Competing 7,250 feet above sea level in the Don Barrett Air Force Open, the K-State track and field team will get important experience competing at high altitudes.
Coach Cliff Rovelto said one of the reasons the team is competing in Saturday’s meet in Colorado Springs, Colo., is because the Big 12 Conference Championships are also at high elevation, in Boulder, Colo. He said that dealing with the effects of a higher altitude will be good practice for the athletes.
Longer races could be affected by the lack of oxygen, Rovelto said, but shorter races will not be affected other than longer recovery times between races. He said long jumpers, high jumpers and triple jumpers will be aided by the combination of high elevation and good facilities, and should perform well.
This weekend’s meet will feature a different mix of athletes than last week’s Sevigne Husker Invitational in Lincoln, Neb.
“It’s kind of the converse of last week,” Rovelto said. “Last week was a meet where there were primarily track people: distance runners and sprinters on the oval. This week is more of the shorter races and field events.”
Most sprinters will run shorter races at the meet, Rovelto said.
Senior Donniece Parrish is competing in the 60-meter dash and the 200-meter dash, and Rovelto expects her to do well.
“She is just training at such a very high level, so we just kind of look to her to run fast,” Rovelto said.
Junior Mike Myer, who will be competing in the 200-meter dash, is another athlete that Rovelto thinks can perform well this weekend.