To say it has been a difficult preseason for the Iowa Central track and field team would be quite the understatement.
But it has not kept them from preparing to once again dominate on the indoor season before turning their attention to outdoor later this year.
Last season, the Iowa Central men won their seventh indoor team championship in the past 10 years while the women were runners-up, placing in the Top-3 for the 10th time in the past 11 years.
The Tritons also swept the Region XI team titles for the 15th consecutive time.
For many of the members of the roster, the indoor portion of the season in 2020 was the last time they competed due to the outdoor season being scrapped because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Figuring out how to navigate through COVID-19 continues for the Tritons and Director of Track and Field, Dee Brown.
"The challenges have been innumerable," Brown said. "Right now, we are battling the ability to test and the cost of testing to get into any indoor facility. In a normal year, we are invited to competitions whereas this year, we need to beg to rent facilities from universities.
"The cost of renting a facility is far greater than a typical entry fee."
Brown has been able to put together an event in Kansas to get the Tritons on the track. Teams from Region VI are set to compete to which he added "a 50-degree day in Kansas will feel like summer here."
Jordan Burkholder earned USTFCCCA National Men's Track and Field Head Coach of the Year honors last year in his first season guiding the Tritons. He was also the USTFCCCA Midwest Region Men's and Women's Coach of the Year.
Along with meets in Kansas and Missouri, Iowa Central will run in Cedar Falls on January 21 and in Humboldt on February 6.
The Region XI Championships will take place Saturday, Feb. 20 in Warrensburg, Missouri. The NJCAA Indoor National Championships are scheduled for March 5-6 from the Robert W. Plaster Center in Pittsburg, Kansas.
-By Dana Becker
2021 IOWA CENTRAL INDOOR TRACK AND FIELD
Jan. 14 - at Coffeyville; 21 - at UNI (track only); 31 - at Pittsburgh State.
Feb. 6 - Waldorf in Humboldt; 7 - at Central Missouri; 12 - at Washburn; 14 - at Pittsburg State; 20 - at Region XI Championships.