IOWA CITY, Iowa – The 2011 Big Ten Track and Field Championships is not an accredited course offered on the University of Iowa campus.
But if it was, members of the Hawkeye track and field team would ace this week’s finals. Their head coach, it turns out, sure enjoys the subject matter.
“They are probably tired of me talking about it,” said Iowa director of track and field Joey Woody. “We always talk about how great it was being able to host and win the Big Ten Championships on the men’s side in 2011.”
Woody was an assistant coach eight years ago when Iowa hoisted the Big Ten trophy for the third time in program history and first time in 44 years. The meet came down to the final race (Woody’s 1,600-meter relay), and the Hawkeyes got it done, edging Minnesota by 1.42 seconds to place 2.5 points ahead of the Gophers, 125.5-123.
It was a magical moment on Cretzmeyer track. But can it be done again when the conference championship returns to Iowa City this weekend?
“The atmosphere we had, that’s the biggest thing, trying to recreate that atmosphere,” Woody said. “Being at home and having a lot of alumni come back and support us is going to be a lot of fun for our student-athletes. I’m confident they will rise to the occasion.”
The Hawkeye men made a Sunday run in 2011, scoring 110.5 points to jump from ninth to first. That same final kick may not surprise people in 2019. The Iowa men are ranked No. 1 in the Big Ten by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. The women are ranked No. 2 behind Ohio State.
Factoring in home track advantage, the men and women may both be the teams to beat.
“That is our mindset. We want to go into every competition and every season being one of the best teams in the conference and compete for a championship,” Woody said. “That is why we are here. We definitely feel confident with where we are right now and we expect to be one of the top teams in the country, as well.”
The three-day competition begins Friday at 12 p.m. (CT). There are seven event finals Friday and eight more Saturday. The third day of competition begins at 11 a.m. Sunday, when 25 more champions will be crowned. It all happens at Cretzmeyer Track in Iowa City.
“It is an honor any time you get to host a Big Ten Championship,” Woody said. “Every time we get the opportunity our administration is all in and makes sure we host the best meets in the country.”
Ticket information and a complete schedule of events is available at hawkeyesports.com/B1GTrack.