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Hawkeye thrower ready to break records

BY CODY GOODWIN | JANUARY 25, 2012 7:20 AM

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Rachel Curry finally calls Iowa City home.

The junior thrower commuted to Iowa's campus for two-straight years from her hometown of Homestead, Iowa. The commute was around a 20-minute drive, meaning she had to add anywhere between 40 minutes to an hour onto her daily schedule to accommodate the traveling.

Curry said she enjoyed the comfort of being at home, because she is close to her family. In fact, she'll say her family is a lot closer than most.

This is because her father passed away from a heart attack right before Curry was about to move to Iowa City for her freshman year.

"It was really tough. I thought I should've taken a year off, but I knew I had to push forward through it all," Curry said. "It made me a lot tougher, both mentally and physically."

Assistant coach Scott Cappos, who serves as the throwers' coach for Iowa's track and field program, became an immediate source of support for Curry and her family.

"It was definitely a tough situation," he said. "We did everything we could to make sure she would be OK. Our support staff did well, as they always have."

It was that kind of coaching and support that Curry truly appreciated from Cappos.

"He was really good with everything that had happened," she said. "He was a big reason for me coming [to Iowa]. He had a huge role in me adjusting here as an athlete. He always checks up on me, but it's a lot more than just throws. He'll ask me about grades, life — everything, really."

The then-freshman spent long days on campus while living at home. She took classes, went through track practice, and made time to study. Once home, she had to make more time for her mother, who struggled after her husband's death.

Curry was the only child left after her older sister moved out, meaning she was not only there to comfort her mother but also to help out around the house.

Curry took care of the few pets the family kept and attended to yard work. She always had something to do, but Curry said the time she spent with her mother meant the most.

"The whole situation brought us closer as a family," she said. "But at the same time, it changes your view on life."

She decided it was time to make the move to Iowa City after her sophomore year.

"I understood I needed a little bit of freedom," the 20-year-old said. "I wanted to get the feel of the college experience. I thought I'd try it out."

Making the move helped Curry immensely, both in terms of school and athletics. She found more time to study and focus on academics, and her grades remained stable. She was also able to focus more on her throwing, and she said the extra time for practice gave her more time to develop mentally and break down her technique to make her a better thrower.

"I basically wanted to enjoy getting my college degree as well as performing at a high level," she said. "I didn't want to waste this opportunity."

Curry said the additional focus has led to more consistency in her throws.

"I used to throw all over the place. Now I'm always in the high 40s [feet] on my throws," she said. "Eventually, I want to start throwing in the 50s and even break the school record. I always wanted to keep improving. I never put a cap on myself.

"I know I've got the tools to succeed. I just have to go and do it."

Cappos wanted that kind of attitude out of his leaders, and he said Curry shows the qualities and work ethic of a team captain.

"The throwers needed that kind of leader," he said. "Both Rachel and Majesty [Tutson, another junior] have taken on the role. They lead by example. Rachel definitely shows the younger athletes everything that is necessary to succeed."

Iowa's head coach agreed.

"We feel like she's poised to break the 50-foot mark," head coach Layne Anderson said. "She's just got to put it all together in one magical throw. She believes she can do well this season. And everybody can talk big, but to sincerely believe that you can is a whole different story. We feel she has that ability."


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