Track teams face competition at Division I level

by Ben Frotscher

The Simpson men and women’s track teams are getting ready for their first outdoor meet on Saturday at the Truman State Open.

Both teams have finished the indoor season but have faced some rather tough competition from Division I to NAIA opponents already this season.

“Track and field is a great sport. You can have all different talent levels compete at one meet,” said Head Coach Tim Byers.

This is exactly what the Storm has done as it has competed against a wide variety of competition from all across the nation.

In the indoor season, the Storm went up against schools of all sizes. At the Iowa State Last Chance Meet, the Storm men went up against the likes of Louisiana State, Minnesota, Clemson, Drake, Iowa State, Kansas State and North Carolina State. All of these are Division I schools.

This is some tough competition, especially considering that LSU finished fourth at the NCAA Indoor Championships and Minnesota finished eighth.

This was the same occurrence the Simpson women’s indoor team faced. It went up against a lot of the same opponents at the Iowa State Last Chance Meet, including 2003 NCAA Indoor Champion LSU and fourth place finisher North Carolina.

“It makes it harder to win. It makes all of our team times better and I think it makes us improve our individual times too,” said senior Bill Davis.

During the indoor season, the Storm did compete against some Division III schools, but did not have to travel far. They faced conference foes like Central, Wartburg and Loras. Even at the same divisional level as the Storm, these are some top competitive teams. Several are ranked nationally.

The Wartburg women are ranked No. 4 and the men are No. 13, the Loras men are ranked No. 8, the women are No. 10 and the Central men are ranked No. 17, the women No. 18.

The Storm has also faced NAIA opponents, which are smaller than Simpson, such as Graceland and Mount St. Clare.

“I think we have done really well,” said Davis. “I think we have done a respectable job. It just makes us work harder at practice.”

The Storm has eight meets this spring with it all culminating at the NCAA Championships in Colby, N.Y. on May 23-26.