Ethan Holmes out indefinitely after injury at Calhoun Invitational

BY MATT CABEL | APRIL 16, 2013 5:00 AM

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An injury has put Ethan Holmes’ senior season with the Iowa men’s track team on hold. In the middle of the 200-meter dash at the Lee Calhoun Invitational on April 13, Holmes said he felt a “really sharp pain” in the lower calf muscle of his left leg with 20 meters remaining in the race. Holmes described the injury as an Achilles tendon, lower calf muscle strain.

“I’m not exactly sure how it happened,” he said. “I’m hoping to be back as soon as possible.” The injury could not have come at a worse time for Holmes — the program will host its annual Musco Twilight meet on Saturday and will travel to Des Moines for the Drake Relays the weekend of April 26. Holmes said that this weekend’s meet is out of the question, and competing in the Drake Relays would be “extremely optimistic.”

While there is no current timetable for Holmes’ return, he’s doing all he can to ensure he’ll be back before the Big Ten meet, which will begin May 10. Holmes is doing rehabilitation workouts twice a day with strength and conditioning coach Landon Evans, including pool workouts and weight training, and he says he’s working to get back as fast as he can without losing any muscle or strength in his leg. Jordan Mullen said everyone on the team, including himself, will need to step up in the wake of Holmes’ injury, particularly the hurdlers. Justin Austin said that sophomore Torrey Campbell will take Holmes’ place as the third leg of the 400-meter relay.

“You always have to plan for the worst, make future plans about Ethan not coming back,” senior Justin Austin said. “We need to figure out who’s going to step up, take it upon ourselves to step up.” Both Holmes and his teammates are eager for the Clinton, Iowa, native to return.

“They want me back just as much as I want to be back,” Holmes said. “They’re remaining positive, keeping in touch with me to figure out where I’m at in the process. The fact that we’re such a close group is good for the situation.” Holmes has been encouraged by fellow senior and hurdler Mullen, because both Holmes and Mullen have been through injuries throughout their careers. Mullen has torn his hamstring and both quadriceps during his career at Iowa — neither have completed an entire season.

“I told him just to look at the positive out of everything,” Mullen said. “He’s a very strong kid, he’s going to get through it — he’s been there, he’s been through it. It’s not like it’s going to catch him off guard. Obviously you don’t plan for that to happen, but he’s been there, so you know he’s going to get back as fast as he can.” But Holmes serves as motivation for himself and his teammates. He remains confident that this isn’t the end of his career wearing the Black and Gold.

“I’m just trying to think about how I got over those injuries in the past and how I got through it,” Holmes said. “I’m just trying to stay positive. It’s a little bit upsetting, but it’s a minor bump in the road.”

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