Nuttycombe, track team to compete in Iowa

first_imgThis weekend will provide the UW men’s track team with a few opportunities to highlight its skills and prepare for the upcoming conference meet as the Badgers head to Iowa to compete at the Drake Relays in Des Moines and the Loras Open in Dubuque.UW men’s coach Ed Nuttycombe emphasized the difference between the two meets.”The team going to Drake will include a 4-by-100 relay team, a sprint medley relay team … Paul Check on the hurdles, Derek Thiel will vault, and we have two jumpers in Alonzo Moore and Rick Bellford, so it’s a relatively small group, but a good group,” said Nuttycombe.He pointed out that the Loras meet is “a little lower key, but it gives the guys a chance to get a lot of repetitions and … run multiple events if need be.”For two of Wisconsin’s runners, the Drake Relay has extra meaning. Senior captain Rick Bellford, who won the triple jump and was a member of the winning 4-by-100 meter relay team at last Saturday’s UNI Twilight, is coming off a foot injury.”It’s definitely not 100 percent but … it’s getting there,” Bellford said.He said he has been doing “a lot of pool work [and] a lot of icing” in attempts to speed up the recovery, but adds that practicing every day has slowed the process a bit.Bellford, who will be running the 4-by-100 as well as the long jump and triple jump, hopes to make his regional qualifying mark in the triple jump at Drake.”I think that’s just the goal for this weekend,” said the senior of his expectations for this meet.Nuttycombe would also like to see a strong performance out of Bellford.”I think he’s going to have to run a good solid leg in the 4-by-100 relay,” the coach said.Nuttycombe added that he hopes that Bellford can gain a little confidence in his jumping while staying healthy as the final few meets of the season approach.Sprinter Demi Omole hopes to continue the success he has had in the past at Drake. The junior is a two-time defending Drake Relays champion in the 100-meter sprint and is hoping to make history by winning it for a third time.”It’s really exciting to try to be the first athlete ever to win three straight Drake Relay titles in a row, so I’m looking forward to that,” he said.Coach Nuttycombe said it will be interesting to see how Omole compares against this year’s competition, since the fields at Drake are always tough, but the junior seems confident in his abilities to three-peat.”I’m much more fit than I have been in the past,” Omole said.Nuttycombe also expects senior Alonzo Moore to perform well at Drake. Like Bellford, Moore is coming off a strong showing last weekend at UNI after winning the long jump. The senior will look to earn his second first-place finish in as many weekends as he competes in the triple jump.Nuttycombe and his runners have their sights set on the Big Ten Championship and the NCAA Regional, but they realize that they need to use this weekend to get them to where they want to be.”We’re hoping to … set ourselves up for a good position for the Big Ten Championship two weeks from now,” said Nuttycombe.The team will have one more meet next weekend here in Madison before the conference meet.”We have a home meet next week,” Nuttycombe said, “so that’s always fun to get a chance to run at home.”last_img

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