The IU men’s track and field team will hit the road for the first time this season and compete in the Kentucky Invitational.
The Hoosiers hosted the first two meets of the season, but this Friday, the team will travel to Lexington, Kentucky, for the invitational hosted by the Wildcats. IU Coach Ron Helmer said that his team is ecstatic to travel for the first time this year.
“I think that they are excited just by how they are responding to getting the itinerary and the gear and all that stuff," Helmer said. "They are just excited about it, as they should be."
Junior shot putter David Schall, junior 3000m-runner Joe Murphy, senior weight thrower Andrew Miller, senior 800m-runner Jordan Huntoon, and sophomore pole vaulter Adam Coulon have all ranked in the top ten nationally in their respected events.
Helmer said their accomplishments aren't exactly something these athletes should get too hung up on.
“There are schools that will start competing this weekend, so the rankings are a little bit misleading, but still they are good marks,” Helmer said. “I think the athletes just look at it as validation for the work that they have done, they know that there is more competition coming.”
Helmer said the rankings are appreciated, but what he wants his team to focus on is the need to stay healthy so they can make good marks all season long.
“The process right now is probably way more important, it is still early January and what we do now will carry us through May and June," Helmer said. "We certainly need to focus on the work we put in, the process is most important now and it will start to result in the performances we need."
Although the season just started, Helmer mentions that it is never too early to be looking ahead for what is to come throughout the season.
The Hoosiers ultimate goal throughout the season is to get as many athletes in their respective events for the Big Ten Championships as well as the National Championships.
For this weekend’s meet, Helmer said that the athletes that are scoring high and placing in the national rankings are expected to perform well such as Schall, Miller and Coulon on the field, and Murphy and Huntoon on the track.
Throughout the season, Helmer says to keep an eye out for some young athletes such as redshirt freshmen Teddy Browning and Ben Veatch.