Feb. 18, 2009
IOWA CITY, IA – A high jumper in mid-air is a mix of power and grace. It takes a lot of strength to plant the foot and launch over the bar at full power. Power alone won’t do it, because a high jumper needs the flexibility and form to properly clear the bar without knocking it over. University of Iowa senior high jumper Ryan Kelly embodies a good mix of those aspects. He’s a powerful competitor on the field, and he’s a laid back kind of guy off the field.
“My biggest pet peeve is people who take themselves way too seriously,” Kelly says.
The Van Horne, IA, native is the kind of guy you just want to hang out with. He likes laughing at cheesy movies, plays guitar, and is a gadget freak, admitting he probably spends too much money on electronics. Not to mention, his favorite food is frozen pizza. Not much says laid back like snacking on a three dollar pizza while watching TV with friends.
It would be a serious mistake however to assume that this translates into a lack of effort at the high jump pit. Kelly won the high jump in the 2008 Big Ten outdoor Championships with a mark that qualified him for the NCAA Midwest Regional meet and ranks seventh in school history (6-10.75). Kelly is quick to not get too high on himself however.
“Winning at the Big Ten Championships was definitely sweet,” Kelly says. “I wasn’t satisfied with my season performances though, so I wish I would have done that well all year instead of just at the Championships.”
Kelly’s personal goal for the season is to return to the Big Ten Championships and repeat as Big Ten Champion in the high jump. He says that his goal for the team is to finish in the top three in the conference, and emphasizes that his personal goal is really to help the team finish as best as they can. He knows that, like high jumping, you can’t do well without every part working correctly.
Name: Ryan Kelly
Birthday: November 4, 1986
Year in School: Senior
Major(s)/Minor(s): Interdepartmental business
Hometown: Van Horne, IA
How I spend my spare time on the road: listening to my iPod or watching movies
Favorite TV show: The Office
Food I couldn’t live without: Frozen pizza
Best Concert I’ve ever been to: Metallica
Most embarrassing movie I own: Leprechaun: Back 2 Tha Hood