Iowa men’s track looks to put on a show at Black and Gold Premier

Iowa looks to put up stellar performances in front of the home fans in its last home indoor meet of the season.

Athletes+take+their+marks+during+the+Larry+Wieczorek+Invitational+on+Saturday%2C+Jan.+20%2C+2017.
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Iowa men’s track looks to put on a show at Black and Gold Premier

Athletes take their marks during the Larry Wieczorek Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2017.

Athletes take their marks during the Larry Wieczorek Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2017.

Nick Rohlman

Athletes take their marks during the Larry Wieczorek Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2017.

Nick Rohlman

Nick Rohlman

Athletes take their marks during the Larry Wieczorek Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2017.

Robert Read, Sports Reporter

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The Iowa track and field team will host its last indoor meet of the season this weekend in the Black and Gold Premier at the Rec Building.

The squad comes into the meet ranked 31st in the nation by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross-Country Coaches Association. The Iowa men’s squad also earned fourth-best in the Midwest.

RELATED: Former track Hawks return to Iowa City as professionals

Key components in the rankings are the four Hawkeyes who have individual times posted in the top 15 in the NCAA.

Karayme Bartley is third in the nation in the 400 meters (46.39). Jaylan McConico and Chris Douglas both claim elite spots in the 60-meter hurdles,  sixth and 15th. Daniel Soto ranks 12th in the NCAA in the 3,000 meters (8:10.24).

Bartley and McConico also own the top times in the Big Ten in their events.

The teams at the event are Boson College, Drake, Eastern Illinois, Loyola, Marquette, and South Florida.

McConico, who was a two-time national qualifier while running at Eastern Illinois, will run alongside his former teammates for this first time this weekend.

“I’m happy with how everything has turned out,” McConico said. “I’ve been putting up good times since I arrived at Iowa, and I have really enjoyed being a part of this team. We have a great group of guys; I love being around my teammates. It will be a fun environment to run in this Saturday. I’m really looking forward to it.”

We need to come out and run some good races, improve our times, and try to set some personal records in the process.”

— Mar'Yea Harris

With a new challenge this weekend, All-American Mar’Yea Harris said the Hawkeyes need to stick to basics.

“As a team, we just need to do what we try to do every week, and that is show improvement,” he said. “We need to come out and run some good races, improve our times, and try to set some personal records in the process.”

It is still early in the indoor season, but Iowa Director of Track and Field Joey Woody wants to see championship-like mindsets at the Black and Gold Premier.

“We run our meets like a national championship,” Woody said. “The athletes gain experience and exposure to having a true warm-up area, and being escorted to the staging area and being clerked onto the course. We set it up so when they do get to those major meets later in the season, they have already been through that process.”

In what will be Iowa’s last time in front of the home crowd this indoor season, Woody wants to see the fans come out and support the team.

“Our athletes are the show,” he said. “That is the big thing for us; we want the athletes to be the show and for people to come and get a chance to watch them compete at a high level.”

The show will start at 4 p.m. Friday at the Hawkeye Tennis & Recreation Complex with the weight throw. The meet will resume Saturday at noon in the Rec Building with the high jump.

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