The Hoosiers will hit the road this weekend and travel to Ann Arbor, Michigan to the Power 5 Invitational hosted by the University of Michigan.
This meet will feature teams such as Stanford, Minnesota, Duke, NC State, Virginia, Baylor and Michigan. All the teams competing this weekend are part of one of the five “Power 5” conferences, this includes the Big Ten, Big 12, Pac 12, ACC and SEC.
IU Coach Ron Helmer said the team has been looking forward to this invitational. Until now, the competition the team has has been in preparation for this weekend.
“That competition is going to be really good at the Power 5," Helmer said. “It’s that time of year where we have to be prepared to compete at a high level.”
The Hoosiers have competed in five meets so far this season, four of which have been held at home. With over 20 hours of racing, throwing and jumper under their belts, the team is starting to pick up steam.
“The team has been really coming together and working together to improve as individuals as the rankings and personal records show," Helmer said. "But, the most important part is that they are improving as as a team meet after meet.”
Helmer likes to argue that track and field, though viewed as an individual sport, requires a team effort in order to improve and be successful against tough competition.
He gives the example of freshman Ben Veatch rabbiting, or keeping the pace for the first three laps of the mile, to help sophomore Kyle Mau claim one of the fastest times nationally.
Throughout the week, the team will continue to work hard and practice at a high level.
Not only will this weekend’s invitational give the athletes a good feel at where they stand against some of the top opponents, but it will help the coaches as well.
“This weekend will give myself and the other coaches a good look at what competition looks like across the board,” Helmer said. “Going into the regular season, when the team will be traveling all around the nation, this will be helpful.”
Although it is evident that the opponents IU will face at the Power 5 Invitational will be tougher than any of the competition the team has seen this season, Helmer still believes his team is ready.
“I think the team will do great," Helmer said. "They have been wanting to go against competition like this.”