April 20, 2006
IOWA CITY, IA – For one special night, all lights will shine on the men and women’s track teams.
This Saturday, the track teams will host the eighth annual Musco Twilight Meet under the lights at Francis X. Cretzmeyer track.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to show off track and Iowa City and have fun in front of a home crowd. It’s a final chance to showcase our athletes before Big Tens,” said men’s head coach, Larry Wieczorek.
This year’s competition includes Drake, Iowa State, Minnesota, Marquette, Wisconsin-LaCrosse and host Iowa.
For the Hawkeyes, the Musco Twilight Meet is a chance for one more competition before the Drake Relays begin, April 27. It also another chance to qualify more runners for the Big Ten and NCAA meets.
“The team has a Big Ten qualifying standard. Our goal is to get 30 Big Ten athletes qualified. Hopefully we can get close to that goal. We have qualified 20 so far and have ten more to go. It would be nice if we could get more qualified at home,” said Wieczorek.
James Grant, head coach for the women’s track team, is excited for the opportunity as his team continues to improve.
“I’d like them to have a good, solid meet and continue to get better,” said Grant. “I’d like for our athletes to gain more confidence.”
Since Cretzmeyer track doesn’t have lights, Musco donates portable lights for the meet.
“That place is the darkest place in Iowa City at night. We don’t have lights at our track but we have a night meet. We get to light it up and bring attention to us,” said Wieczorek.
With the Drake Relays and Big Ten meet around the corner, getting the chance to have a home meet is a great advantage for both teams.
“It just keeps us close to home,” said Grant. “We won’t miss a day of class, and we get to rest a little bit more.”
“It’s always great to be at home. I think the kids get a little more psyched running at home. It’s always an advantage to be home,” said Wieczorek.
In previous years, the Hawkeyes have faired well in the competition. Last year, despite the cold and windy conditions, the women’s team won four individual competitions as well as the 4×100 meter relay. The men’s team had four individual first place winners. The men had eight athletes set personal records, while the women had 12 athletes set personal records.
The 2004 Musco Twilight Meet was also highly successful. The teams won six events as well as establishing two meet records and one track record. Joey Woody, an unattached competitor and Iowa City native, set a meet and track record in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 48.94 seconds. It was the fastest time in the United States at the time.
In addition to being the only night meet at Iowa, the Musco Twilight Meet is also special for the seniors. Not only is it the only home outdoor meet, but it is also the last home competition for the eight seniors on the men’s team and two on the women’s team.
The seniors on the women’s team will be honored at a banquet held the next day. The male will be introduced with their parents at the meet.
The eighth annual Musco Twilight Meet begins at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Cretzmeyer track. Preliminaries and field events precede the final evening races. Admission is $3 with all University students admitted free of charge.
By Jennifer Bissell, Iowa Sports Information