Although this weekend won’t see the Minnesota’s women’s track and field team play host to the Minnesota Open, it’s still close enough to give coach Gary Wilson a Saturday off.
The Gophers will compete today at the Meet of the Unsaintly at Hamline University in St. Paul.
The Minnesota Open was originally scheduled for today on Minnesota’s home track, but after structural problems were found at Bierman Track and Field Complex, the team entered the Hamline meet.
And for Wilson, the day off is the key.
“This will be my first Saturday off since December, maybe,” Wilson said. “We just haven’t had any time off, so it’s nice.”
The hammer throw and the discus for the Meet of the Unsaintly will take place at Bierman Track and Field Complex.
Wilson said he would have preferred to have his team compete at home, but forces beyond Minnesota’s control caused the team to head to Hamline.
“The frustrating thing is we’d like to run here,” he said. “But there wasn’t enough competition, and the track has got a big crack in it.”
For those not competing today in St. Paul, this week acted as a recovery period between the Drake Relays and the Big Ten Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
Freshman distance runner Ladia Albertson-Junkans said breaks like this week’s have helped her and her young teammates stay fresh as the season has worn on.
“This is the best shape I’ve been in my life,” she said.
“Surprisingly, my body has not broken into a million pieces.”
Wilson said the light week also helps his athletes in the student end of their student-athlete endeavors.
“These kids are pulled six ways to Sunday because of the finals coming up,” he said. “So right now, we’re basically just trying to keep these guys sane, because they’re just so fried.”
Men also at Hamline
Minnesota’s men’s track and field team will also compete today at the Meet of the Unsaintly.
Coach Phil Lundin said the gist of the scheduling is to get his team ready for next weekend’s Big Tens.
“We travel extensively, and that’s the thing that really, in effect, tires people out,” he said. “It’s nice to be home to have a meet, and give them the weekend off, and then have some tune-up training next week, and then we go.”