April 29, 2010

Track Prepares for 2010 Outdoor Heptagonals

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As the 2010 Outdoor Heptagonals looms in under two weeks’ time, men’s head coach Nathan Taylor finds himself repeating the phrase “money in the bank” over and over. And no, Lil Scrappy and Young Buck’s 2006 chart-topping “Money in the Bank” is not on Taylor’s Recently Added iTunes playlist (I think). Rather, Taylor is referring to the Red’s physical conditioning as May 8’s Ivy Championships approaches.  “The first two days of this week, I’ve used the term ‘the money’s in the bank,’ and it really is,” Taylor said. “There’s not much we’re going to do between now and the Heps that will have an impact on their conditioning.”  Thus, runners going to Heptagonals are essentially at their peak fitness level; there is not much left to do but wait and mentally prepare. Still, while the Red may not be doing much training over the next two weeks, this weekend’s Cornell Outdoor Invitational will be an important meet; after all, Taylor and women’s head coach Lou Duesing will likely decide the remaining spots on the roster for their Heptagonals squads based on individual performances.   “We’ve got a lot of kids who are trying to solidify spots on the Heps team. This is their chance to show they belong versus somebody else,” Taylor said.  According to Duesing, “We refer to it as ‘people trying to get on the bus’ … we’re limited in the number of people we can take overall and enter in events.”  Since both the men’s and women’s teams boast considerable depth, few athletes will be guaranteed a slot at Heptagonals. Both Duesing and Taylor will be scrutinizing all timed results and jump marks carefully in events ranging from the hammer to hurdles. Performances at prior meets, from the Irvine to Big Red Invitationals, will likely be taken into account as well. In the end, deciding final rosters will still be a deliberative, challenging prospect.  “In that range from about the 30th-best kid to the 50th-best kid, it’s really close,” Taylor said.  That said, the Red has some athletes who are sure to be a lock at Heps. On the men’s side, senior co-captain Duane Teixeira has been strong all year in the jumps. Similarly, sophomore Chase Aaronson and freshman Bruno Hortelano-Roig have led the team in sprints all year.  To name just a few on the women’s side, senior pole-vaulter Natalie Gengel and sophomore Melissa Hewitt in sprints have been standouts for the Red all year. Senior Lindsay Broyhill has also been strong in the 800m.  For these athletes, resting and recovering before Heptagonals will be essential for strong performances. Since the event is in less than two weeks, hard workouts will do nothing but wear runners out.  “At this point what we want people to do is sharpen up, rest and stay away from sharp objects,” Duesing said.

Original Author: Nathan Lowry