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Weather conditions place track and field practices indoors

April 17, 2008

The UW-River Falls track and field team is ready to move all meets and practices outdoors. According to the track and field Web site, practices and meets outside were supposed to start at the beginning of April. The unpredictable weather left the team at a disadvantage at the start, head coach Martha Brennan said.

“There are schools in the south that are able to practice outdoors year round, which makes it difficult for us to compete against them at nationals,” Brennan said.

Another disadvantage to the unpredictable weather is that it takes time to make the switch from indoor to outdoor. The team can be indoors for a couple days, and outdoors the next day, followed by more practices indoors, Brennan said.

Brennan coaches both the men’s and women’s teams.

“All the athletes train together at the same time. Everyone works hard and everyone wants to be successful,” Brennan said.

She also said that there aren’t really any differences between the teams.

“The only difference might be that the women’s program is more successful than the men’s, but that is due to the fact that the men’s program has been dropped and brought back throughout the years,” Brennan said.

According to the track and field Web site, the men’s program was reinstated in 2002.

Even though the gender of the athletes may be different, Brennan’s training methods are the same. She has an organized training plan that follows the course of the school year. That plan will get re-evaluated at the end of the year.

“There are no training secrets, just two key components,” she said, “Organization and re-evaluation.”

Brennan mentioned the overall goal for this season.

“Our goal is to get as good as we can,” Brennan said. “Right now, I think our women’s team is one of the top 10 teams in the nation. The men’s team isn’t there yet, but I think we can get there in a few years.”

Brennan also said that in the three years she’s been here, UWRF has been better nationally than in the conference, all because of the depth the team has.

UWRF had one athlete compete at nationals in 2005. two in 2006 and five in 2007.

“Usually, those schools that have five people at nationals are in good shape,” Brennan said.

In the conference, UW-Lacrosse and UW-Oshkosh are the top two teams. UW-Eau Claire and UWRF will battle it out for the third spot before the WIAC championships May 2-3.