Track teams on their marks for new season

Gabe Davis

The Iowa State Women’s Track Team is sprinting off to a new start this weekend at the Minnesota Open. The team placed fourth last year in the indoor track conference meet and hope to improve their standings this year, said Head Coach Dick Lee.Lee’s optimism is largely due to his returning Big 12 champs, his returning seniors and his new recruits. Lisa Griebel, the team’s star shot put thrower, has won the event at the Big 12 conference meet for three years in a row.Griebel, senior in political science and education, is highly optimistic about the upcoming season. “This year we have people in every spot that will do well for us,” Griebel said. “Our seniors will score a lot of points for us. They are real leaders for us.”Griebel has been on the team for three years already and has seen a lot of women come and go. “The team is great this year,” she said. “This year is our year to go out there and do our thing. Our sprinters are awesome, our long distance girls from cross country are awesome.”After winning the conference shot put crown during the indoor season, Griebel took the outdoor campaign off to nurse an injury.Over the summer she competed for a spot on the US Olympic team, where she fell short.Another returning conference champ for the team is pentathlon competitor Barbara Szlendakova.Szlendakova has won the pentathlon the last two years and she shares Griebel’s optimism on this coming indoor season. “I think we have a really good team this year,” she said. “A lot of the seniors have been here a while and they should do very well.”Though the womens’ team was allowed to go home for winter break, they now find themselves hitting the workouts five days a week due to events every Saturday. “We have experience and potential working for us. We just need to keep everyone healthy so that they will be able to score their points for the team,” Lee said. “Our most important meets don’t come until the middle of February, so by then we need to be running our best.”Sheba Clarke, sophomore in journalism and mass communication and a sprinter on the team said, “We have a lot of new faces this year, but it really seems like we have a strong team this year.”The team had one competition in December but starting this weekend, the team has an event every week for the rest of this season.