Women's Track & Field heads to Drake Relays
April 24, 2012
AUSTIN, Texas – The No. 3 Texas Women’s Track & Field team will travel to Des Moines, Iowa this week to compete at the Drake Relays Thursday through Saturday.
“Drake is unpredictable in terms of weather,” said head coach Beverly Kearney. “We know it will be good competition. We are looking for good relay performances from the 4x100m and 4x400. We are also going to be focused on the jumps and other individual areas.”
The Longhorns climbed five spots in the national rankings this week to No. 3 overall. Texas has been building up strong performances over the course of the outdoor season to set them up for this final regular season meet.
“It is a little bit of a different atmosphere than Texas Relays as it is more of a relaxed setting,” said senior Stacey-Ann Smith who is one of the few Longhorns to have competed at Drake Relays. “We seem to do really well when we are there as we won all the relays last time we went.”
One benefit for the teams competing this weekend is having a chance to see the track that will be hosting the NCAA Outdoor Championships this year. For several members of the UT squad this will be their first time at Drake.
“It allows you to be more comfortable in that setting and that environment,” said junior Chalonda Goodman. “Going to a big meet like this at the same location as nationals will help us get ready for that bigger stage. It will take away some of the nerves.”
Smith is one of nine seniors on the team that last competed at the Drake Relays. Although she will not be competing this weekend she echoed Goodman’s thoughts on the benefits for the team of seeing the track they will see at the NCAA championships.
“It is a good opportunity to see the track before we compete at nationals,” said Smith. “For me it helps out to visualize my race on the actual track where I will be running. I like to see the track before I run, take a lap and walk through it so I can visualize what I need to do.”
The 103rd running of the Drake Relays will feature 120 different events and some of the top competition from around the nation. For Goodman that makes this weekend that much more exciting.
“I love meets where people from all around the country and professional athletes compete at,” said Goodman. “Those big meets are very exciting and fun and draw big crowds. It gets your adrenaline going and makes me excited to compete.”