Warm Up with the Hawkeyes

Dec. 7, 2013

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 — The University of Iowa men’s track and field program is preparing for a heat wave this winter.

As snowflakes fall and cold winds blow, the Hawkeyes intend to find comfort in their locker room, where the temperature should read “100 degrees” in time for the Big Ten Indoor Championships.

“We have a thermometer in our locker room where we record our places when the season begins,” said director of track and field Larry Wieczorek. If (an athlete) gets first place, it’s worth 10 points. Eighth place is worth one point, and everything else falls in between. My goal is to always become a 100-point team at the Big Ten Championship.”

Wieczorek looks to senior captains Ethan Holmes and Tevin-Cee Mincy to reach that goal on a team mixed with developed veterans and talented newcomers.

Holmes is a four-time All-American and his name is scattered throughout the record book. He holds the second-fastest 60-meter hurdle time (7.82), the fourth-fastest indoor 200-meter time (21.23), and the ninth-fastest 400-meter time (47.63) in school history. He is also part of the school-record-holding 1,600-meter relay team (3:06.66).

This year, his goal is to stay healthy and return to the national stage.

“I have one indoor season left, so staying healthy is the most important thing,” said Holmes. “My goal is to make the indoor national meet, and do all I can to become an indoor All-American.”

Mincy looks to climb Iowa’s all-time top-performers chart on his way to becoming a Big Ten title contender. The senior’s personal-best 60-meters time (6.81) currently ties for eighth all-time in the Iowa record books.

“My goal is to get down to a 6.7 in the 60,” said Mincy. “I want to be a Big Ten contender and score points for our team.”

Iowa kicks off the 2013-14 season with the Black & Gold Intrasquad today at the UI Recreation Building. The meet allows the team to measure their training, and see where improvement is still needed.

“It’s a good time to get out, get some competition in and see what your teammates are bringing to the table,” said Holmes. “It’s a good indicator of your offseason training.”

The meet also enables the team to see the newcomers in a competition setting.

Wieczorek is excited about the first-year Hawkeyes, and he expects several new faces to leave a mark on the track and field program — effective immediately.

Freshmen Jared Ganshow, O’Shea Wilson, and Vinnie Saucer, Jr., join sophomore transfer James Harrington in the sprints, while C.J. Janu and Aaron Mallett aim to make an impact in the hurdles.

Alec Cranford and William Dougherty will compete in the combined events, and Ben Anderson, Kevin Docherty, and Quentin Shaffer each add depth to the distance events.

“Over the last couple years, we have lost some of the best athletes in the history of the University of Iowa,” said Wieczorek. “But I’m not in despair, because we have a good group of new people coming in to blend in with our returning veterans.”

Iowa hosts its annual intrasquad meet today at 4:30 p.m. (CT) inside the UI Rec Building.

The Hawkeyes open and close the regular season at the UI Recreation Building with the Big Four Invitational on Jan. 18, and the Iowa Invitational on Feb. 21. The Big Ten Indoor Championships are set for Feb. 28-March 1 in Geneva, Ohio, before the NCAA Indoor Championships will take place in Albuquerque, N.M., on March 14-15.