The UW women’s track and field team will compete in their only home meet of the outdoor season when they host the Wisconsin Twilight this Saturday, May 10, at the Dan McClimon Memorial Track.
The meet, which will feature a number of state and regional teams, will be Wisconsin’s last before heading to the 2003 Big Ten conference outdoor championships to be held in Minneapolis May 16-18.
According to head coach Peter Tegen, who is in his 29th year at the University of Wisconsin, this weekend will serve as more of a “tune-up” for the conference tournament than anything else, as UW will be one of the few premier programs fielding a team.
“Since it’s a week before the Big Ten championships, the competition here will not be all that impressive,” Tegen said. “We’re not even going to run our best people in their best events. It will be more of tune-up … we are getting them ready for the Big Ten championships.”
Tegen’s strategy is not out of the ordinary, however, as many of the other teams in the conference will likely approach this weekend with the same mentality.
“I don’t think any Big Ten schools are going to be here,” Tegen said. “They are all probably having home meets, just as we are doing. Nowhere will there be full-fledged competition with the real events that people are normally competing in.”
Although this weekend’s competition pales in comparison to what they will face in Minnesota a week later, the Wisconsin Twilight still represents UW’s final opportunity of the season to showcase their talents in front of a home crowd. This, coupled with studying for finals and preparing for the all-important Big Ten championships, will make for a busy, stress-filled week for Bethany Brewster and the Badger track team.
“They have to focus on their finals, there’s no doubt about it. That’s why it’s just a very, very challenging time period for them right now” Tegen said. “I think that this week and part of next week are the worst … anyone who is a student here, if you have something on the side going, it’s hard to do both and balance out both of those things you like to do, or you have to do. They’re in school to get their degree and at the same time they love, on the other hand, to run track … sometimes they probably run out of minutes, but that’s student life, I guess.”
Many of the minutes Coach Tegen is referring to will also be spent rehabbing from injuries, as many members of this year’s squad have been bitten by the proverbial injury bug. Seniors Andrea Geurtsen and Erin AufderHeide, as well as junior thrower Bree Fuqua, are a few of the key Badgers that will be sidelined Saturday due to injury.
“We’re just hoping for good weather (Saturday) and that no one pulls anything any more,” Tegen said. “We’ve been a little decimated it seems, and we’ll just have to see how we fare here with the rest of it.”
Although many students on campus will be busy studying and enjoying the steadily improving weather this weekend, the UW women’s track and field team will be doing their best to showcase their talents one last time within the friendly confines of Dan McClimon Memorial Track. The meet’s events will begin at 2 p.m. and admission is free, making the Wisconsin Twilight one of the best alternatives to studying for UW students Saturday.