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Track seeks to improve after Texas Relays

first_imgThe Texas Relays last weekend went very well for the Wisconsin men’s track squad. The team set out to excel in the 4×400-meter relays and achieved a qualifying mark.If this weekend lives up to the Badgers’ expectations, like it did last week, the team should have multiple qualifiers for the Big Ten regionals. The team is sending 16 athletes to this weekend’s events in Knoxville, Tenn., and has high hopes to put up high qualifying marks again.Freshman runner James Groce is part of the 4×400 team that qualified for the Big Ten regionals last weekend. Groce said he was impressed with how well the team did.”First meet, everybody was pretty much going through the motions, getting acclimated from the indoor season to the outdoor season,” Groce said. “Everything gets a little bit longer, but so far so good. Training has been coming along good too. We (4×400 relay) got a fast time down in Texas.”UW head coach Ed Nuttycombe was also satisfied with the team’s performance.”Considering we took a small group of people, it went real well,” Nuttycombe said. “Our 4×400 [relay team] ran the fastest we’ve ran in about 5 or 6 years. … The only thing that didn’t go as we hoped was Rick Bellford in the jumps because he has a bit of a bruised heel, and so we’re kind of nursing that along. Overall, it went well.”Even though the Badgers posted an NCAA-qualifying mark last week for the 4×400 meter, they are sending another 4×400 relay team, but with a different group of runners.”The team is prepared. Chad’s [Melotte] hamstring is bothering him a little bit, but he’s a tough guy. He’ll work through it,” Groce said. “We’ll be ready to race when we need to, but we’re not going to run that team (last weekend’s qualifying team) until the Big Ten [regional].”Nuttycombe chose last weekend specifically to put up a qualifying mark.”We won’t run the same team [this weekend]. We’ll run a good team, but it won’t be [last week’s] team,” said Nuttycombe. “We kind of picked that spot (Texas Relays) on the calendar several weeks ago and kind of said we’re going to go, and that’s going to be the moment where we’re going to try and run fast, and it worked out.”Groce believes this weekend’s relay team may be a little bit slower, but still will be able to find success on the track.”It’ll probably be a little slower because we’re not running all of our best legs,” Groce said. “We pretty much ran all of our best legs at Texas to qualify for regionals to get us in a good seed for conference.”I just want to lay a fast time down to qualify for regionals,” continued Groce, talking about his own results. “So if that gets us the win, then I’d be happy, even if it’s 10th. But [if] we still qualify for regionals, I’d be happy.”Nuttycombe hopes that this weekend will be a success like Texas had been. Nuttycombe is especially eager for this weekend because it is a two-day meet where his runners can have a night’s worth of rest and can compete in multiple races.”That [Texas Meet] was about trying to go run fast in that one particular relay in that particular meet,” Nuttycombe said. “This week is going to be about trying to get on the board with some good open races, meaning non-relay races. It’s a good meet because we can do open races on Friday and come back and run relays on Saturday, so everybody is going to get multiple opportunities to run.”As the season goes on, Nuttycombe believes it’s time for the team to really get going and put up some high qualifying marks.”It’s getting to be the middle part of the season now, and it’s time that the guys stepped it up for us in individual open races,” Nuttycombe said. “I don’t want to single anyone out for this weekend, but there should be some guys this weekend who throw out some good marks.”last_img

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