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Wilson itching to get back

BY MARIO WILLIAMS | MARCH 25, 2015 5:00 AM

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To call the situation then-freshman O’Shea Wilson found himself in at the end of the 2013-14 track and field season positive would be an understatement.

The team had just won a 4x100 Big Ten championship and first-team All-American honors.

However, the expectations for Wilson to come back strong for the 2014-15 track and field season were not met. After battling with ankle injuries in high school, they came back to haunt Wilson as he trained prior to the indoor season. Wilson suffered a bone spur in his right ankle that also affected his Achilles, which caused him to miss the indoor season. 

“Coming off of a season I had last year I wanted to come back this season and actually make a big impact on the team,” Wilson said. “This is my first real injury, so it’s hard not running and helping my team out.”

Being absent from the track is giving Wilson some time to flourish and rehab in which he finds very frustrating. To get his endurance back, the sprinter is doing exercises and conditioning that include bike, stair, and swim workouts.

“Being injured is affecting me mentally because I’m apart of this team and I really wanted to get out there and help my team out,” Wilson said.  “Every week that I don’t come back, it gets slimmer and slimmer so I try to tell myself, ‘I need to get back on the track and do some damage on the track.’ ”

His coach, Iowa Director of Track and Field Joey Woody, has worked closely with the Texas native during his time off.

“Right now, we’re just bringing him along slowly and making sure he’s ready to go,” Woody said. “We’re just trying to make sure he’s healthy when we need him.”

At this point in the outdoor season, the squad may not need him just yet, and Woody sure doesn’t want to put a time on Wilson’s comeback.

“I don’t like to put timelines on people coming back from injuries,” he said. “We’re just taking it day by day and just making sure we’re doing the right things to progress him slowly.”

Wilson’s desire to do the damage he wants to do on the track is something his teammates anticipate.
Sophomore James Harrington, who competed alongside Wilson for the 4x100 title last season, is one of many.

“He was a big part of our team last year, and he’s definitely being missed on the 4x1,” he said.

Junior Brendan Thompson, who has stepped up and taken Wilson’s spot in the second leg of the 4x1 relay squad, finds his absence difficult on the team.

“Just not having him competing is hurting all of us because he’s such a big part of our program,” Thompson said. “He’s just an all-around athlete, and seeing him sidelined is not only tough on me and the rest of the relay team, but the whole team.”

Although Wilson’s training and rehab is still a working process his ultimate goal is to get back and compete at one of Iowa’s larger meets (competition-wise) of the season — the Mount Sac Relays in Walnut, California, on April. 17.

“I know when I’m back on the track I know I can make the team overall better,” he said. “I just want to hurry back and do some damage with them.”

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


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