Cyclone women prepare for upcoming outdoor season


Photo: Jonathan Krueger/Iowa State Daily

Redshirt senior Dani Stack races as anchor in the distance medley during the Big 12 Indoor Track and Field Championships on Saturday, Feb. 23, at Lied Recreational Athletic Center. The Cyclones finished the medley in fifth with a time of 11:33.18.

Isaac Copley

The ISU women’s track and field team prepares to take its talent outdoors. The Cyclones will be off for the next two weekends and are preparing for the beginning of the upcoming outdoor season.

The 2013 indoor season was a successful one for the Cyclones as Betsy Saina and Christina Hillman earned All-American honors at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships last weekend. The women finished ninth in the overall competition.

Saina competed in both the 5,000-meter run, in which she finished fourth, and in the 3,000-meter run, where she finished second. Hillman, a sophomore, finished second in the shot put and set a new personal record and school record with a throw of 58-0 1/2 feet.

Now, the women are getting ready to take on a new group of challenges. Iowa State’s home for the indoor season, the Lied Recreation Athletic Center, contains a 300-meter track unlike most indoor tracks, which are 200 meters.

That will benefit Cyclone runners as they translate into the outdoor season. However, ISU senior distance runner Dani Stack prepares more for the weather elements that the outdoor season presents.

“Our indoor track feels like a 400-meter track so that isn’t so much of a change, but we need to prepare for wind, rain and other weather conditions,” said Stack, who also talked about the training program in which she and her teammates will take part. “In training, most of us move onto the 10,000-meter run, which is double what we would run indoors, so our workouts tend to become longer and cater towards 6-mile races instead of 3.”

Iowa State will open up the outdoor season sending athletes to three different meets, including the Cal Multis (March 27-28), the Texas Relays and the Stanford Invitational (March 29-30).

Meaghan Nelson, another senior, thinks the Cyclones are prepared and excited for the transition outdoors.

“As a group I think we could all say we’re looking forward to having better weather in the spring and we’re ready for all the hard work to pay off,” Nelson said. “It’s a longer season, so there is more time to how all the hard work we put in throughout the indoor season has helped us.”