A familiar yet different face will be running with the IU track and field team for the Galdstein Invitational at the Harry Gladstein Fieldhouse this Friday and Saturday.
Considering the Gladstein Invitational is an open meet and unattached athletes can register to run, IU alumnus Andy Bayer will be running in the 3000m race this weekend. Bayer graduated in the spring of 2013 and has been sponsored by Nike since then. IU Coach Ron Helmer has allowed for Bayer to train with the current IU athletes this week in preparation for the meet.
“He holds the fieldhouse record and the school record in the 3000m, and he runs at a high level,” Helmer said. “He’s training with us right now, so he’ll be in that race, and we expect some really high marks there.”
Bayer will be running the 3000m along with redshirt sophomore Kyle Mau and redshirt freshman Ben Veatch.
This weekend's competition will include Indiana State, South Florida, Virginia Tech, Miami of Ohio, West Michigan and Bradley, among others. IU Head Coach Ron Helmer says that he and the other coaches are not too concerned with the competition for this meet.
“We aren’t keeping a team score, so I am not really worried about the competition a lot,” Helmer said. “But we are really focusing more on the individual competition and with things like breaking personal records.”
Because there is no focus on a team score and winning the meet, some athletes will be put into different events for the weekend than they usually compete in.
“We will put some of the guys in different events to see how they do. The guys that ran the mile in Kentucky, they might compete in the 3000m or the 800m," Helmer said. "It gives them a chance to see other events and competition, so we’ll see how they do in that and continue to go forward from there.”
Helmer says that for some athletes, this weekend will be their time to rest, but for others, this is their time to improve upon prior performances.
“The jumpers are going to take a little of a down week and not be in too many events, not stretch themselves too thin,” Helmer said. “But I expect our throwers to have a much better meet this week than they did last week.”
Before last weekend's meet, Helmer said to keep an eye on freshman Teddy Browning, and Browning did not disappoint. Helmer said that he believes Browning will be a great asset to the team for this season and throughout his career at IU.
“Teddy Browning was one of those guys who we thought was going to have a breakthrough race last weekend, and he absolutely did,” Helmer said. “He is going to have the chance to be a really good contributor.”
For this meet, Helmer says his goal for the team is for the athletes to continue to improve upon themselves.
“We just need the chance to compete and continue to grow,” Helmer said. “The better they get as individuals, the better we get as a team.”