Illinois women’s track prepare for the Rod McCravy Memorial Meet

By Alex Wallner

The Illinois women’s track and field team is preparing for its toughest test of the indoor season this weekend, the annual Rod McCravy Memorial Meet in Lexington, Kentucky.

Host school No. 6 Kentucky highlights what could be a competitive field at this year’s event.

Last year, the Wildcats won the event’s 4×400 and Oregon won the distance medley relay, while Kentucky, Oregon and Florida won the majority of the individual events. 

For Illinois, this week’s practices involve lighter work and close monitoring by the coaches.

“This week is one where we want to be smart on what we’re doing because, (since) we’ve been back, we’ve had two full weeks of training and two weekends of competition, so that’s been physically demanding,” distance coach Scott Jones said. “That, combined with the start of school, means we want to back off this week in training and give our athletes a chance to regenerate so that they’re in a position to really compete well against some of the best athletes in the country.”

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    The teams competing this weekend have not been announced yet, but the event has had some high-ranking partcipants in previous years. The Illini are using the previous meets and the couple of days they have this week to rest and prepare for the test they could have in front of them.

    This weekend, Jones said he will measure the team’s performance individually rather than by team results.

    “This weekend is going to be a little different focus, where we want those high-level individual performances,” Jones said.

    Sophomore Nicole Choquette said her goal is to top her own personal record and get better while doing so.

    “I definitely want to go in and run faster in the 600 (meters) and win it and move up in the top-10 list,” Choquette said. “If I’m running the 800, I definitely want to run my (personal record) or run a time that will get me ready for Big Tens.”

    Both Choquette and teammate Alyssa Schneider ran for the cross-country team in the fall, preparing them for the indoor and outdoor track seasons as distance runners.

    This is something that Schneider said is a big help, as it is added practice.

    “I think any consistent training helps any additional seasons because consistency is really important,” Schneider said. “So just adding healthy seasons on top of each other of any running helps us out.”

    Alex can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @AWallner93.