Indoor Track and Field Get Ready for Postseason

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The indoor track and field season is wrapping up and the University of Indianapolis’s team is starting to prepare for the postseason. The team is set to begin the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) Indoor Championships on Feb. 25 with the NCAA Championship the weekend of March 8, according to UIndy Athletics. According to Interim Director of Cross Country and Track and Field Brad Robinson, the team is hoping to continue the success that they have experienced thus far in the season. 

“The team has been pretty solid actually,” Robinson said. “I’ve been happy with the progress we’ve made, we’ve put ourselves into a good spot, I think even a little higher than I would have anticipated coming into the season. So we’ve had a few spots that have risen further than we anticipated, and just trying to keep that momentum going in the last two weeks before conference.”

Robinson said that there is a shift in dynamic once the postseason gets closer. Since track is scored individually, he said that everyone is working hard to get in the best position for the postseason. According to Robinson, the atmosphere becomes more intense as well, because there is a rise of excitement and energy within the team. 

“The sense of the purpose behind it [postseason competition] adds an extra energy that just raises the bar for everybody competing across the board,” Robinson said. “There’s a little more at stake when you’re actually truly counting the scores at that point in time. And you’re vying for titles and honors across the board.”

Robinson said that despite the individuality of the sport, the team works together to push the others around them. Their goal is to make it to the national championship level which means those who will not qualify still do their best to push the teammates who are competing at the higher level. With this higher level of competition comes changes in the practices and training of the team, according to Robinson. This means as the team gets to the postseason, they will focus on recovering and healing their bodies more, whether it is for the national competition or for the upcoming outdoor season. 

Fifth-year graduate student Mariah Judy competes for the cross country team and the track and field team, focusing on the mile and 800-meter run. After back-to-back injuries last season, Judy did not get to compete in the indoor season last year at all. Being on both the cross country and track team means that Judy is competing from August to May due to how the seasons line up. Judy said despite the lower numbers on the team, spirits are still high going into the postseason. 

“[There were] definitely some really big performances we’ve had as individuals but I think that always makes us better as a team as a whole,” Judy said, “Even with smaller numbers this year on the team, we still bring some depth in certain events and different specialties of the track team. It’s been cool just seeing everybody work together and support each other and cheer each other on.”

With talent also comes high expectations according to Judy, and that has been one of the challenges on the team this year. She said that because track is such a long season it is important for the team to not feel like all members have to perform their best all of the time. Much of the team’s focus has been making sure they reach their full potential at the right time. 

“Just kind of knowing when to ramp up the training [is a challenge],” Judy said. “When to kind of stay even and consistent with mileage and workouts and peaking at the right time. I feel like for any athlete, that’s your end goal during championship season, whether that’s conference, nationals, or even beyond that. So as a whole team, just having that play out at the right time for the conference.”

Trey Arnold, a fifth year senior pole-vaulter on the team, said his goal is to make it to nationals. After qualifying for indoor and outdoor nationals last year, Arnold is hoping to return to that stage in his final year of competing. The team has been gearing up for their conference tournament For the last few weeks and, according to Arnold, it seems like the whole team is doing well in their preparation. When it comes time for their conference, Arnold said as a vaulter, they will jump less but also focus on their sprint work and lifting. Arnold said the team has also enjoyed getting to compete at the Indiana State Fairground, the new home turf of the Track & Field Greyhounds.  

The Hounds will begin their GLVC Indoor Championships at the fairgrounds Feb. 24 through 25. Arnold said this is a fun meet for the team so they are looking forward to competing on this stage. 

“[I’m most excited for] just seeing how well the team is able to kind of put everything together,” Arnold said. “Conferences are normally a really fun meet for us. [I’m] hoping that we can get some kids back and peaking at the right time. That’ll be, that’s kind of the end goal for everything.”

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