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Iowa's Track and Field midseason report card

BY JORDAN HANSEN | APRIL 15, 2014 5:00 AM

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With three weekends of meets in the books, Iowa has reached the halfway point of the outdoor season. After a bitter ending to the indoor season, spring has presented a rejuvenated track squad that is literally making leaps and bounds.

Short and Medium distance/Relays: B

This season, Hawkeye short-distance runners have been something of an up-and-down affair. Senior Tevin-Cee Mincy and sophomore James Harrington have been fighting injuries during the last part of the indoor season and first part of the outdoor season, so the coaches seemed hesitant to run them too much.

However, a nice surprise has been found in the freshman trio of O’Shea Wilson, Jared Ganschow, and Aaron Mallett. All compete in sprints and medium-length events as well as the relays, and they have been solid. Look for these three to make an impact the rest of the season and, hopefully, in their careers.

Long distance and combined events: C-

The best way to describe the distance and combined events this season is to say they have been mediocre at best. They started off the season poorly at the Arizona State Invitational and have not improved much since. There has been a bit of a bright spot — junior Ben Witt has started to run better recently, and freshman Kevin Docherty will continue to get better with experience.

As for the combined events, most notably the decathlon, assistant coach Molly Jones has her work cut out for her. Of the athletes that participate, only senior Jack Eckert is eligible to compete. The rest have either exhausted their eligibility or are redshirting.

Jumps: B+

Junior Babatunde Amosu and sophomore Klyvens Delaunay highlight the group of jumpers this season for the Hawks. Both triple jumpers excelled in the indoor season and despite being sparsely used during the outdoor season thus far, will be valuable come the Big Ten meet.

High and long jumps have also been good to the Hawkeyes. Sophomore Kevin Spejcher is one of the few high jumpers on the team, and he has competed well, winning the event at last weekend’s Illinois Twilight meet.

Throws: A-

The throwers, especially junior Gabe Hull, have been brilliant this season. Hull specializes in the shot put and discus and will also occasionally throw the hammer. Amazingly, he has scored points in every event that he has entered this season.

Freshman Avery Meyers and senior Drew Clark have also contributed in the shot and discus. Javelin is also in good hands — Sam Joens has won a meet this year. Throws and other field events give Iowa the majority of its points, and that will probably continue.

Midseason MVP: senior captain Tevin-Cee Mincy

Mincy is a glue guy who gets the team going. He isn’t having the greatest start to his last outdoor season, but he is a talented athlete who will show up in the biggest meets. He trains with Wilson and is certainly responsible for some of his brilliance this year.

What needs to improve for Iowa to have a shot at a top-five Big Ten finish?

This sounds obvious, but Iowa needs to be completely healthy. The Hawks aren’t the most talented team in the Big Ten, but if they are at full strength, many on the team have the capability to run with the best.

Head coach Layne Anderson says the Hawkeyes are an outdoor team, so time will tell if they improve upon their 10th-place indoor-season finish.


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