Former Iowa City High athletes try to find place on Iowa men's track team


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There are only two athletes on the Iowa men’s track team from Iowa City. Kody Daily and Austin Murphy are both freshmen, both went to City High, and are both learning how to compete in new events just to eventually make a difference on the team.

“Those guys are both project guys,” head coach Larry Wieczorek said. “They’re not coming in as guys who are going to contribute right now. They do have a lot of potential, though.”

Daily and Murphy were throwers in high school, but neither was recruited by Iowa for their tossing ability. Daily had an injury during his senior year at City High that initially limited how far he could go after high school.

Murphy suggested he and Daily go to a throwing camp hosted by the Iowa track team. There, Daily got noticed for something he’d never attempted before.

“At the end [of the camp], we got to throw a javelin for fun,” he said. “And I guess I threw pretty well. They asked me to walk-on for the javelin. I’d take anything that comes from a Division-I coach.”

Murphy said it was always a dream for him and Daily to come to Iowa to throw. After deciding he was too small to throw at a D-I school, he’s learning to be a decathlete for Iowa.

“Both of us aren’t really doing what we did in high school, but we’re adapting,” Murphy said. “It’s a lot of fun. It’s really challenging. Working out with the great group that Iowa has is really rewarding.”

Daily and Murphy first became friends in their freshman year at City High, where they were the only two freshman throwers. The athletes are taking the changes from those high school days in stride.

Although they no longer practice together at Iowa, they still see each other a lot, talk about things when they cross paths, and hang out outside of practice.

“We don’t see each other as much,” Murphy said. “We used to be around each other all the time. With him being a decathlete and me throwing javelin, we say ‘hey’ when we can.”

Wieczorek said attracting not only local athletes but athletes from all of Iowa is a goal for him and his staff.

“Iowa athletes are a priority for us,” he said. “We’re always glad to have people that maybe grew up wanting to be a Hawkeye. [Daily and Murphy] fit that mold. They’re people you want in your program.”

Daily and Murphy try their best not to let the pressures of competing for their home town university get to them.

“I feel like I have to represent Iowa City a little bit,” Daily said. “Just being from here, I don’t want to let anybody down. All my friends are from here and they come back and give me crap.”

The big question surrounding Daily and Murphy is where they progress from now. With no experience in the events they are learning, it may be a while before they truly make a difference on the team.

But Wieczorek has high hopes for the duo.

“Development is what we’re here for,” Wieczorek said. “We’ve seen enough promise to believe that they can eventually do something.”

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