Outdoor season nearing halfway point

The men will compete in Iowa and California while the women will compete in St. Paul.

Megan Ryan

The Minnesota men’s track and field team is at the halfway point of the outdoor season.

This weekend’s meets in California and Iowa are a time for the men to start stepping up, head coach Steve Plasencia said.

“We’re getting to that point where we need to start making some headway,” Plasencia said. “The championship and the end of the season for many of our guys comes on pretty quick. … It’s time to start competing.”

Every athlete is now on the track consistently every weekend, Plasencia said. Earlier in the outdoor season, the competitors at the NCAA indoor championships took the first few meets off to recover.

Harun Abda competed in his first race of the outdoor season just two weeks ago. Abda was a part of the indoor championship team and will run the 800-meter and the 4×400 relay at the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif., on April 18-21.

“I was doing multiple races [in the indoor season],” Abda said. “Now, I can just focus on the 800 and 4×4, which is really nice.”

During the indoor season, Abda had a few hours between his 800 and 4×400 events. He will have a full day between his races this weekend.

Abda and David Pachuta will compete in a competitive 800 heat. Both collegiate and post-collegiate athletes will run.

“It’s a real strong field, so it’ll be a good opportunity for those guys to see if they can pop a fast [time] out there,” Plasencia said.

The decathletes will compete in Azusa, Calif., for the first time this year at the Azusa Pacific Multi-Events on April 18-19. This will likely be the only time they compete in the decathlon until the postseason.

Several other members of the team will head south April 21 to Iowa City, Iowa, for the Musco Twilight.

Women

After traveling last weekend to Georgia, the women’s team will compete at the Holst Invitational on April 21 in St. Paul.