Wisconsin enters 'Twilight' ZoneBy Cassie Paulsen Badger Herald
May 4, 2007
Madison, WI (CSTV U-WIRE) -- For the first and only time this outdoor season, the UW track and field teams will compete at the Dan McClimon Memorial Track Complex, in what will be a sendoff to the 20 seniors on the roster.
"Emotions are going to be high Saturday," UW men's head coach Ed Nuttycombe said.
"Home is a special and familiar place for these guys. With it being their last time running here, that just lends a little more significance."
The Wisconsin Twilight track meet will feature over 700 men and women, in one of the biggest meets of the season.
Both teams will use this meet as their final tune up for the Big Ten Championships next weekend in Happy Valley, Pa. While some have already qualified for the championships, women's head coach Jim Stintzi says this will be an opportunity for some who have not.
"This will be a great warm-up for next weekend," Stintzi said. "For some, this will be a good time to work on some of the little things they need to work on for next weekend. For others, this is their last chance to qualify either for the Big Tens or the NCAA qualifier. We've got a lot people looking to improve themselves."
Due to the immense number of participants - and the fact that many have already qualified for postseason races - some Badger harriers will be competing in events they are not as accustomed to.
Already a qualifier for the Big Ten Championships in the 5K and steeplechase, senior 'A Havahla Haynes will run the 1,500m.
"By running the 1,500m I feel like I can help some and push some girls to where they need to be at this point of the season," she said.
Among the 20 seniors is heralded sprinter Demi Omole. This weekend's meet represents the last time he will run before the McClimon Complex's crowd as a Badger, but he doesn't see it that way - at least not yet, anyway.
"We've just been having a lot of fun this year," Omole said. "We aren't looking at this meet as our last, we're looking at it as a warm-up for next weekend. It hasn't really hit me yet that this will be my last meet here."
It helps that Omole has had a few other things on his mind. This week Omole was named Big Ten Athlete of the Week, after winning his fourth-consecutive title in the 100-meter dash at the Drake relays, a feat only accomplished once in the meet's history. Omole is also seeking to become the first individual to win four straight Big Ten 100-meter titles. For now, he's just taking things one meet at a time. He has to prolong his career as much as he can.
"I'm taking things one meet at a time," Omole said. "This weekend, being the last at home, it's not going to hit me until after I run. I'm going to miss this team a lot next year." Nuttycombe shares Omole's sentiment.
"This senior class has been a special one," he said. "They have accomplished things I never could have imagined. I just hope everything goes to plan this weekend and we get some good times. With it being at home, all should go to plan."
(C) 2007 Badger Herald via CSTV U-WIRE