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Iowa Kevin Lewis set for NCAA's indoor championships

BY MARIO WILLIAMS | MARCH 12, 2015 5:00 AM

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Prior to the indoor track and field season, senior Kevin Lewis noted that he wanted to break records, receive hardware, and go to the NCAA indoor meet.

The Ottumwa, Iowa, native has achieved all those goals but one — receiving hardware. However, this weekend may be able to give him a chance to do just that at the NCAA indoor meet in Fayetteville, Arkansas, starting Friday.

“I’m just looking to race like I know I can race and finish as high as possible,” Lewis said. “What I want now is to get some hardware.

“If I could be top-eight, first-team All-American, and get one of the NCAA trophies, that would be pretty awesome.”

This indoor season, Lewis has achieved a personal best in every meet he’s competed at besides the Big Ten meet and has broken two school records in the process.

“This has definitely been my best season,” he said. “If you take away one race, it’s been incredible.”

Lewis was not happy with his performance at the Big Ten championships, but even with that in mind, Director of Track and Field Joey Woody also beieves his season as been something special.

“He has had a great senior season,” Woody said. “I think he’s ready to go.”

That one race in Geneva, Ohio, didn’t go as planned for the senior because of an illness and a different approach to his running that he took at the Big Ten meet.

Lewis belives that if he sticks to what he had been doing throughout the season, he’ll be fierce and ready to go for the NCAAs.

“At the Big Ten meet, I switched up my racing strategy a bit and tried to be a little more aggressive. That didn’t really work out,” he said. “I’m just going back to what I’ve been doing the whole year. Just being patient throughout the race, slowly moving up to the pack, and finishing well.”

Underperforming at the conference meet has made the senior more eager, prepared, and ready to flourish at nationals.

“I think if I had had an easy go at Big Tens and won, I would’ve gone into nationals a little too confident,” he said.

Although Lewis is a bit confident in what he can do at nationals, he knows his opposition won’t be easily beat.

“It’s going to be really tough to beat any guy in there,” he said. “All 16 of us are really good runners. All those guys in there are big names in distance running. I’m going to have to fight really hard.”

Coach Layne Anderson believes the two weeks between the conference meet and nationals has been key for Anderson and Lewis for their fierce training.

“Our focus has just been to ensure he’s feeling good,” Anderson said. “If it had only been one week, and he had to race last Friday, he would’ve been in trouble. We don’t want to overwork.”

The distance coach is eager to see Lewis break through in his last possible shot at indoor first-team All-American.

“He looks good,” Anderson said. “We’re optimistic and hopeful that he’s going to go down to Arkansas and have a race very much in line with all of the great races he’s had this indoor season. It’ll certainly be a great way to close the door on his indoor collegiate career.”


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