|Redbirds anxious to open outdoor season|
|Written by Ashley Schrader, Daily Vidette Sports Editor|
|Tuesday, 27 March 2012 21:20|
Since early December, the ISU men’s and women’s track and field teams were hard at work, looking to get the best results throughout the indoor season.
But for some Redbirds, the indoor season marked a time of preparation rather than competition.
“The indoor season is always a prelude for the outdoor season and I think everybody gets excited for outdoor track and field, especially when the weather is warm and the sun is shining,” ISU head coach Elvis Forde said. “Our team is really looking forward to outdoors.”
For a select amount of sprinters, distance runners, hurdlers, and throwers, late-March opens their première events, as the 4x100-meter relay, 10,000-meter run, 400-meter hurdles, javelin throw, hammer throw, discus, and the 3,000-meter steeplechase are all added to the outdoor season.
For javelin throwers Tim Glover and Leigh Petranoff, weight training and drills throughout the indoor season have paved the way for the 2012 outdoor season, of which both are excited to embark upon.
“We’ve really hit it hard in the weight room with the new weight coach [Jim Lathrop], so we’ve all kind of been beat up all winter,” Petranoff said. “We try to keep it interesting and throw in some fun drills; we do a lot of medicine ball power drills, all the heavy stuff. Now with the transition to outdoor, we’ve moved to lighter balls, more fun stuff, and are trying to get quick.”
While the javelin duo are excited about the outdoor season opening Saturday at the EIU Big Blue Classic, Petranoff and Glover are looking to peak later in the season near June, when the NCAA National Outdoor Championships are scheduled.
“I just need to keep doing what I’m doing and kind of push everything back because my season’s going to go later on,” Glover said. “Last year we kind of learned that I got burnt out at the USA Championships because I’m throwing into June. We are basically just doing what we did last year and making little modifications here and there.”
Glover, who won the javelin championship at the national meet last season, will only compete at three meets (the ISU home meet, the Drake Relays, and the conference championships), before the postseason in order to ensure a fresh arm come June.
“Nationals is a goal of mine, to repeat [a championship title] and then the big thing for be is hitting the A Standard, which is 82-meters,” Glover said. “I’ve already qualified for the US Olympic trials and hopefully if I hit the A Standard I can go over to London for the Olympics.”
But for steeplechaser, Kristen Zillmer, who earned second at the Missouri Valley Conference Championships last season, she is anticipating a full workload throughout the outdoor season.
“I love indoor and outdoor because I really like the mile and 1,500-meter races, but steeple is my favorite thing,” Zillmer said. “So all indoor I get excited for outdoor knowing I get to do the steeplechase.”
While Zillmer competes in distance events during the indoor season, she adds hurdle workouts during tempo runs in the indoor season to prepare for the rigorous 3K-steeplechase event. But according to the sophomore, the work is worth is, as the event plays to her strengths.
“I love the steeplechase,” she said. “I think it’s the perfect event for me because it’s something that keeps me distracted from thinking about the actual distance of the race, instead I’m thinking about the next hurdle. It’s a great race for people who are more athletic, who are good at not just running.”
Zillmer hopes to make it to the national meet and earn All-American honors. She also aspires to qualify for the Olympic trials.
Although Glover and Zillmer will not compete in their favorite events this weekend, Petranoff will join her fellow Redbirds in opening the outdoor season at Charleston, Ill., for the Big Blue Classic Saturday.