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Hawkeye tracksters set to travel to Tucson for Jim Click Invitational

BY DANNY PAYNE AND MATT CABEL | APRIL 04, 2013 5:00 AM

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The Iowa track and field team will compete today, Friday, and Saturday at the Jim Click Invitational in Tucson, Ariz. The competition is scheduled to start at 1:30 p.m. CDT today.

The men’s team is coming off a strong performance by sophomore Kevin Lewis, who clocked a time of 14:08.04, good for seventh place in the third section of the 5,000 meters at the Stanford Invitational on March 29. Fellow sophomore Gabe Hull won the discus title at the Central Invitational on March 28 with a 186-5 toss, currently the second-best score in the Big Ten conference.

On the women’s side, the team will try to build off a multitude of strong finishes at the Central Invitational, including a sweep of the top four places in the discus by senior Majesty Tutson, freshman Dakotah Goodell, and fellow juniors Courtney Fritz and Amanda Stahle.

Women’s head coach Layne Anderson is looking forward to strong competition in Tucson.

“It will be an outstanding meet, and we anticipate an opportunity for everybody to compete, and compete well,” he said.

This will be the second competition for senior captain Ethan Holmes and most of his teammates after rain canceled most of the Alabama Invitational’s Saturday session on March 23.

“It’s going to be great weather, so there’s no excuse not to step up and have a great performance this weekend,” Holmes said. “It gives us a chance to see where we stack up against other teams in the nation and in the conference.”

Anderson, who will bring almost all of his squad to Tucson, is optimistic about the meet, particularly the women’s throwing and sprinting group.

“Coach [Clive] Roberts’ group, our sprinters have been doing pretty well … They’re certainly prepared for it; I think all of these kids are prepared to compete well,” Anderson said. “Now, they need to actually go down and execute in competition.”

Women’s captain Jasmine Simpson, who currently leads the Big Ten in the hammer throw with a mark of 197-7, knows her team is looking forward to the elevated level of competition in Tucson.

“Being at these bigger meets makes you want to compete at that level … the bigger ones tell you where you’re at and compete and compete hard through the whole meet,” she said.

Holmes echoes Simpson’s philosophy of bigger meets meaning added motivation.

While looking for strong performances from his teammates, he is also looking for strong, excuse-free performances of his own. The senior will compete in the 110 and 400 meter hurdles, as well as the 4x100 and 4x400 relays.

“I’d like to go out in my events and lay down some times that are going to be up there around the best times I’ve ever ran — if not the best times in both my events,” Holmes said. “I’m setting the bar high for myself, I have some high expectations — I’m going there, expecting big performances.I think everyone’s just as ready as I am to go out and compete.”


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