Future bright for Iowa track's Kwaza

BY DANNY PAYNE | MAY 15, 2013 5:00 AM

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Lake Kwaza has posted a more successful season than of any of her fellow Iowa women sprinters — and she’s only a freshman.

In the two most competitive meets of the season — the Drake Relays and Big Ten championships — she set personal records in the 100-meter dash, with times of 11.60 and 11.56, respectively. Those times placed Lake second and fifth in the respective meets.

Even with all of the success from the young Hawkeye, assistant coach Clive Roberts said there are much better things to come for Kwaza.

“She hasn’t arrived yet,” the fifth year coach said. “I think she’s just got so much more in her … she hasn’t written her whole story yet.”

Part of the reason for Kwaza’s early success has been junior Raven Moore. The two train together on an almost-daily basis in practice and frequently compete against each other in meets. At the Musco Twilight meet on April 20, Kwaza and Moore finished first and second, with their times separated by a mere one-tenth of a second.

This constant battle to run faster than the other is beneficial to both student-athletes. But Roberts doesn’t think the actual competition is the most beneficial part of Kwaza’s relationship with Moore.

He said Moore’s preparation has influenced Kwaza the most.

“That way of, OK, you have to come to practice every single day, you have to put in work,” he said. “I think that Raven has shown her how to train.”

Moore said she believes the level of competition helps both Kwaza and herself. She believes the constant duel elevates their quality of training in practice, which makes them accustomed to the high-competition during meets.

Kwaza agreed, saying working with Roberts and Moore are the two main reasons her times have improved this season.

“[The training] definitely helps a lot, because coming in, I wasn’t as fast as I am now,” the Sycamore, Ill., native said. “Their being there to push me, I think that’s helped.”

Roberts knows Kwaza is talented and has the potential to be a great sprinter, and he is not surprised with the success she has had this season. To maximize this potential, he said, a key to success is to come back every season stronger than the year before.

Roberts said Kwaza’s future successes will depend on a variety of factors, including her work ethic.
“Potential is one thing,” he said. “But what the kid is going to be able to do over the next few years as it relates to working, that’s number one — what kind of sacrifices they are willing to make.”

There might not be guarantees for Kwaza’s future success, but Moore has still enjoyed watching the freshman improve this season. She said she could see her as a future Big Ten champion and looks forward to seeing her progress over the course of her career.

“It’s exciting; she’s a great athlete,” Moore said. “To see her improve in her races is exciting because I know she’ll get even better as she matures and goes on.”

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