Women’s track and field team balances training, competing


Photo: Chenyan Shan/Iowa State Daily

Six ISU athletes participate in the women’s one-mile run at the ISU Open held at Lied Recreational Center on Jan. 20. The first heat was lead by Betsy Saina, 4:40.98, followed by Ej Okoro, 4:49.04, and then Dani Stack, 4:49.30

Mark Specht

At this point in the season, the ISU women’s track and field team is walking a tightrope between competing in the present and training for the future.

The Bill Bergan Invitational this week will test that balance.

Iowa State will play host to nine competitive teams at the invitational with Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin among them.

“All the teams that are coming are pretty well-rounded,” said coach Corey Ihmels. “I think there also [is] going to be certain events where certain teams are going to be a little bit better than other teams and I think that makes for a really good meet.”

Although the team is preparing for the Big 12 Championships in late February, it will still try to be competitive in meets like the Bill Bergan Invitational.

Assistant coach Nate Wiens said the women short-distance runners will be using this weeks race as a “stepping stone” for future events.

“We will be racing still with a little bit of focus towards [training], I think every school does that,” Wiens said.

For the women throwers, assistant coach Grant Wall said the field of opposing schools at the Bergan will be similar to what they will face at the Big 12 Championships, which will impact their approach.

“We want to get up for this meet just [because] it’s such good competition and it’s at home as always, but we have to take into consideration the bigger picture of the conference meet and our national qualifiers doing well at the NCAA meet,” Wall said.

The long–distance women will have a similar approach.

“It’s a scored meet, which is fun [because] place means something, but we’re not going to kill it and try to score a bunch of points,” Ihmels said. “We’re going to use this meet to get ready for the next couple of weeks.”

The Bill Bergan Invitational will begin at 1 p.m. Jan. 24 at the Lied Recreation Athletic Center.