Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Stage is Set






I love to compete. Always have. My identical twin brother, Darrin and I used to make everything into a competition when we were kids. Now that I think about it, we haven’t changed much as adults. I love the thrill of a good fight. I love the head to head battles in sport; the come from behind victories, the last second shots and the impossible wins. I’ve had my heart broken by losing the close ones and I’ve known the wins that should never have happened. I’m not entirely sure a competitive nature can be taught. The resilience to stay strong in the battle, even when the chips are down is developed at a pretty early age. I don't think winners learn how to compete at this point in the game. The good ones have been winning by out-competing their opponents their whole lives. That is why I place far more importance on a recruit's ability to win than I do on their personal bests. If they know how to compete well at the big meets, chances are they will perform well at the next level.

In two days the UNI Panther tracksters will  embark on another indoor Missouri Valley Conference Championship. This is my favorite part of the year. I LOVE this stuff. The athletes are all peaking and everyone is mobilizing toward a common goal. It is in these team championships we find the reason track and field was once one of the most popular sports in America. This weekend at the MVC championships, you will see some of the most fun and exciting track and field you are likely to see anywhere. I want everyone to come to the meet because I want everyone to see track and field at it’s finest.

The Stage
According to the form charts, the men's team race appears to be a battle between Indiana State and Southern Illinois. Wichita State and UNI are well back.
On the women's side, Wichita State is the early favorite followed by Indiana State and Southern Illinois. 
The good news is that when it comes to MVC Championships, you can flush the form charts down the toilet. They are practically meaningless. 



Here is what I can tell you about Northern Iowa: We are well prepared for the meet and tougher than we were a year ago. I love the fight in this team. The veterans are seasoned and ready for the task at hand. They've seen a couple close MVC meets slip away and seem very focused on doing whatever is asked of them to help the Panther cause. The freshmen are too young to know they shouldn't win the meet, and hungry enough to stick their noses in places they don't belong. Fearless newcomers have a tendency to make a real mess of the form charts.


I have no idea where the UNI teams are going to finish in the team race, but we will be playing to win. I can't find many lessons in playing it safe. It should be a great battle. Both teams could win, both could finish as low as 4th or 5th. That is the beauty and nightmare of relying on freshmen. But this will be an incredibly fun meet. The Panthers that will be competing Saturday and Sunday don't have any quit in them. I have been around long enough to know a special group when I see one. Win or lose, they will make you proud to be supporting the Purple and Gold.
The meet is Saturday and Sunday, February 25th and 26th.The schedule is listed at the bottom of this blog.


DAY ONE
Multi-Events
9:30 a.m. 60 Meter Hurdles Women’s Pentathlon
10:00 a.m. 60 Meter Dash Men’s Heptathlon
10:30 a.m. High Jump Women’s Pentathlon
10:55 a.m. Long Jump Men’s Heptathlon
12:00 p.m. Shot Put Women’s Pentathlon
12:30 p.m. Shot Put Men’s Heptathlon
1:15 p.m. High Jump Men’s Heptathlon
1:45 p.m. Long Jump Women’s Pentathlon
2:45 p.m. 800 Meter Run Women’s Pentathlon
Field Events
1:15 p.m. 20# Weight Throw Women’s Trials and Final
3:00 p.m. Pole Vault Men’s Final
3:15 p.m. 35# Weight Throw Men’s Final
4:15 p.m. Long Jump Men’s Trials and Final
6:15 p.m. Long Jump Women’s Trials and Final
Track Events
3:00 p.m. 60 Meter Dash Women’s Prelims (If needed)
3:15 p.m. 60 Meter Dash Men’s Prelims (If needed)
3:30 p.m. 60 Meter Hurdles Women’s Prelims (If needed)
3:45 p.m. 60 Meter Hurdles Men’s Prelims (If needed)
4:00 p.m. 800 Meter Run Women’s Prelims
4:15 p.m. 800 Meter Run Men’s Prelims
4:35 p.m. 400 Meter Dash Women’s Prelims
4:50 p.m. 400 Meter Dash Men’s Prelims
5:05 p.m. 60 Meter Dash Women’s Semi Finals
5:20 p.m. 60 Meter Dash Men’s Semi Finals
5:35 p.m. 60 Meter Hurdles Women’s Semi Finals
5:50 p.m. 60 Meter Hurdles Men’s Semi Finals
6:05 p.m. 3,000 Meter Run (Slow Heat) Women’s Final
6:25 p.m. 3,000 Meter Run (Fast Heat) Women’s Final
6:45 p.m. 3,000 Meter Run (Slow Heat) Men’s Final
7:00 p.m. 3,000 Meter Run (Fast Heat) Men’s Final
7:15 p.m. 200 Meter Dash Women’s Prelims
7:30 p.m. 200 Meter Dash Men’s Prelims
7:45 p.m. Distance Medley Relay Women’s Final
8:05 p.m. Distance Medley Relay Men’s Final

DAY TWO
Multi-Events

9:30a.m. 60 Meter Hurdles Men’s Heptathlon
10:15 a.m. Pole Vault Men’s Heptathlon
12:15 p.m. 1,000 Meter Run Men’s Heptathlon
Field Events
11:30 p.m. Triple Jump Women’s Trials and Final
12:00 p.m. Shot Put Women’s Trials and Final
12:00 p.m. High Jump Men’s Final
1:30 p.m. Pole Vault Women’s Final
2:00 p.m. High Jump Women’s Final
2:00 p.m. Shot Put Men’s Trials and Final
1:30 p.m. Triple Jump Men’s Trials and Final
Track Events
1:00 p.m. Mile Run (Slow Heat) Women’s Final
1:10 p.m. Mile Run (Fast Heat) Women’s Final
1:20 p.m. Mile Run (Slow Heat) Men’s Final
1:30 p.m. Mile Run (Fast Heat) Men’s Final
1:40 p.m. 400 Meter Dash Women’s Final
1:45 p.m. 400 Meter Dash Men’s Final
1:50 p.m. 60 Meter Dash Women’s Final
1:55 p.m. 60 Meter Dash Men’s Final
2:00 p.m. 60 Meter Hurdles Women’s Final
2:10 p.m. 60 Meter Hurdles Men’s Final
2:20 p.m. 800 Meter Run Women’s Final
2:25 p.m. 800 Meter Run Men’s Final
2:30 p.m. 200 Meter Dash (2 sections) Women’s Final
2:35 p.m. 200 Meter Dash (2 sections) Men’s Final
2:40 p.m. 5,000 Meter Run Women’s Final
3:05 p.m. 5,000 Meter Run Men’s Final
3:25 p.m. 4 x 400 Meter Relay Women’s Final
3:35 p.m. 4 x 400 Meter Relay Men’s Final

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