ISU men’s long-distance goes indoors


Photo: Rebekka Brown/Iowa State Daily

Charlie Paul participates in the 5,000-meter run for the Iowa State Classic on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012 at Lied. Paul finished the race with a time of 14:23.89.

Mark Specht

The ISU men’s long-distance runners might be running with a chip on their shoulders this indoor track season.

The men ended the cross-country season with a disappointing eighth-place finish in the NCAA Midwest Regional meet Nov. 9, failing to qualify for the NCAA Championships.

“After the disappointing end to the cross-country season, we kind of want to turn that around in indoor [track] and get some good times and get some guys to the nationals this year,” said senior Mohamed Hrezi.

Any running event more than 800 meters is considered a long-distance event in track. For indoor track, that includes the 800-meter, 1,000-meter, 3,000-meter, 5,000-meter and mile race.

The Cyclones’ long-distance team is in the unique position of not needing to travel to race. This is because the track at Lied Recreation Athletic Center is one of only three indoor 300-meter college tracks in the nation.

“It’s really nice [to not have to travel],” said senior Charlie Paul. “Just outside of running, it’s great for your classwork and everything like that; you can stay on task and kind of get a head start. It’s also just a [comfort] thing where you’re sleeping in your own bed at night and you’re racing in [Lied] where we practice everyday.”

Assistant coach Travis Hartke said another benefit of being at home every race is that it gives redshirted athletes “ample opportunity” to race unattached and get race experience.

Paul said the track had noticeable wear and tear, but since its recent resurfacing, it is now softer and easier on the runners’ legs.

The runners will be training on their own while on break from mid-December to mid-January and then will compete at the ISU Open on Jan. 18. Hartke said the ISU Open would be the first indoor race of the season for most of the long-distance runners.

“As an event group [we] want distance to be looked at as a place where [the team] can really score some points,” Paul said.

The first scheduled meet for both the men’s and women’s track and field teams is the Holiday Preview on Friday, Dec. 7, at Lied.