The outdoor track and field season is beginning to wrap up, with two weeks left until championship season. This weekend the men will be splitting up, sending contingents to California and to nearby Iowa City.
The smaller group is heading to compete in the Cardinal Classic in Stanford, California. Only seven men will be representing Iowa State, competing in long distance events of 1500-meter and 5000-meter runs.
One of the seven, Christian Delago, has already run a time to qualify for regionals later this season. Dan Curts, competing in the 1500-meter run, is considered on the bubble for competing in regionals.
The larger group this weekend will be competing in the Musco Twilight Open in Iowa City.
Chris Celona, hammer throw participant, is coming off his best competition of the season and is looking to continue his success this weekend.
“It’s around this time of year that things start falling into place,” Celona said. “I’m starting to become more consistent and feel more comfortable with my throws.”
Celona had a similar trend during the indoor part of the season when competing in the weight throw event. He had his highs and lows, but toward the end, he started to put it all together, resulting in his best throw at conference.
Having the last weekend off has allowed Celona the chance to rest and get his reps in during training. The weather has also been competent with training, which could be a factor as his last meet was in Arizona and this weekend’s being in Iowa.
Though the conference meet is nearing, Celona knows he can’t think that far ahead yet.
“In the past I’ve made the mistake of treating meets differently,” Celona said. “I just need to prepare the same, throw consistently and be both aggressive and calm.”
For some of those athletes competing this weekend, like Finn Hoogensen, it could be their last meet to prove themselves before conference next month.
Hoogensen will be competing in the 400-meter hurdles at Iowa City, which weren’t considered his primary event at the season's beginning.
“I’ve had a major breakthrough recently in practice by being able to clear the hurdle in stride,” Hoogensen said. “I’m hoping to run a time of about 54 or 55 seconds, then I’ll be pleased.”
Hoogensen hasn’t had the chance to compete much this season, making this meet even more important for him.
In addition, Hoogensen will also have some of his family and friends in attendance to watch him with the meet being so close.
“My family has always been supportive of me,” Hoogensen said. “I want to run a good race, repay them for everything they’ve given me.”