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Throwers dominate results at Iowa Open

BY AMY TIFFANY | FEBRUARY 21, 2011 7:20 AM

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On Feb. 11, sophomore Majesty Tutson broke the Iowa school record in the weight throw. But at the Iowa Open on Feb. 18, teammate and sophomore Kelsey Taylor took the title from her in the Recreation Building.

Taylor’s throw landed her at 18.40 meters, better than Tutson’s 17.78-meter throw last week.
“I put the challenge on her [Taylor] and a couple other ladies that if they want to go to the Big Ten meet and compete, they’re going to have to show me something more than they did last weekend,” assistant coach Scott Cappos said, who coaches the throwers. “And some of the girls really responded to that.”

Redshirt freshman Rachel Curry took first in the shot put, followed by freshman Micaela Haight. Curry threw for 14.56 meters, with Haight right behind her in second place at 13.83 meters — both personal records.

Redshirt freshman Kelsey Labs, who was mistakenly in the 200-meter race, took first place in the event with a time of 26.10 seconds. Disappointed in her own performance in the 400 meters, which took place shortly before the 200, it was a snap decision to keep her entry and compete. Fortunately for Labs, the decision to get a little 200 work in paid off.

“It was good to have a good race tonight because I was so upset about my 4[00],” she said.

Taylor had a similar response to her record-breaking throw. For Taylor, the meet was about “going out and letting loose” after coming back from a bad meet at Iowa State and from a concussion and accompanying broken nose from a weightlifting accident during finals week of first semester. She also had a strep throat and mononucleosis diagnosis a week later.

“Coach Cappos told me over and over again persevere, persevere, persevere, because it’s really frustrating sometimes,” Taylor said. “So it’s good to finally figure it out right before Big Tens.”

Curry was excited about her personal record, and she attributed the drastic increase to improvement in her core strength. In practice, she said, she had sporadically thrown marks as high as 49 feet, but to make a high mark close to that in a meet was a good feeling.

“It was definitely exciting to have a breakthrough,” Curry said.

Head coach Layne Anderson said the throws group stood out, and he was also pleased with some of the less experienced athletes’ performances in the mile — some who had never ran it before at the college level. He specifically noted freshman Keelin Gorman, who ran the mile for the first time, taking fifth place.

“While [Gorman’s] a long way from being a Big Ten finalist or scoring, she took a huge step toward being a great contributor in our program in the near future,” Anderson said.

Teammate Nicole Benson, a freshman, ran for first place in the mile with a time of 5:03:74.

Even though many of the top Hawkeyes sat out of the Iowa Open, there were still athletes who made eye-turning contributions for the future of the track and field program.

Anderson said, “We’re just trying to piece together as many points as we can, and that was another good sign for us that the shot and the weight could potentially, if not this year, if not indoor, than outdoors could become big events for us down the line.”


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