Just as one season ends, another begins.
The Ohio State men and women’s track and field teams begin the transition this weekend from the indoor season to the outdoor season, and are expecting a few hurdles with the change.
The men’s team is set to travel to Nashville, Tenn., to compete in the Vanderbilt Black and Gold Invitational. Although the athletes have been competing since January, associate head coach Brice Allen said the transition from indoor to outdoor is harder than it would appear.
“It takes some time,” Allen said. “It takes the guys about three to four weeks in their training cycle to exhibit their full talent in the outdoor season.”
Allen compared the first outdoor meet in March to the first meet of the season in January — the Buckeye Classic in Columbus — and said it is “as if they start all over again.” He is confident, however, that once the team gets back in the swing of running outdoors it can start building for the conference meet in May.
“We are going to SEC country (this weekend), so we always want to be competitive,” Allen said. “But we also understand that there is going to be some adjustments during the meet.”
Along with getting used to how different it is competing outside, the Buckeyes are excited to show what they can do in some events that had the winter off. Three field events — the hammer and discus throw along with the javelin — are slated to get underway. Other events competing for the first time this year include a 10K race, 4×100-meter relay, 1500-meter run, steeplechase, a 110-meter hurdle race and a 400-meter hurdle race.
Throwing the javelin, sophomore Bill Stanley is set to see his first action of the 2014 season after coming out of winter hibernation.
In the 2013 Black and Gold Invite, Stanley set a program record for the javelin throw in his first attempt as a college athlete when he unleashed a toss of 72.16 meters to finish in first place.
The women are also set to make their way south to compete outdoors in the Yellow Jacket Invitational in Atlanta.
Women’s distance coach Sara Vergote said the women’s team training hasn’t changed a whole lot as they make the transition into a new season.
“This is an opportunity for us to compete in some nicer weather and to get our feet wet in the outdoor season,” Vergote said.
Vergote said the work ethic remains the same as the team moves forward, but the its biggest concern is making sure every athlete is healthy before it really gets rolling with the outdoor season.
The teams are set to get races underway Friday and Saturday at the Georgia Tech and Vanderbilt campuses. The men are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday, while the women are set to start at 6 p.m. Friday and 10:30 a.m. Saturday.