Track squads split over weekend

first_imgWith the outdoor track season now in full gear, the University of Wisconsin men’s and women’s squads will prepare for yet another busy weekend of competition. A large portion of the men’s team — and a few female athletes — will have to recover quickly from last week’s Drake Relays.This weekend will provide UW with several opportunities to compete, as Badger track athletes will be spread out across the country. Both the men’s and women’s teams will send groups to either Arkansas for the Twilight Invitational or to California for the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational. The remaining athletes will remain in Madison for the Wisconsin Open.Drake Stadium annually provides one of the most highly-anticipated outdoor events of the year, and the 2009 version proved to be no different.The men’s team produced a lot of excitement on the Drake Stadium track, and freshman hurdler Adam Hexum was very much a part of the action.Hexum, a freshman from Stone Lake, Wis., led off the shuttle relay team for the Badgers that went on to win the event. Hexum was ecstatic to win the relay but admitted it was nothing he and his teammates spend a lot of time practicing.“The shuttle hurdles is a rare event, so we never really practice it, but we performed really well,” Hexum said. “It was great to take an individual event like the hurdles and compete in it as a team.”While the shuttle hurdle relay was a new event for Hexum, it only increased his excitement, and he felt the opportunity to run in a relay added some extra motivation to his performance.“I was definitely more excited just because it was a team thing,” Hexum said. “Being a part of the relay team just gave me more energy because I didn’t want to let the guys down.”Hexum certainly did not let anyone down and even has a first-place finish from the Drake Relays to show for it. The freshman was able to showcase his talents on one of outdoor track’s biggest stages, and it provided him with an experience he will not soon forget.“Drake was amazing,” Hexum said. “It was the first time I had ever been there, and the coaches had been telling us all about it, but when I finally got there I realized just how incredible it was.”The women’s team did not send out many athletes to perform at the Drake Relays, but senior javelin thrower Amy Lewis was one of the few who competed. Like Hexum, this was Lewis’ first time competing at the Drake Relays, and she relished the experience.“That was my first time at the Drake Relays, and it was incredible,” Lewis said. “It has so much history, and it’s pretty amazing that they are able to sellout and get that many people to come to a track meet.”Lewis has been a part of some noteworthy competitions throughout her career and acknowledged the high level of competition and the unique opportunity that Drake is able to provide year in and year out.“The competition is obviously great, and it is interesting to see some of these great competitors throw,” Lewis said. “At the Drake Relays, you know that you have to really step up if you want to be competitive.”With the valuable experience gained from the Drake Relays firmly behind them, the men’s and women’s teams will look to make some final improvements as the championship portion of the season draws near.“It is important not to taper at all during these next couple events,” Lewis said. “Competing well this weekend is really important, because you want to carry some momentum into those later meets.”last_img read more

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