July 31, 2009
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Beautiful facilities and wonderful weather equalled a positive experience for nearly 130 up-and-coming field hockey players who united at Grant Field on July 30-Aug. 2.
“Just bringing people to our campus who have never been here before,” said University of Iowa head coach Tracey Griesbaum. “We are a very prominent program in field hockey. A lot of these athletes are from the east coast, so they hear about us, but they’ve never been here. For us to have this opportunity is phenomenal.”
The University of Iowa and Iowa City are hosting the AAU Junior Olympic 16-and-under Field Hockey Tournament. Eight teams from all over the country are participating.
“These are the top under-16 athletes in the country and I would say 95 percent of them have never been to the state of Iowa, let alone the University of Iowa and awesome Grant Field, so we’re thrilled. We can assure the athletes a great surface to play on that’s very sport-specific to field hockey.”
The tournament continues through Sunday, Aug. 2, with the gold medal match slated for 3:30 p.m. on Sunday.
Griesbaum is ecstatic to be hosting the tournament, but she still had time for some light-hearted joking with the participants.
“I was teasing the athletes and their parents,” Griesbaum said. “We just finished re-surfacing our field and had some amazing upgrades to it and they get to play on it before our team does and before I get to coach on it. They were really excited and thrilled to kind of christen our field.”