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UI hopes to light up Musco Twilight with home track event

[ 0 ] May 2, 2014 |

By Matt Cozzi

Even 15 years later, Larry Wieczorek is thrilled about this weekend.

The Iowa track and field team hosts the Musco Twilight Saturday at the Francis X. Cretzmeyer Track.

Field events begin at 1 p.m. with track events following at 5 p.m.

Iowa State, Northern Iowa, Drake, Minnesota and Illinois return this spring while Nebraska will be competing for the first time.

The meet is unique because it is at night, so mobile lighting units are brought in via Musco Lighting, a company based in Oskaloosa.

Wieczorek, who has been coaching at Iowa for 30 years, is ready again.

“They bring out the mobile lighting units Friday night, and (the Musco Lighting staff) know I’m going to be there,” Wieczorek said. “I look forward to them. They look forward to me. I come out, sit in the stands, walk around the field. It’s a very big thing to me. I’m just as excited as I was the first time in 1999. It’s our chance to show off track and field at home here.”

One of the main goals is to showcase the Hawkeye competitors in a multi-team field, but another is to benefit from the time of day and present track and field as a viable spectator sport.

Cretzmeyer is located on Second Street in Iowa City, right up against the Iowa City/Coralville border.

There is a lot of both pedestrian and car traffic along the Coralville strip on a daily basis, so there is a great opportunity for exposure for Iowa track this weekend.

“In 1999, it could have been Wieczorek’s folly, bringing in these mobile lighting units,” Wieczorek said. “It’s not unusual to have a night meet, but the Cretzmeyer track is located in what I would call the darkest spot in Iowa City. It’s kind of a special thing in that the lights transform that area. It’s more of a happening than a typical track meet, where you come in, flip the switch, and you go.”

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