The University of Indianapolis served as the host site once again this year for the Great Lakes Valley Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships, as several teams from all around migrated to the Athletics and Recreation Center this past weekend to compete. After two days of competition, UIndy’s women’s and men’s teams finished the event second and third, respectively. The Lewis University Flyers claimed both conference titles for the men’s and women’s to sweep the championships.
Overall, the Greyhounds finished the weekend with seven individual champions, four from the women and three from the men. The women had champions in both the 400 and 200-meter dashes, while also claiming the weight throw and shot put events. The men claimed the shot put, long jump and weight throw.
For the last regular indoor season meet of the regular season, the UIndy throwers traveled to the Ohio State Tune-Up on Feb. 21, where five provisional marks were set by both the men’s and women’s track and field teams.
On the men’s team, seniors Joshua Bridwell and Shane Wyant claimed provisional marks in shot put with throws of 16.36 and 15.75 meters, respectively. In weight throw, senior TJ Lovejoy threw a provisional mark of 17.14 meters.
For the women, junior Farin Hickman threw a provisional mark in the weight throw, with a toss of 16.34 meters. Senior Tatiana Zhuravleva attained a provisional mark and third place finish with a throw of 17.96 meters in the weight throw, as well as a provisional mark and first place finish in shot put, with a toss of 14.25 meters.
As a two-time national champion and a five-time All-American, Zhuravleva said that she has maintained a positive attitude about the progress she has made over the years and uses that to improve.
“I enjoy this attention [from my success] because I’m proud of what I’m doing and how much energy I put in my work. Hard work will always pay off,” she said. “This is the last year of me competing for this school. So I’m trying to do my best to represent UIndy. I believe if you want to get better, you need to be focused on your goals.”
The Tune-Up was the last meet before the Greyhound track and field teams competed in the GLVC Indoor Championships.
Prior to the meet, Zhuravleva said that she had high expectations for the events, which would help her with the NCAA Indoor National Championships.
“My goals are to win in both the shot put and weight throw events. Right now, I have the best result in the conference. So I will try to keep it up and improve my marks for Nationals,” Zhurvaleva said.
Both the men’s and women’s teams have had several student athletes from different events hit provisional marks every meet weekend this season. The improvements throughout the season are something Head Track and Field Coach Scott Fangman said amazed him.
“I’m pleasantly surprised by the progress made throughout this season. Expectation is a key factor, and it’s not the expectations from us, it’s from the athletes themselves. Sometimes you might think tradition doesn’t matter, but it does. It matters to them,” Fangman said. “Availability of resources is huge. The indoor track facility means more now this winter than it ever has before. There are a lot of schools that haven’t been able to practice at all, and here we are. I didn’t think they could get better, and they have. Every weekend they get better.”
Despite consistently using the indoor facility, Fangman said the team is still working on fully transforming into an indoor and outdoor team. So expectations for the outdoor season, which begins at the end of March, are higher, according to Fangman.
“Even though we have this nice indoor facility, we have not been able to make the transition completely, versus indoor and outdoor. We still have pretty much an outdoor team,” he said. “People ask, ‘What’s the difference?’ And there’s a huge difference. The main one is that there are different events. We throw three new events outdoor that we’re very strong in. We don’t throw them indoor, and that handicaps us immediately. We are also a better long sprint team than a short sprint team. That also hurts us.”
Zhuravleva also throws discus, which is only thrown outdoors.
“I’m very much excited for [the] outdoor season. My best event is throwing discus. So I can’t wait to see how far it [success in the event] could go this year,” Zhurvavleva said.
Twelve Greyhounds will compete in 16 events at the 2014 NCAA Indoor
National Championships, Friday and Saturday, March 14-15, in Winston-Salem, N.C.,
with a start time still to be determined.