April 20, 2007

Track Teams Split for Weekend

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Following weeks of adverse conditions, the Red track teams will finally get a glimpse of springtime weather this weekend. Some athletes head to Allentown, Pa., for the Moravian Invitational, and others will travel up the road to SUNY-Cortland.
This week is traditionally a low-key affair for the Red, as it falls just before the late-season push. In the coming weeks, the Red will compete in the Penn Relays, Heps, IC4As, NCAA Regionals, and perhaps the NCAA Championships. This weekend, then, offers the last opportunity for the entire Red team to perform, as only select players will compete in the bigger events.
“I don’t know, or care, in either case whether the meets are scored,” said women’s head coach Lou Duesing. “What is important is that literally everyone has the opportunity to compete … this is it for [a lot of players].”
The middle distance, distance, and throwers, including seniors Robyn Ellerbrock and Morgan Uceny, will perform nearby in Cortland. Sprinters, hurdlers, and jumpers will play in the Moravian Invitational. Many of the team’s younger players will get an opportunity to play.
The men’s squad, meanwhile, is looking forward to build momentum for the season’s stretch run.
“It’s a great opportunity,” said men’s head coach Nathan Taylor. “With the good weather, I would like to have everybody running.”
The Red’s top distance runners, including junior David Krause and freshman Charlie Hatch, are going to Cortland. As the team’s weak spot, the distance players will be critically important at Heps next month, where the Red will try to reclaim the conference title from Princeton.
The team is hoping that the expected warm weather and clear skies will lead to impressive times.
“I think in general, when you wake up in the morning and its miserable out, it is hard to get physched up,” Taylor said. “They came to practice with a good attitude though.”
The weather conditions have caused disruption to events across the nation in recent weeks, including the Texas Relays and the Colonial Relays in Virginia.
Unlike most sports, track runners must pace themselves so that they are best-conditioned for only the few races that are most important. As the outdoor season’s biggest events near, the players are communicating with coaches more and more to try to peak for the biggest races.
“We have 37 or 38 [athletes] who will continue on a month from now,” Taylor said. “As coaches, we know they have to work hard at practice and eat well. Being a good coach is a synergistic relationship, they have to tell us what is going on and we have to trust them.”