School record a continuous goal for Iowa women throwers


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Before the season even started, throwing captain Jasmine Simpson was full of confidence in her fellow throwers’ abilities, predicting that Iowa’s school record for the weight throw event would be broken.

Not even two meets into the year, the Hawkeyes are rewriting the record books.

Redshirt junior Ashlyn Gulvas set the standard at 60 feet, 7.75 inches in Iowa’s opening meet, the Iowa Open on Jan. 12. Kelsey Taylor, who threw 60 feet, 4.5 inches in 2011, held the previous record. Sophomore Annemie Smith wasn’t far behind Gulvas, throwing 60 feet, 0.25 inches to finish second at the home-opener.

“To start the season with a record-breaking performance and two others right there at that same level is exciting,” head coach Layne Anderson said. “We hope that it’s something they can build off of, because the reality of that event at the Big Ten championship level is that it may be one of the more competitive events in the conference.”

Gulvas credits her stay in Iowa City this past summer for her improvements.

“I worked really hard this summer. I trained here for two-months straight,” she said. “The heat was awful. I would go out and throw when it was 100 degrees outside, but obviously it all paid off.”

Gulvas isn’t the only Hawkeye winning titles. Simpson took the title in last weekends’ Adidas Classic in Lincoln, Neb.

“It motivates you to get there first,” she said. “We’re all happy for each other when we do well, and we’re all throwing well, but at the same time we all want that top spot. It’s a nice push and pull to one up your teammates but to also want them to do well.”

Gulvas agreed. She’s a fan of a little friendly competition.

“We get along so well, and when someone beats someone else, it’s all about support,” Gulvas said at the intrasquad meet. “I feel like as long as we continue to [get] [personal records], it will only make us better. It’s never a negative thing.”

On a team that has 23 freshmen, only one of them is a thrower — Haleigh Theuerkauf. Iowa’s depth at this position has proven vital for competitions.

“Our event group is definitely more experienced, and that helps going into competitions,” Simpson said. “We’re more settled into competition, and we can compete for titles and that record, it’s a different mindset.”

This depth is not only providing competition-day experience for the team, it also produces points. Four out of the top-five weight throwers were Hawkeyes at the Adidas Classic, giving Iowa 22 points out of the 31 points awarded at the competition.  Anderson was content with the outing but keeps expectations high for his throwers.

“We’re looking for consistency and performances at or around that 60-foot mark, and if we can get them competing at that level every weekend, it’ll give them a chance to get to that 61 or 62 feet,” he said.

Anderson believes when they combine the experience and training the Hawk throwers have, they can make a push for more records.

“We think this group is ready to do it,” he said. “Everything is in place for these girls to do well. It comes down to execution and throwing the weight as far as you can in competition.”

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