Red Raiders Wear Black & Gold

April 5, 2014

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, IowaRachel Curry and Dakotah Goodell are just a couple of small town girls living in a throwing world.

Both Curry and Goodell graduated from Williamsburg High School in Williamsburg, Iowa — Curry in 2009, Goodell in 2012.

Goodell calls Williamsburg — population 3,074 – home, but Curry is not from the big city.

Her college bio says she’s from Homestead, Iowa, but that’s not entirely true. The Curry family resides outside of Homestead — population unknown.

“Oh yeah, I’m a farm girl,” said Curry. “I live outside of Homestead, where Ashton Kutcher says there are maybe 100 people. Including where I’m from… I’d say maybe a few more.”

No matter the number, both Williamsburg alumnae have made a home in Iowa City — literally throwing themselves from Amana country to Big Ten country.

“They both were outstanding throwers in high school,” said UI assistant coach Scott Cappos. “Rachel is more of a shot putter and Dakotah is more of a discus thrower, but they both have strong work ethics and have committed to being successful here.”

Three years separate the two friends. Curry said she remembers pushing Goodell to get into throwing when she was in junior high.

“That’s the age I fell in love with it,” said Curry. “I didn’t really come from an athletic family, and it was something I could succeed at just by picking it up and throwing it. It was fun for me, so when she was in junior high I remember trying to get her involved.”

Rachel Curry throws the shot put Saturday at 3 p.m. (CT) at the Arkansas Spring Invitational.

It worked for Curry, Goodell, and Williamsburg High School. Curry won the discus state title for the Red Raiders in 2009. Goodell won the same event in 2011.

And it worked for similar reasons.

“I like it because I’m good at it and it relaxes me,” said Goodell. “Honestly, it’s kind of relaxing in a weird way. It doesn’t seem like it would be, but I don’t think about much when I throw. I just do it and I’m not caught up in the competition. I just throw it.”

That approach helped Goodell climb into the school’s all-time top 10 in the discus. The sophomore hit 159-10 (48.73) in the 2014 season opener, besting her previous best by more than 10 feet and climbing from outside the top 10 to No. 4 all-time. Her mark ranks No. 2 in the Big Ten this year, and elicited big words from her coach.

“Last year Dakotah only had about a two-foot improvement from high school, but we saw things in her training that showed she could make a big leap from year one to year two,” said Cappos. “I think she is ready to take a step and be a Big Ten elite thrower, and then also start contending to be an NCAA finalist.”

Curry is a fifth-year senior with a veteran mindset. She wants to finish her final season in the top half of the Big Ten, but perhaps more importantly, she wants to leave a lasting impression at home.

“As a fifth-year senior you want to leave your mark,” said Curry, whose personal best in the shot put ranks seventh in school history. “We have a lot of freshman and I want to give them something to strive for. When I came here there were no other upperclassmen. There were six freshmen and one transfer. That was the women’s throwing program.

“This experience has been great, and it has been a great opportunity for me to have Dakotah here, because it’s like the legacy of the Raiders is going on. She’s going to keep it going, and it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Curry competes in her final home meet May 3 at the Musco Twilight XV. Both athletes compete at the Drake Relays on April 24-26, before postseason begins May 16 at the Big Ten Championships.