Youth not holding back Iowa women's throwers


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All eight members listed on the Iowa women's track and field roster under the throws group are either true freshmen, redshirt freshmen, or sophomores. This roster recipe might not seem promising to produce scores that will be at the top of the Big Ten.

But head coach Layne Anderson said that what the throwers lack in experience, they do not lack in ability.

Fifteen-year assistant coach Scott Cappos, who is in his second full season coaching the men's and women's throwing groups specifically, said he is working on building up his female athletes' strength and technique in the next couple of years to increase their Big Ten standing.

Redshirt freshman Rachel Curry tossed a personal best in the shot put at the intrasquad meet on Dec. 4 with a throw of 13.94 meters, although it cannot be officially recorded.

Sophomore Kelsey Taylor also tossed a personal best in the intrasquad meet in the weighted throws, recording a distance of 16.92 meters. Taylor said for an intrasquad meet that she couldn't "ask [for] anything better than that."

The youth of the group does not seem to be an issue for her.

"We don't consider each other sophomores or freshmen," she said. "We're all on the same playing field, and we all push each other in the same way. Looking on paper, you could say we're freshmen, sophomores, but it doesn't feel like it."

The throws group was the first group Anderson noted as improved performers in the intrasquad meet. He pointed to Taylor and Curry, along with throwers Micaela Haight, a freshman, and sophomore Majesty Tutson, as having the big performances.

Tutson believes the throwers' youth will be beneficial in the future. By the time the young athletes become upperclassmen, she said, they will be a strong group of seasoned throwers.

One of the main ways the Hawkeyes have begun that rebuilding process has been in the weight room. During summer training, Taylor said, they spent around two hours a day in the weight room implementing different lifting cycles, including strongman routines. These heavy lifting routines included sled pushes and pulls, as well as lifting other objects.

Cappos noted it takes a two- to three-year learning curve for athletes to fully develop their throwing skills, but he said the success they've had so far is outstanding. He believes their work in the weight room and on their technique will continue to show results.

Taylor said the weight lifting has been the biggest reason for the improved results.

Throughout their fall training, Haight said, each thrower has recorded personal bests in the weight room — part of the reason she thinks the success is beginning to surface in spite of their youth.

"We just want to slowly develop their technique and strength levels," Cappos said. "And then, eventually, we want to become one of the better programs in the Big Ten."

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