Although the indoor track teams were supposed to compete in the University of Dubuque Invite, in Dubuque, Iowa last weekend, due to threatening weather conditions, they had a snow day. This was the last meet for the teams before the Midwest Conference (MWC) Meet to be held Saturday and Sunday in Monmouth, Ill.
Not competing in Iowa could have been a setback, but Co-Head Coach Dan Zierfuss doesn’t see it that way. “[The time off] helped because we had some banged-up people,” Zierfuss said. “It was a week of rest.” Hopefully, this rest will be just what the team needs, considering expectations are high and everyone is expecting the team to perform well.
“We have been putting in some hard work the last couple of months on the indoor track, and it’s going to pay off come conference this weekend,” said senior captain Mike Dooley.
Six weeks ago, when the indoor season started, Zierfuss hoped for a solid finish in the Conference meet. He wanted the men to place eight and the women to place ninth. Now his expectations are even higher. Even though Knox will be going in as an underdog, Zierfuss sees potential for both the men and women to improve on times and take ranks as high has seventh place.
Prairie Fire athletes expected to perform especially well include junior Adam Kent, who could easily place in the top three in both the weight throw (in which he holds the Knox school record) and the shot put. Expectations are also high for junior Ryan Maniscalco’s performance in the mile and the 3,000-meter run.
“I can say that, in particular, we distance runners have been putting in a lot of hard work and mental focus toward the distance medley relay,” Dooley said.
On the women’s side, a few Prairie Fire to watch are senior Jaclyn Anderson, who will compete in the jumps, and sophomore Claire Knowlton, who will run the hurdles for Knox this weekend.
The MWC meet is only days away and the pressure is building, but the Knox indoor track teams are prepared to continue improving on a solid season and hope to be rewarded for their hard work.