For outdoor track, any condition goes

Wednesday, April 2 2008


By: Dan Cusack/Sports Reporter

Posted: 4/2/08

Last Saturday was the men's and women's first outdoor meet of the season - and the weather was chilly.

One look at the bleachers saw fans bundling up in blankets and moving around to keep warm.

We sat and watched as these athletes performed in tights and shorts, performing in the same weather we were trying to combat.

It was so cold, Texas native and junior sprinter

Violet Nwordu

told me she could not wait to get to her house as soon as possible and jump in the tub because she knew it would be 70 degrees in her house.

March 21 was the first day of spring, but here in central Illinois, that does not mean a thing.

The season for these athletes starts early because the Ohio Valley Conference Outdoor Championships begin May 2, and each athlete wants to be in top physical shape for a chance to win the title.

Weather and temperature during this season has always been hit-or-miss. One day we can wear shorts and a t-shirt, and the next we'll be bundled up in a winter coat.

Athletes must prepare for 75-degree afternoons or 25 mph winds.

But most track athletes they are used to these conditions.

Most of the athletes I have talked said they competed in the same weather in high school. Most of the distance runners even ran outside during the winter months of the indoor season.

The randomness of the weather forces athletes to be more ready, both mentally and physically.

Whether conditions are pristine or whether they are getting assaulted with wind that sends a shiver through their bodies, they are still competing and are still expected to perform to the best of their abilities.

Dan Cusack can be reached at 581-7944 or at

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