Athletes travel near, far on break

Spring break does not only allow some college students to relax and get some sun, but it allows Simpson College athletic teams to get some sun as well.

This March, five Storm teams will be traveling on spring break trips to compete in out-of-state competitions.

The men’s soccer team will become the first team to travel outside the country when they compete in Europe. The team, coached by Mike Wilson, will fly overseas to compete in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.

The team plans on playing three games, attending two professional games and completing two clinics with national team coaches over a seven-day period.

“Our goal is to perform well and represent Simpson,” junior defender Chris Lindo of Cedar Rapids said. “They are going to come out and want to play. It’s not very often that any of us get to play internationally. So it should be a good experience.”

Simpson golf coach Jason Marvelli and his team will be heading to Las Vegas to practice on the finest courses in the city. The team hopes to tour the Vegas strip during the seven days they are there.

“My expectations are that the kids work hard, show improvement and have a good time,” Marvelli said. “With the courses I’ve lined up this will be a trip that some of these young men will never experience again. It also doesn’t hurt that the NCAA’s start while we are out there!”

The Storm baseball team travels to Arizona to compete in the Russ Matt Greater Phoenix Invitational. The team will be gone for roughly nine days and hopes to see a Los Angeles Dodgers spring training game while they are there.

Senior infielder Scott Ethell of Knoxville said he looks forward to playing new competition to prepare the team for the rest of the season.

“Our spring break games are a third of our season,” Ethell said. “If we didn’t get to play these games, we wouldn’t get to play as many games as other athletic teams do.”

Coach Ben Blake said he knows the competition will be good, with teams from both the Midwest and Northeast United States competing.The Simpson track team will be attending the Rhodes College Open outdoor track meet on March 20 in Memphis, Tenn.

Junior hurdler/sprinter Molly Sabers from Iowa City said the meet is a great opportunity to start the outdoor season a bit earlier than usual.

“I think that we really just want to have a chance to do something fun and different as a team,” Sabers said. “We’ll have a lot of fun and hopefully get the chance to relax a little bit as well.”

Softball coach Henry Christowski will be taking his annual trip to Florida this spring break.

The team will play a total of 14 games in the Rebel Spring Games in Kissimmee, Fla.

Senior outfielder Kelsey Castenson of Harcourt said she is excited to face the competition in Florida.

“We have already played in a dome tournament,” Castenson said. “We learned what we needed to work on and we hope to progress from that when we go down to Florida.”

All teams will be gone during some part of Simpson’s spring break week, the week of March 15.