With the end of the indoor track and field season, the women’s track and field team will shift its focus away from its indoor season as it continues to prepare for its season debut outdoors next weekend at Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, Virginia, where Coach Barbara Hartwig said she expects to encounter “good competition.” Despite the long ride, the team will benefit from the competition in the warm weather, something obviously in sparse quantities in Rochester this time of year. Hartwig said the team “would like to take advantage of some nice warm days,” adding “we’re excited to get outside.” She believes that the shift to outdoors comes at a very good time, as she said “we needed some down time in between indoors and outdoors.” She continued, “the extra week off is as good thing. The extra week of training will get us back to the level we were at [near the end of the indoor season].” That extra week off that Hartwig is referring to has been made possible by the cancellation of a home meet with SUNY-Oswego and Rochester Institute of Technology because the snow covering the ground for the past few months has yet to completely melt despite the warmer temperatures during the past few days.

Following the team’s return from Virginia, the UR women’s and men’s teams will host meets on April 6 and April 12, which Hartwig said “is always exciting.”

The schedule also includes meets at Hamilton College, RIT, Ithaca College, and State Championships at Saint Lawrence University. Several events not included in the indoor season such as the javelin, discus, and hammer throw, as well as the 10,000 meter run should all benefit the women’s team as a whole, as Hartwig said, “We should be pretty successful in all those events.”

Additionally, the team will face different environmental factors than during the indoor season. Hartwig said, “There are no tight turns, but you also pick up wind, rain, and cool temperatures.”

Most importantly, Hartwig believes that “Psychologically it’s a big boost to get outside and pick up some events that we’re very good at.”

Overall, Hartwig said she expects that, “We’re going to be a very strong team.”

Swidler can be reached at dswidler@campustimes.org.

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