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Track and field finishes indoor, preps for outdoor

February 26, 2009

The UW-River Falls track and field teams are nearing the end of the indoor season, with only three meets left before the outdoor season begins. The most recent event was the Coca Cola Classic held here on Feb. 13-14.

“The event went well,” Head Coach Martha Brennan said. “With 12 teams participating, it was the largest event held here.”

The men and the women now look towards their final three meets of the indoor season, the WIAC meet, the Last Chance Meet and then the NCAA Nationals in the middle of March.

Junior Kali Meurer said that she would rather have meets indoors, because of the environmental factors that come into play.

“Personally, I prefer to have meets indoors. During the indoor season, there are only a few things that can affect your performance, but outdoors it’s very unpredictable because of the weather. You have to take wind, temperature and precipitation into consideration when looking at times/distances/heights,” Meurer said in an e-mail interview.

The environmental factors also seem to put UWRF at a slight disadvantage in certain events. Runners seem to prefer the outdoor events more because they tend to run better, Brennan said.

Junior Tony Hart, who does sprints, agreed.

“The turns are not as sharp, the tracks are softer, it’s easier on the legs,” Hart said.

Brennan added that it is easier to keep athletes healthy during the outdoor season.

Even though the season is long, Brennan said she has the same excitement as she did earlier in the year.

“Every week, there are good things happening, someone is always improving,” Brennan said. “I look forward to every practice and every meet.”

Brennan also added the level of play between the men and the women.

“The women are better, because they have a team longer,” Brennan said. “The men’s team is fairly new, but always improving.”

Meurer and Hart both found different things they said they would like to improve on. While Meurer looked at the team aspect, Hart set his sights on personal goals.

“I would like set my own personal best time at the 400 meter dash,” Hart said. “I just like to know that I am getting faster each year.”

Meurer said she wants the team to improve in the conference, saying that improving in the conference is the key to improving at Nationals.

“Though we are in Div. III, we are guaranteed a lot of good competitors from the WIAC; each year there are multiple athletes from this conference that qualify and compete at Nationals. If we can improve in our conference, it’s a good indicator that we are also improving on the national level,” Meurer said.

As for improvements by the coach, Brennan said she would like to see more fans at the meets.

“This is an exciting team to watch,” Brennan said. “More students should come out to a meet, even if they don’t understand everything about track and field.”

The WIAC meet takes place 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 27, and 9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 28, at UW-Stout.