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Amosu, Lewis, Mallett headed to NCAAs

BY COURTNEY BAUMANN | MARCH 05, 2015 5:00 AM

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The NCAA announced the Division I indoor track and field championship selections on Tuesday, and three Iowa athletes made the cut.

Babatunde Amosu, Kevin Lewis, and Aaron Mallett will all make the trip down to Fayetteville, Arkansas March 13-14 for the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. 

“Getting to nationals is the highest pinnacle of what we’re doing in college track,” director of track and field Joey Woody said. “That’s what everyone’s goal should be when they get to the Division I level, to get to the national meet, make that final, and hopefully get on that podium.”

Amosu and Mallett are headed to nationals with a bit of hardware as well. The two placed first in the triple jump and second in the 60-meter hurdles, respectively, at the Big Ten Championship.

In order to take the crown in Geneva, Ohio, Amosu had to jump a personal best on his last attempt to surpass Penn State’s Brian Leap.

“That was the most nerve-wracking, scariest time in a long time. At that point in time, I had never jumped that far, so it was like, ‘Okay, I have to do something I’ve never done.’ In me I knew I could do it, it was just a matter of getting it done,” the London, England native said. “Centimeters can make a lot of difference in this sport.”

His jump of 16.07 meters was good to give him the No. 11 seed in Arkansas, where he will once again face Leap along with 14 other competitors from around the nation.

Like Amosu, Mallett also accomplished his personal best at the Big Ten Championships to take home the silver medal, running the hurdles in a time of 7.78, topping his previous best by a tenth of a second.

For Mallett, the thought of making it to nationals still puts him at a loss for words.

“It’s still kind of sinking in to me. With all the hard work we’ve been putting in, I’m glad that it’s paying off at the right time. To make it to the NCAA meet is a dream come true,” Mallett said. “I’ve got plenty of time yet to be a Big Ten Champion, so I don’t mind taking second but heading to the NCAAs.”

Although Lewis did not leave Big Tens with a medal like his two teammates, he qualified for nationals with his school and personal record-breaking performance at Iowa State Feb. 13. Lewis’s 5,000-meter time of 13:43.70 ranks him 10th in the nation heading into the Championships. The senior will be the only Big Ten athlete participating in the race, despite his 15th place finish at the Big Ten Championships Feb. 28.

All three athletes are excited for the opportunity to represent Iowa at the national meet.

“I’m really excited that I get to go with two of my teammates,” Amosu said. “It’s our first indoor nationals for all three of us so it’s really amazing. It would have been great if more athletes from Iowa could have come with us, but we’re going to go, represent, and put down the marks.”

Follow @cbomb12 on Twitter for news, analysis, and updates on the Iowa track and field team.


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