what’s more important,” Champe said. “What’s more important and better for the team and not just for myself?”

The first step for staying healthy starts at practice and in warm-ups.

One of the most important things that the coaches stress is stretching before and after workouts and lifting weights to make sure nothing gets strained or pulled.

“I just challenge them to warm up better and be a little bit more professional than they did the day before and to be more focused,” Roberts said. “We go back to general things, making sure that from a warm-up standpoint, everything is where it needs to be like posture and things like that.”

Woody agreed with Roberts, noting the importance of rest in staying healthy.

“This time of the year, it’s just more rest,” Woody said. “The key right now is not doing as much in training right now, it’s more of keeping them where they’re at, and building every day, and making sure they’re feeling sharp and resting them up a little bit more.”

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


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