Getting to Know...Ezekiel Sayon

April 8, 2009

IOWA CITY, IA – Ezekiel Sayon will no doubt bring many things to the University of Iowa track and field program in the future. After leading the University of Illinois-Chicago in multiple sprinting events in 2007-08, Sayon transferred to Iowa where he is excited to compete in the Big Ten and at a Division-1 level.

However, Sayon’s start at Iowa has not gone as smoothly as he might have hoped. After running a blazing 6.86 in the 60-meter dash at Iowa’s indoor season opener against Illinois, Sayon was hampered by an injury that kept him from competing the rest of the indoor season. In his first outdoor showing this past weekend at the Tiger Track Classic, Sayon ran an impressive 10.87 in the 100-meter dash, but even this finish does not meet his own standards for excellence.

“My goal for the outdoor season,” Sayon says, “would be to consistently run under a 10.5 (the regional qualifying mark). I would like to break the school 4×100-meter record and win at the Drake Relays. I’m really just looking to contribute to the team in any way that I can.”

What’s the secret to Sayon’s success? If you’re the superstitious type, it could be the fact that he has a specific pre-race ritual that he performs before every race.

“I wipe both of my hands on my shorts, then I blow into them, then I shake them, then I take a deep breath and get set on my blocks.”

Sayon says he always has to eat something before each meet and talks with his teammates to calm the nerves instead of secluding himself.

If you’re not the superstitious type, the key to Sayon’s success is his determination. Sayon’s ultimate goal is to represent his native country of Liberia by competing for their national team, no easy feat by any means. This goal, a healthy diet, and some hard work is a great formula for success that Sayon has used to keep him motivated despite any setbacks.

It’s a fighting spirit perhaps inspired by a love for wrestling and mixed martial arts. Sayon says he follows UFC and other mixed martial arts fighting, and got to see a fight last year the way it’s supposed to be seen: live in Las Vegas. Sayon also had the opportunity to meet former UFC Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture at an Iowa wrestling meet this past season. It’s a rare mix of qualities that gives Sayon the edge over a lot of competitors. He maintains a focus on all of his goals, athletic or academic, and drives towards them. He would call himself a teammate instead of an athlete. He knows when to have fun and when to be serious. These are just some of the things that Sayon brings with him to the University of Iowa.

The Bio
Ezekiel “Zeke” Sayon
Birthday: July 26th, 1989
Year in School: Sophomore
Major(s)/Minor(s): Civil Engineering
Hometown: Rockford, IL

Best part of being a student athlete: The different lifestyle of competition and traveling
Last movie I saw, was it any good: Miracle at St. Anna, it was good
Biggest Pet Peeve: Ignorance
Most embarrassing CD I own: Whitney Houston
If I could compete in another sport besides track: Wrestling