In preparation for the Big Ten Championships on Feb. 23, IU Coach Ron Helmer decided to split the athletes up into two separate groups this weekend.
The Hoosiers had athletes registered in three meets, but due to inclement weather, the flight to Arkansas for the Tyson Invitational was cancelled, and IU was forced to drop from the meet.
This group of jumpers will now be competing at home. For the weekend, the team will be split between the Iowa State Classic and the Hoosier Hills meet.
“We have four guys and three girls, all middle-distance runners, going to Iowa State and then the Hoosier Hills here at home on Friday,” Helmer said.
Helmer said this decision was made to put each athlete in the best position possible, either in preparation for important upcoming meets or to give other athletes more time on the track.
“This is just the way the sport is now, so we have to make some adjustments and adapt to make sure we put our athletes in the best situations possible,” Helmer said. “The Hoosier Hills will have some really good events for the mid-level athletes, and I expect to have some really good performances and PRs.”
Although Helmer said he tries to keep the team together as much as possible, he said that in a sport like track where everyone is on different levels, it can be hard to do that and benefit all the athletes at the same time. Sometimes to further develop the team, they have to focus on different things in different places.
“This weekend is a good time for those who need one last tune-up before the Big Ten, or for redshirt athletes, or for those who aren't going to the Big Ten because they aren’t quite ready yet, no matter where they are competing,” Helmer said.
Ultimately, even after the Big Ten Championship, Helmer said the goal in mind is to get to the outdoor season, which begins March 23, and continue to improve.
“We can take a nice step forward this weekend and have them go out and do something that they are happy with," Helmer said. "They all need motivation to continue into the outdoor season and keep the training going and keep getting better."
For now, Helmer said the team is focused on maintaining and improving their times to find success in the next few meets as the season continues.
“This is a big weekend in terms of the performances we want to put out there," Helmer said. "We just need to make sure we are ready to run in the Big Ten Championship and protect the times that we have right now.”
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