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Track and field travels for a pair of meets this weekend

WSU will split team to participate in meets in Seattle and New Mexico

Redshirt+junior+hurdler+Adreonia+Bradley+clears+a+hurdle+during+her+heat+at+the+WSU+Indoor+Open+on+Jan.+20+in+the+indoor+practice+facility.%0A
Redshirt junior hurdler Adreonia Bradley clears a hurdle during her heat at the WSU Indoor Open on Jan. 20 in the indoor practice facility.

Redshirt junior hurdler Adreonia Bradley clears a hurdle during her heat at the WSU Indoor Open on Jan. 20 in the indoor practice facility.

Oliver McKenna | Daily Evergreen File

Oliver McKenna | Daily Evergreen File

Redshirt junior hurdler Adreonia Bradley clears a hurdle during her heat at the WSU Indoor Open on Jan. 20 in the indoor practice facility.

SAM HEIKELL, Evergreen reporter

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Coming off a home meet at the WSU Indoor Open, Cougar track and field will hit the road again participating in a pair of meets.

Competition starts Friday as the men and women long distance runners will head to Seattle for the UW Invitational at the Dempsey Indoor facility. The rest of the team will travel to the Albuquerque Convention Center to participate in the New Mexico Team Invitational.

“It’s a great opportunity that we can go to two different venues and maximize different events at each of the different venues,” Director of Cross Country/Track and Field Wayne Phipps said. “Traditionally the University of Washington has attracted a lot of high quality distance runners, so we’ll send our distance runners there for some great competition and also to preview the facility that we’ll run at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships.”

With a long season ahead of them, Phipps said he wants to make sure that all of his athletes get some competitions under their belt and don’t overdo it too early, even though the indoor championships come halfway through the track season.

“We work [the athletes] quite hard in the late fall. Then they get a little bit of a break, we don’t have them on campus and they get a chance to go home and somewhat relax,” Phipps said. “But it is important to break them back into it a little more gradually from an injury prevention standpoint and also to make sure that we are peaking when we need to peak.”

But with the indoor season ending in early March, certain athletes have to use every chance they can get, making a push at qualifying for the NCAA Indoor Championships in College Station, Texas.

The team did well last Saturday despite having a smaller group of athletes participate, reaching 18 personal records and winning or taking top marks in nine different events over the weekend.

“We were just looking to get an early season meet in, needed to have one at home, no travel, no missed classes and just get a rust-buster again,” Phipps said. “We competed some people that didn’t compete the earlier weekend and a few people that competed both weekends. Just trying to progress from week to week and get us ready for some bigger meets down the road.”

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Track and field travels for a pair of meets this weekend