Tracksters continue to improve


What to know:

The 2015 season for the Iowa men’s track and field team got off to a solid start. Despite the loss of one of its great sprinters and relay champion, the men earned seventh place at the indoor Big Ten Championships and even sent three athletes to nationals. Each athlete also earned an honor.

Once the outdoor season came around, the men still continued to succeed. The U.S. Track and Field and Cross-Country Coaches Associations ranked the men No. 25 in the nation. The men’s relay squads continued to put up big-time marks as well. In addition to that, many athletes finished with personal bests and broke school records, and a few of the men either won events in the outdoor season, or were runners-up.

Whom to know:

Junior Aaron Mallett has been a force on the men’s side in both the indoor and outdoor season. Indoors in 2015, he was a Big Ten runner-up in the 110 hurdles, competed at nationals to earn sixth place along with an All-American honor, and continued to stay fourth in the nation in his signature event and first in the Big Ten. Mallet also is a leg on the 4x100 relay squad. 

In the outdoor season, Mallett was one of five Hawkeyes to earn an invitation to the NCAA Finals in June, including junior Vinnie Saucer Jr.

Looking Ahead:

The return of Mallett and Saucer is huge. Both of them competed individually at 2015 nationals as well as on the 400-meter relay. While that relay team did graduate Keith Brown, senior Bobby Thompson is back with his two standout peers, and the group figures to be formidable again this season.

The team also graduated Babatunde Amosu, a London native who competed in the 2015 nationals in the triple jump, but the squad returns a solid group of jumpers led by senior Kenny Dean Jr.

In addition, Mitch Wolff returns to the team for his senior season. After earning a trip to the finals in June in the 400-meter hurdles, he adds another experienced and gifted returner for a Hawkeye team poised to add to last season’s success.

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