The beginning of the end for the indoor track and field season is upon the ISU track and field teams as they will head to Cedar Falls, Iowa for the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) Championships.
Head Coach Elvis Forde is excited to see how his team does against the best of the best in the MVC.
“Indiana State, Southern Illinois and Wichita State are the best on both (men’s and women’s) sides. I think those three teams are the best, but we feel as though we can break through and really compete with them,” Forde said. “We can’t afford to make any errors though, and we can’t lose any of the spots we feel we have.”
Forde also expects the best out of his Redbirds, but has a level head about the competition.
“As a coach, you always want to be the champions, but reality sets in with injuries occurring, and how banged up guys can get through the season,” Forde said.
Many eyes will be on throwers Curt Jensen and Akil Mills, who have each in the last couple of weeks had at least one MVC Field Athlete of the Week award.
“Curt and Akil will do well, but with that being said, we can’t count on just them alone,” Forde said.
He was excited to see what the other men will be able to do at the meet. He expects pole-vaulters Chase Pavelonis and Kevin Fisch to have a huge impact, as well as their relay teams, and Anderson Devonish in the sprints.
There is also Ryan Rutherford and the rest of the distance runners, who made their presence felt in Cross Country this year, and expect to do well at the championship this year.
On the women’s side, Forde points to Kristen Zillmer and the rest of the returners from the women’s 4X400 meter relay race, Shandel Ellis and Printassia Johnson, as they hope to do it again.
Jianna Williams is the leader of the throwers and has enjoyed a breakout season. She is expected to continue her success at this weekend.
Rachael Brewer will also compete in the 300-meter, and will look to continue the success she had throughout the season.
“Haley Goers and Kelly McShea will really pace us in the distance runs, and I’m excited to see them push themselves to the next level,” Forde said.
Forde is excited to watch how his team stacks up against the MVC to prove what they can do.
“It’s going to take the best performances from all of our athletes. The MVC is one of the better track and field conferences in the nation,” Forde said.
It will surely be a competitive weekend for the Redbirds. The meet will take place this weekend. Competition begins at 2 p.m on March 1 at the University of Northern Iowa.