Iowa track hungry after Drake Relays

BY MATT CABEL | APRIL 29, 2013 5:00 AM

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DES MOINES — The Iowa men’s track and field team crowned no champions at the 2013 Drake Relays. Members of the team hoisted no white flags above their head as they ran a victory lap around the Jim Duncan track in Drake Stadium. And they’re not happy about it.

“We didn’t get the things done that we wanted to get done this weekend,” senior Ethan Holmes said. “But there’s not much you can do about it. I didn’t run until this week, so it’s frustrating, but at the same time, the meets that count are coming up in a couple of weeks. It was a really good race for me.” Plenty of individuals earned spots in the finals in numerous races, including the 100-meter dash, 110-meter hurdles, the 400-meter hurdles, 800-meter dash, and the 4x100-meter relay. The 4x100-meter relay team, consisting of seniors Jordan Mullen, Holmes, Josh Larney, and Justin Austin, came in third place in the event with a time of 39.66 seconds, barely slower than school record time of 39.35 the team earned on April 6.

Mullen and Holmes also finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the 110-meter hurdles, with times of 13.86 and 13.97 seconds. Holmes ran one race on April 26 before running in the finals of the 4x000 and 110-meter hurdles after straining his Achilles tendon. Holmes said after the race that he needs to continue working, because he hasn’t competed at the elite level he’s capable of. “I’m healthy,” he said. “I just haven’t had a whole lot of time to work. I’m a little bit behind.”

In the 100-meter dash, Austin finished second with a time of 10.22 seconds. While that time is a season best for Austin and sits atop the Big Ten, it was also .01 second away from his personal best time of 10.21. Austin was happier with his outcome more so than some teammates, but the Milwaukee native knows he’s capable of stronger performances.

“My start is usually the part I struggle with,” Austin said after the race. “We’ve been working so hard on trying to get a nice start, and it came together. We are making really good strides. This is my second fastest 100-meter time, and I’m not even close to the end of the season. We are doing the right things. It was a really good race for me.” There was a train of second-place finishes in the field events as well. Senior Matt Byers earned second in the javelin with a distance of 229-6. Sophomore Gabe Hull earned second in the discus behind Northern Iowa’s Jordan Williams. It was a close competition between the two in the final round — Hull threw a distance of 190-5 and Williams earned a 190.6.

“[The discus] wasn’t listening [to me] today,” Hull said after the competition. But looking forward to the rest of the regular season and Big Ten championship competition, Holmes and his teammates will continue to push themselves to earn titles at difficult meets.

“I plan on stepping my game up,” Holmes said. “I’m not gonna let people walk away with races like we did today.”

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