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Finding his speed

BY MARIO WILLIAMS | MAY 06, 2015 5:00 AM

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The lights shone over the Cretzmeyer Track, and the crowd was absolutely deafening as teammates and coaches of Iowa sophomore Jared Ganschow watched as the anchor ran the final leg of the 1,600-meter relay.

During the last 400 meters at the 16th-annual Musco Twilight meet on May 2, Ganschow did something he’d always want to do — win for himself and his team.

The sophomore did that in spectacular fashion when he pulled through at the end of the relay to edge out Minnesota with a time of 3:10.66. He was joined on the relay by freshman Carter Lilly, Nicholas Aly, and senior Brennan Davey.

“That 4x4 I will remember for a long time. That moment I crossed the line was awesome. I didn’t know if I had it in me, but in the end I did,” Ganschow said. “They put me in a great position to do that, and I couldn’t have done it without them.”

Ganschow’s moment at Musco was special for more than one reason. He has struggled at times this season, and taking the title in the final home meet was a welcome change.

After performing well in his first year for the Hawkeyes, the expectations were high coming into the season.

During indoor and much of the outdoor season, the runner faltered, not hitting the times he desired, and he believed his speed and confidence weren’t up to par.

“I just didn’t feel the speed I felt last year in races,” Ganschow said.

With this, his coaches made the adjustments swiftly. The staff decided to change the sophomore’s training and see where things would take him during competition. While Ganschow was extremely fit, he still felt as if he was running “in mud.”

The changes in the training mainly consisted of a variation of speed- and endurance-oriented workouts that would help him progress. Running quick-paced times up to 300 meters during training has been one of the many changes that the Hawks have made.

“Jared is a guy who shines a lot more with speed and power development work,” Iowa Director of Track and Field Joey Woody said. “We had to change the quality of the endurance work and the volume of the endurance work that he was doing.”

While finding the rhythm and confidence in his races has been a struggle, he started to get back in the groove a little before his breakthrough performance at Musco.

Ganschow said he started to feel his speed come back when he set a personal record in the men’s 200 meter at the Beach Invitational at Long Beach State on April 15. He crossed the line in 21.81 to earn 13th.

From there, everything for the Oxford, Iowa, native has been a success because of adjustments and knowing what he’s capable of accomplishing.

“Everything has really helped me progress,” Ganschow said. “Talking to my coaches about what I need to be, and how I need to be better in races has really helped me see things that I wasn’t seeing.”

The assistance and guidance from his coaches haven’t been the only tool in his development.

Teammate and best friend Brendan Thompson, a junior, is also training partners with Ganschow and pushes him to work harder.

Prior to the sophomore receiving the baton from Davey during the relay, Thompson had a few words for him: “It’s all you.”

“When I saw Jared make that surge at the end to beat Minnesota, it showed just how determined he was to win that race,” Thompson said. “He was selfless about it. He wanted it not only for himself but for the team.

“It was amazing to see him get that experience and boost his confidence in his abilities as well.”
After all Ganschow has been through, anchoring the winning 4x400 relay team at Musco is a moment he said he will never forget.

With the Big Ten Championships a week away, he won’t slow down anytime soon.

“I know that there is a big race ahead of me, and I can’t just say I have run the best race already, because I know there is more to come,” Ganschow said. “If I run the race I want to, I will be satisfied with the way my season ended.”

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


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