Track team looks to carry momentum into outdoor season

by Tim LoneStaff Writer

The track and field team ended the indoor track season on a strong note. The men’s and women’s teams placed fourth and second respectively at the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Indoor Championship meet just over a month ago. The team looks to keep that momentum going.

Coaches say they expect the team to build on the success of their indoor season and have a strong performance in the outdoor season.

“We’re looking to improve on where we’re at right now,” Brad Hofer, assistant track and field coach, said. “The main thing we want to see as coaches is the continual growth of our athletes.”

Dave Cleveland, head track and field coach, echoed some of Hofer’s comments about carrying the team’s momentum through the rest of the season. Cleveland added he was happy with the improvement made at the IIAC indoor championship meet from last season.

“Both teams moved up from last year,” Cleveland said. “The men moved up to fourth from eighth last year, and the women moved up from fifth to second. Obviously we’re very pleased with the outcome there and we hope that builds the momentum into the outdoor season.”

Senior Robert Best said with the team now competing outdoors, that means some athletes will have a little bit different mindset for how they prepare to compete.

“It is a little bit different atmosphere,” Best said. “For some people it’s sort of a mental thing. Being enclosed in a small space with that many people around is a little bit different than competing in an open space.”

Cleveland said he feels the change from indoor to outdoor season will be good for the team for more than one reason.

“It’s just nice to be outside after being cooped up indoors all winter,” Cleveland said. “And I think we have the personnel to be a better outdoor team than an indoor team.”

Cleveland added one goal the team does have is to keep improving on the success they have had recently, both for this season as well as future seasons.

“We’d certainly like to maintain our consistency,” Cleveland said. “Our program is steadily improving. Once you’ve made that big jump you want to at least be consistent and be in that upper echelon of the conference year in and year out.”

Hofer said one of the team’s biggest strengths right now is the number of different kinds of athletes they have.

“All across the board, we have people that can score and contribute,” Hofer said. “I think that’s our main strength right now.”

Hofer added despite having athletes that can contribute to the team in all areas, one of the things the team needs to develop is a little more depth.

“We are lacking in some depth,” Hofer said. “We’re a young team, and as far up as numbers have come this year, we still need some more depth to compete at a high level with some of those other schools that have more established, older teams.”