ASU track and field prepares for weekend meets in Albuquerque and Seattle

For the second straight week, the ASU men’s and women’s track and field team will be splitting up this weekend for separate meets.

Some of the sprinters, jumpers and throwers will return to Albuquerque for the Don Kirby Elite Collegiate Invitational while some of the mid-distance runners will make the trip to Seattle for the Husky Classic. Both meets begin Friday and end Saturday.

This will be the second time this season that at least part of the team will be participating in a meet in Albuquerque, where the 2014 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships will be held. Coach Greg Kraft spoke on the importance of getting familiar with the venue in New Mexico and with the different altitude.

 
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“It’s just a natural place for people to go and preview the venue,” Kraft said. “If you haven’t even warmed up at altitude, it’s different.”

Kraft also thinks that getting some of the athletes comfortable with the environment in Albuquerque will be a big help to those looking to compete at nationals.

“As a team, you go there, and you want to know: What does the hotel look like? Where are we going to eat dinner?” Kraft said. “We kind of want to get all of those variables, though we’re not as control freakish as some coaches.”

One of the athletes competing in Albuquerque this weekend will be senior Heather Arseneau, who will continue to look to clear the 14-foot bar to get her a spot at nationals. Arseneau, along with a few of the other student athletes last weekend, was dealing with flu-like symptoms for the second straight week before finishing first in her event.

“We all look forward to seeing her compete this weekend,” Kraft said. “We’re excited to watch her compete, and (redshirt senior) Derick Hinch who just keeps getting better and better.”

Those traveling to Seattle for the Husky Classic will be dealing with conditions that they did not have to last week. Redshirt sophomore Tommy Williams said he and his teammates will be prepared to thrive in a different kind of environment.

“Seattle is actually a 306-meter track whereas last weekend was 200 meters, and it was a banked track,” Williams said. “The bigger the track, the more benefit to me, because I’m a little bit taller than most of the guys racing out there.”

Williams will be running in the mile race after finishing third in that same race in College Station, Texas.

Williams is pleased with where he and his teammates are at this point of the season and said the chemistry has grown between him and the other athletes he trains with each and every day.

“Everyone looks strong and people are getting healthy,” Williams said. “It’s a great group of guys to train with every day, because everyone is focused on getting a little bit better.”

Reach the reporter at wslane@asu.edu or follow him on Twitter @bill_slane