Men’s track, field looks for continued success after season opener

Freshman Wyatt Rhoads runs toward the finish line during the 60-meter hurdles as part of the men’s heptathalon at the Big 12 Indoor Championships held at the Lied Rec Center on Feb. 27. Rhoads placed ninth with a time of 8.74 seconds.

Mike Burvee

Last weekend, the Iowa State men’s track and field team kicked off the indoor season in Iowa City by setting personal records, winning multiple events and even running some of the best times in Iowa State history.

This weekend, the athletes are looking to continue their success as they again will travel to Iowa City to compete in the Larry Wieczorek Invitational.

As the competition starts to increase with more schools participating, such as Florida State, one factor will remain the same. The Cyclones will compete at the same location they did last weekend, which could give them a slight advantage.

A handful of Cyclones performed well at the Hawkeye Invitational last weekend, including Logan Schneider. Schneider primarily runs in the 60-meter indoor hurdles and ran a personal record last weekend. 

“I was hoping to do that,” Schneider said. “It meant a lot to me that I could perform that well already, but I know I can also do better.”

Though he’s a junior on the team, he’s still adapting to the feel of running hurdles. He didn’t start competing in hurdles until his senior year of high school.

Schneider will look to shave off more time this weekend and continue to climb in the Iowa State record books, having run the ninth fastest time at 8.09 seconds.

“If I pay attention to the details in practice, I will get even better,” Schneider said. “My goal is to run below eight seconds.”

In addition to seeing success among the short-distance athletes, the coaching staff also saw good times from the long-distance runners. The first meet of the season featured younger runners, some of whom participated in their first ever Division I competition.

This weekend’s meet will include some different faces, particularly in long-distance events.

“Many of our guys also competed in the cross-country season,” assistant coach Jeremy Sudbury said. “Knowing that you have to pick and choose your battles, we don’t want to wear them out too early in the season.”

Two of those men who Sudbury was referencing are Thomas Pollard and Kevyn Hoyos. Both of them played important roles in getting the men’s cross-country team to nationals and finding eventual success. Sudbury said there’s the potential to see one or both of them compete in the final meet of January.

There are a couple determinants in who the coaches choose to compete and who doesn’t. One of those factors is determined during practice. The coaches can see who might do best in a particular event and if they feel the most prepared. The other factor is determined by the participating colleges at a particular meet.

“This meet’s featured events will be the 600-meter, 800-meter, mile and 3K races,” Sudbury said. “We talk to the other colleges that will be there and figure out what event they want to focus on.”

Though the coaching staff didn’t go into the first meet with many expectations, the bar has now been set for the rest of the season.

“You never know what might happen when putting on the spikes for the first time,” Sudbury said. “Now we have to maintain consistency and continue to get better as we approach [Big 12s].”