It has been a while since the Ohio State track teams burnt rubber at home.
The men’s and women’s squads are scheduled to compete for the first time in Columbus since the Buckeye Classic Jan. 10 this weekend, when they host the Buckeye Tune-up meet.
The meet is to include track teams from all around the state of Ohio. Some members of the teams said they see this weekend as an opportunity to further tweak races before the Big Ten Indoor Championships, slated for Feb. 28 through March 1 in Geneva, Ohio.
Men’s track coach Ed Beathea and women’s coach Karen Dennis said they will be holding some runners from competition this weekend to give them the rest and rehabilitation they need.
“We’re into our taper down,” Beathea said. “This time of the year, seven or eight days out from the conference it is fine tuning. Much more specific type of work, resting guys that have aches and pains, just trying to get that stuff taken care of before next week.”
Dennis said the coaches are being extra cautious with the amount of work they are giving the runners because they don’t want to overload the athletes in hopes of keeping them fresh for the more important meet the following weekend.
“Right now we are doing more rehabilitating than competing, as well as resting more so than we are competing,” Dennis said. “Our bodies have taken a bit of a beating throughout the season, as all teams have. So right now it is important to under train.”
However, many athletes are still set to compete this weekend from both teams. Some are even looking to secure a spot on the bus for the Big Ten Championship.
The younger and more inexperienced athletes will be racing this weekend to give them another week of exposure to the competitive environment, Dennis said.
“We’re going to use this weekend to critique our performances and strategize how to better put our team together for point performance next week,” Dennis said.
Among those competing this weekend for the men’s team is sophomore thrower Joseph Velez, who said he is glad to have one more weekend meet to build confidence.
“I’m excited for the tune-up,” Velez said. “I had a slow start to the season, but I am starting to pick up and will just carry this momentum into Big Ten (Championships).”
Throwing events at the Buckeye Tune-up are set to begin at 4 p.m., with track events are set to begin at 5 p.m.