Track & Field To Compete In Big Four Duals
DES MOINES, Iowa - The Drake University men’s and women’s track teams return to competition following a month-long break on Saturday at the Big Four Duals in Iowa City, Iowa. The meet, a new addition to the indoor schedule this season, will bring together Drake, Northern Iowa, Iowa and Iowa State in a scored meet between the four Division I programs in the state.
“The scoring is a big deal because in track and field it’s tough to tell winners and losers so it’s exciting to go head-to-head,” said Drake track and field head coach Natasha Kaiser-Brown. “It raises up your athletes’ performance as well because when nothing is scored you don’t really know where you rank. It’s nice to have something to go in there and fight together for as a team and it’s exciting to rally around each other knowing that every point counts.”
The Big Four Duals will be the Bulldogs’ second indoor competition of the season after opening the season at the Iowa State Holiday Preview on Dec. 6 with 31 top-five finishes. The more than month-long break provides training challenges, but Kaiser-Brown has been pleased with her team’s condition in their first week back on campus in team workouts.
“I’m always apprehensive because we get them in great shape in November and December and then it’s a month until we see them again,” Kaiser-Brown said. “I’ve been pleasantly surprised that everyone came back in reasonable condition and maintained what they had. They look good and really strong.”
That commitment to conditioning over the holiday break has allowed the coaching staff to focus on preparing the team for Saturday’s meet and making a strong showing against the other three in-state rivals.
“This week was the first week that we’ve really had to assess the team and assign them to events,” Kaiser-Brown said. “But we’re really looking forward to going head-to-head and seeing how we rank with these other schools. It’s nice when you have three conferences competing at the same time to see how you match up.”
Events at the University of Iowa Recreation Building get underway at noon with field events. Action on the track starts at 2:30 p.m.
Following this weekend’s Big Four Duals, the team will continue its indoor season the following weekend at the Jack Johnson Invitational in Minneapolis, Minn., Jan. 24-25.