Quentin Hope / Staff Writer
The Mean Green is making the trip to Ames, Iowa today, as it will compete in the Iowa State Open for its fifth meet of the indoor season.
Head coach Carl Sheffield has built up excitement for his team this week because of the heavy level of competition the Mean Green will be seeing. The Iowa State Open is available to any university seeking an increased amount of talent in one place.
“The fields are bigger and they are as competitive,” Sheffield said. “I was telling the team to keep competing regardless whether there are 45 teams. Just keep competition, and I think we’ll do very well.”
Multiple universities across the country are headed to Iowa State this weekend as well, including three teams the Mean Green will face next season in its move to Conference USA.
“Any time we can match up and see what they’re like, helps us kind of gage ourselves for next year,” Sheffield said.
Senior sprinter Ashley Harrison, who leads the SBC in the 400-meter dash, said she pays no attention to the outside competition.
“I didn’t look at my competition,” Harrison said. “I don’t like to look, because to me it psyches people out and they get scared. I just go out there and run my race.”
Some of the athlete’s won’t run until Friday or Saturday, so Sheffield said staying focused is key. Dual-jump conference leader junior Terrance Williams knows what needs to be done.
“I actually did a boost of motivation,” Williams said, “Just for the fact that we’re going up against the northern states, because it’s a better group of people.”
Sheffield said that this event is a step in the right direction for changing the way the nation recognizes Mean Green track and field.
“Part of my own personal expectations is to change the culture of winning for North Texas track and field,” Sheffield said. “Yes we’ll be there and there will be good teams, but we have to win and win consistently to where people don’t recognize us in a different light.”