Coaches prepare team for Missouri Relays


Photo: Rebekka Brown/Iowa State Daily

Distance runner Marley Crusch runs the 3000-meter race on Friday, Feb. 11 during the Iowa State Classic at the Lied Recreation Athletic Center. Crusch finished 16th with a time of 10:31.70.

Sally Donlin.Com

The majority of the ISU track and field team has been training for its first outdoor meet of the season, the Missouri Relays on Friday in Columbia, Mo.

The team has been getting used to training outside and adding a little bit more intensity to their workouts. Although it’s nice for the runners to get some fresh air, there have been a few setbacks they have encountered with Mother Nature as Iowa’s winter weather is still lingering, with occasional precipitation minimizing the team’s opportunities to run outside.

Fortunately, Columbia has more promising weather expected for this weekend.

“It will be the first meet for a lot of the athletes so it will be a good chance to see where they’re at,” said ISU track coach Corey Ihmels.

After only a select number of multi-event specialists and distance runners competed last weekend on the West Coast, this upcoming meet all the event groups will be competing except for the distant runners.

Distance runner Dani Stack surprised her coaches and teammates last weekend in the 10,000-meter run — she earned a personal best — is looking forward to see how her teammates do this weekend.

“Last year we got fourth in the Big 12 which is the best we’ve ever scored so I definitely think we have the chance to do that again if not better with the way everyone is training right now,” Stack said.

One of the reasons the team has been doing consistently well and improving each week is work of the coaching staff. Besides giving the athletes challenging but helpful workouts, they have made a connection with each of the athletes that helps meet the needs of the mental element of track and field.

The ISU track and field coaches have a knack for friendly and supportive coaching, talking and playing around with many of the student-athletes. 

All of the coaches are able to make that connection with their athletes which makes for easy communication regarding ways to improve or how to stay on the right track.

The team members will use the coaches’ advice and support this weekend in the Missouri Relays where they will be able to see where everyone is at in terms of the outdoor season.