TRACK: Cardinals set to run at Stan Lyons Invite in Indy

Team to use meet as rehab, stepping stone for MAC Championships

Last weekend, Ball State University coach Randy Heisler was only able to send fewer than 20 competitors to the Lenny Lyles/Clark Wood Invitational at the University of Louisville. With the smaller cast, Ball State finished in last out of five teams.

This weekend, Heisler plans on sending at least double the amount.

The Stan Lyons Invitational in Indianapolis will give Ball State a chance to recover from its various nagging injuries that have continued from previous weeks. Heisler plans to run many of the athletes in one event rather than multiple.

"This weekend's meet is strictly a performance meet," Heisler said. "Basically, they are trying to earn their way to the conference meet."

With the Mid-American Conference Outdoor Championships upcoming in two weeks, Heisler wants his athletes to be in the best shape possible going into the meet.

Junior Thekla Lorenz, who has earned double-digit points in several meets during the indoor and outdoor seasons, will only participate in the long jump event on Saturday. Lorenz complained of a hip flexor problem after the javelin throw at Louisville.

Junior RaJae Marable, who has also suffered from injuries, plans to run in only the 400-meter hurdles at Indianapolis.

Heisler hopes to see a good performance out of senior distance runner Ali Bishel, who has missed the entire indoor season and some of the outdoor season. Heisler said this is the meet where Bishel should step onto the track with the thought that she is going to run fast and work toward qualifying for the NCAA Regionals before the conference meet.

Despite most of the runners and throwers shifting their focus on one event, Saturday's meet should be easier on the athletes as it is a non-scored meet. The meet is also going to field a wide variety of competitors from the Division I, II and III levels.

"[Last weekend] was a tough meet for us because the competitors we were going up against were all real Division I athletes," Heisler said. "I think some of our kids handled it OK, and others didn't."

Butler University is hosting the invitational, yet the events are held at Michael A. Carroll Stadium on the campus of Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis. The stadium is noted for hosting the USA Track and Field Championships, the Olympic team trials, the Pan American Games as well as Indiana High School Athletic Association State championships in soccer and track.

The one-day event begins today at 10:00 a.m. with the women's hammer throw.