Iowa State track and field travels back to Iowa City looking for improvement

ISU sophomore Chris Celona competes in the men’s weight throw during the Big 12 Indoor Championships at the Lied Rec Center on Feb. 26. Celona would go on to place eighth with a best throw of 17.37 meters. 

Zane Douglas

The Iowa State men’s track and field team goes back to Iowa City for the second straight weekend in the Larry Wieczorek Invitational. The Cyclones are coming off a big weekend and they look to build off of it.

As the Cyclones travel onto this next weekend, they are tasked with another event at the home of the Hawkeyes and this time, it seems, there is more to prove. With a couple meets already past them, they should be looking at improved times and distances.

“I figured out what I’ve been doing wrong,” said junior thrower Vlad Pavlenko when discussing his recent success. “You just keep making the tiny corrections.”

Pavlenko has been dominant this year in the weight throwing category, earning first place in every meet so far. This weekend, he hopes he can continue that success and tally another win against a tougher competition.

Mitch Dixon, a weight thrower for Kansas State, will pose a threat to Pavlenko’s dominance so far.

“He’s really our first Big 12 opponent that I’ll be facing,” Pavlenko said. “It’d be nice to go against him. To beat him would be cool.”

Many new challenges will arise from this meet. One thing Iowa State has not done this year yet is the heptathlon. This weekend, Wyatt Rhoads will compete in the event. Since it is his first of the year, nobody knows just what to expect.

Rhoads has been the multi-sport athlete for the Cyclones over the last two seasons and he has competed in heptathlons and decathlons.

“The biggest thing for me is just to be a tone setter,” said senior Jalen Ford when asked about his leadership role on the team. “Whenever I’m in the weight room I’m probably the most annoying one.”

When asked about what goes through his mind right before a jump Ford replied with “nothing.”

“My biggest problem was actually thinking too much,” Ford said. 

Ford is a high jumper and he participated only in the Cyclone Duals, but he got his personal record in that meet. Ford will look to improve upon a solid start to the season. He’s Iowa State’s best high jumper and he will be on display this weekend.

Ford can make a positive impact on some of the younger Cyclone athletes with his mental poise and his leadership abilities.

Another athlete who should be watched closely this weekend is redshirt junior distance runner Dan Curts.

Curts performed well last week as he finished first in the 1,000-meter run. This weekend he will be racing in three different events and he figures to make an impact on how the team does as a whole.

This meet is the first one in which a Big 12 school has been competing against the Cyclones. That being said, this is a very important meet and has strong implications as Iowa State starts to face its conference.