The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Iowa’s Sheridan Champe getting in the groove

It has been a very cold indoor season for Sheridan Champe, but the freshman may have found some temperature.

With underperforming in times thus far this season, Champe has had some trouble adjusting to the college feel.

“It’s taking some time to get used to,” she said. “This is all new to me.”

Prior to joining the squad, she had never competed on an indoor track. Being a point guard for her high school’s basketball team during the winter only allowed her to compete during the outdoor season. 

Competing in the women’s 400 meter and training indoors has been a hard task for Champe.

Being one of the two freshmen on the shorts-sprints squad was a bit intimidating for Champe, because she trains with older teammates.

“I was training with Big Ten champions and national qualifiers, and I was getting down on myself,” she said. “I would feel defeated already. It was coming out in my workouts and the way I was performing.”

To help Champe overcome this obstacle, women’s short-sprints coach Clive Roberts worked closely with the freshman to get her back in the groove.

“When freshmen come in, they take some time, and she’s definitely taking some time,” Roberts said. “Some of the workouts we’ve been focusing on is trying to build some confidence. I think it’s coming along.”

Things just might be.

Champe competed in the women’s 400 at the Iowa State Classic in Ames on Feb 13-14 and finished ninth, achieving a personal best of 58.05.

Although she earned a personal record, she knows there’s more work to do.

“I wouldn’t say I was happy because I know I can do better,” she said. “When I ‘PR’d,’ I told myself, ‘Lets do this again next week.’ ”

Champe noted her feat in Ames was due to the change in her workouts. The freshman has now back-to-back tempo days instead of the usual one.

“Fifty-eight-oh-five is just a starting point for me,” she said. “I wasn’t getting the results I wanted in my workouts, and having my practice changed has helped me a lot with improving my times.”  

Volunteer coach Ray Varner traveled to Ames with the squad. In addition to Clive, he also works closely with the freshman and believes she attacked the race.

“She got out the first 200 meters and put herself in the race,” he said. “I felt like she put herself in a position to run well.”

Varner has one goal for Champe during her workout — attack.

“We’re doing back-to-back workouts to get her tough,” he said. “With those workouts, she knows she can come back the next day and still run strong.”

Varner is well aware of the circumstances of not only being a freshman but running indoor track for the very first time. The volunteer coach is hoping the workouts will continue to have Champe flourish.

“It’s a different mentality,” he said. “I think she’s progressing pretty well with it, and she’s getting used to it. Her times are dropping, and the time’s are dropping in the right time close to Big Tens. She’s headed in the right direction.”

Follow @marioxwilliams on Twitter for news, updates, and analysis about the Iowa track and field team.

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