The grind starts now.
After a week off, the Iowa State men’s track and field team will be about as far away from Iowa as possible as they travel to both Stanford, California, and Gainesville, Florida, for a couple events that will be anything but a vacation.
“You get kind of more focused on your primary event,” said middle-distance coach Jeremy Sudbury who spoke on the differences of outdoors and indoors.
Outdoor track does not have as many middle-distance events as indoor track does, which takes away from the versatility of the team and the players. This can also be good thing, as it brings out the best in certain areas and it’s easy to find people’s specialties.
With the team still transitioning to outdoor track, as well as having the week off, there should be some rust to shake before this weekend.
The Cyclones boasted some solid tryouts last week at the Tulsa Duels, and now this week it seems they are ready to go.
“We’re [going to] try to run fast and get guys to run a personal best,” Sudbury said.
Toward the end of the season, the meets will focus more on placing like they did in the indoor season. But at the start, the Cyclone men will be looking mostly for times.
In Florida, the team will be attending the Florida Relays, which will feature a couple relays the Cyclones haven’t yet done this year: the 4X100-meter relay and the 4X800-meter relay.
These relays, along with most of the events Iowa State has chosen to compete in will be happening in Gainesville, but in California, five runners will show up to run the 1,500-meter run and the 5,000-meter run.
“We’re all healthy. Guys are firing on all cylinders,” Sudbury said.
Health has been an issue for some athletes this year for Iowa State. Sophomore distance runner Festus Lagat had to sit out for some of the indoor season after a strenuous cross-country season left him pretty banged up.
On the shorter side, junior sprinter and hurdler Eric Fogltanz had an injury before the outdoor season last year, which means it’s been a while since he has run in outdoor events. Fogltanz will be running in the 400-meter hurdles event this weekend.
Even with no injuries, the Cyclones will be short-staffed this week as they are only bringing high-jumpers Jalen Ford and Cody Durbin as field event competitors in Florida.
With a tough schedule coming up, it could be important to get as much rest as they can where it seems appropriate.
The breaks are few and far between now for the track and field team, so they’ll be looking to bear down and gut-out this outdoor season.
Sudbury said he is excited for the outdoor portion of the season.
“Being outside, that fresh air and everything else, that’s part of what track and field’s about,” Sudbury said.