Spring brings much awaited outdoor events for track team


Kody Kahle

Sophomore Tyler Thomas competes in high jump during the indoor season last year at Indiana University.

Troy Bendgen, Contributing Writer

The university track team is anxiously awaiting its outdoor season after wrapping up its indoor season Feb. 21 at the Atlantic Sun Indoor Championships in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

 The switch from the indoor season to the outdoor season is a transition the athletes and coaches train for from the beginning of the year.

 “Outdoors presents much greater opportunities for an athlete,” head coach Steve Kruse said.

The throwers go from two events indoors to four events outdoors and the runners have more relay opportunities.

Athletes train all year for the outdoor events and use indoors more as a chance to get ready for the big meets.

 “We put more emphasis on outdoor track,” Izak Velasquez, sophomore finance major, said. “Indoors the season is pretty short and it’s kind of like a way to stay in shape, for me at least.”

Velasquez feels most of the runners like the outdoor season more, and he personally is excited to get out of the gym and into the fresh air.

“With indoor we get a chance to look at the bad habits that they’ve picked up over the past year, try to rectify and straighten things out and put them on the right track,” Kruse said. “When outdoor happens they are ready to go.

 Different strategies go into each discipline to ensure have the most success as possible. Coach Kruse says that he wants the athletes to peak the most at the conference meets.

“We want the athletes to peak at tournament time,” Kruse said.

According to Kruse, the athletes have to train differently, because outside two miles is about eight laps, but indoor it’s about 15.

“Strategy in track and field varies from event to event,” Kruse said. “The shorter events there is a lot more of a mental game involved in that and a lot more intimidation if you will.”

 Kruse also said that the primary purpose of the indoor track season is to prepare for the outdoor season.

Tyler Thomas, a sophomore high jumper, says that the ground surface plays a big part in each discipline.

“For me in high jump the floors are different at every place,” Thomas said. “Sometimes it’s a spongy floor and sometimes it’s a hard floor.”

She also mentioned how much she liked outdoor track because it takes her back to her high school days when life was all about having fun.

 Kruse sums it up best for those who have spring fever and want to get out and run.

 “We’re all looking very forward to getting on the outdoor track over in Ft. Thomas and getting some fresh air,” Kruse said.

 The team’s first outdoor event will take place in Tampa, Florida at the Bulls Invitational on March 14.