After a month of competing separately, Spartan track and field is back together again.
The team will be competing at the site of the 2014 Big Ten Outdoor Championship in Bloomington, Ind. for the Billy Hayes Invitational.
“I think spending some time together is important to get reconnected, get a better sense of team,” said head coach Walt Drenth. “The other advantages of going down to Purdue, is that they are the hosts of the conference meet.”
This will be the teams last large scale meet before the Big Ten Championship in two weeks, and the coaches are looking to bring the team back together and get them used to competing as a whole again.
“Whether its someone who is doing multiple events or someone doing just one event, like the 10,000 meters,” said Drenth. “You get in a situation where you feel some responsibility to each other.”
However, despite the unofficial team reunion taking place this weekend, they will still be without a few.
“[Jaelynn Pryor] is still not going to go. We think she’s seasoned enough that by the time she gets to the conference meet, run the preliminary round and through the final that she will be on an upswing,” Drenth said. “But she’s been knicked up enough that it makes it hard to put her in competition.”
Pryor, a senior, is a seasoned sprinter and a valuable part of the team. While she is experienced enough to race in the Big Ten Championship, without being very present in the outdoor season, athletes like Pryor are crucial leaders on the team.
Despite some absences, a weekend competing as a whole team should create some lasting momentum to place the athletes in a good position in the Big Ten rankings.
Alexa McCarthy is the host of the Last Leg for Impact Sports.
Photo: Nubia Buckingham/Impact Sports