Feb. 22, 2013
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Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide.
IOWA CITY, Iowa — As dangerous as it may sound, the University of Iowa track and field team has turned the weight throw into a game of leap frog. Ashlyn Gulvas, Jasmine Simpson, and Majesty Tutson each have taken their turn — one after the other — on top of the school’s all-time top performers list.
Tutson first broke the school record in 2011. It stood for two years before Gulvas jumped her in the first meet of 2013. Two weeks later, Simpson hopped them both to claim the top spot, and most recently, Gulvas reclaimed the record at the Iowa Invitational.
“I went in really relaxed and just wanted to get a good throw,” Gulvas said after she broke the record for the second time this season. “I happened to get the mark on my first throw, which proves the best throws are the most relaxed throws.”
“It’s kind of an interesting group,” said throws coach Scott Cappos. “When I first started coaching the women here, those were the first group of girls we brought into the program. It has taken a few years for them to develop, but now we have three different girls who have broken the school record.”
Gulvas, Simpson and Tutson found themselves staring at an empty cupboard when they joined the Iowa program in 2010. The Hawkeye women had no returning throwers that year, but the incoming group was still a little raw for Big Ten competition. Gulvas and Simpson donned a redshirt their first year on campus, while Tutson jumped right into the circle and finished the season competing in the discus at the 2010 NCAA Regional Championships. Two years later she set the school record in the event, recording a toss of 172-11 (52.72m).
“This group keeps getting better,” said Cappos. “We’ve broken school records in the discus and weight throw, and I think the shot put record will be broken. I think the hammer throw record will be broken. I think the goal with this group is to break more records in the outdoor season. That’s something we’re really looking forward to, being a group that smashes the records, so when the next group develops they’ll have a higher standard to achieve the records within our program.”
Gulvas’ school record of 63-6 (19.35m) ranks seventh among conference competitors heading into this week’s Big Ten Championships. Simpson is seeded No. 9 with a mark of 62-6.25 (18.75m), and Annemie Smith, who ranks No. 4 in school history, is seeded No. 13 at 60-0.25 (18.29m). If any of the three contend for another school record, it could translate into team points for the Hawkeyes.
“If they do it again this weekend they’re going to have an opportunity to score points for our team, and I think that is the goal for those girls,” said Cappos. “They want to score team points, and if records come as a result, that’s great, but I think they really want to fight to make the finals this weekend and establish ourselves as an emerging program in the Big Ten. We’re starting to do that, but this weekend could be a real big step forward to help our team.”
Iowa competes at the Big Ten Championships beginning today at 10 a.m. (CT) in Geneva, Ohio. The meet is hosted by the SPIRE Institute, one of the world’s largest indoor Olympic-grade multi-sport training complexes. Live results will be available on the track and field schedule page at hawkeyesports.com.