Jan. 4, 2016
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By JORDAN BUCHER
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Through 15 weeks of preseason training, the University of Iowa throwers have worked diligently to put themselves in a position to pile up points at championship meets in 2016.
“We have fantastic student-athletes who all have a great opportunity to contribute and score points for us at the Big Ten Championships, and many of them are capable of advancing to the NCAA Championships,” UI throws coach Andrew Dubs said. “We have good depth with who we have returning this year, which sets us up well moving forward.”
Iowa welcomes back seniors Allison Gattone (javelin) and Dakotah Goodell (discus, javelin), junior Lindsay Herra (discus), and sophomores Leah Colbert (hammer) and Kayla Hochhalter (javelin) on the women’s side.
Goodell and Hochhalter return as Big Ten point scorers and NCAA qualifiers in their respective events.
“I came to Iowa to be the best, and I don’t think I’ve accomplished that yet,” Goodell said. “I want to end my senior season as a Big Ten champion, whether in the discus or javelin, and I want to get the school record in the discus.”
“Those two will be instrumental for us,” Dubs said of Goodell and Hochhalter. “They have worked hard this fall, and we can expect even bigger things from them this season.
“Lindsay has shown incredible things in practice and I think she is ready for a breakout year. Leah and Ali have both battled injuries during the fall, but I feel they can have a great impact on our team when they return healthy.”
The veterans aren’t the only ones expected to make an impact this season. The Hawkeyes see a prodigy in freshman Nia Britt.
“Nia has the potential to be a Big Ten point scorer this year, and we recruited her with that thought in mind,” Dubs said. “She has worked incredibly hard to learn a new technique, and has adjusted well to college and new training. I don’t think she exactly knows how good she can be, but that will come with time. As soon as she recognizes that, the future is all hers.”
“Sam and Alex have had tremendous off-seasons,” Dubs said. “Alex came onto the scene strong toward the end of the season, making the transition from the decathlon to focus solely on the javelin. Avery will be a difference maker for us this season. He has been working diligently, and I feel he will contribute some major points.”
The Hawkeyes also return sophomore Reno Tuufuli, who had an eventful summer competing in the international circuit.
“Having Reno come off of a redshirt season will be a huge addition to our team,” Dubs said. “Watching what he was able to accomplish this past summer, finishing runner-up at the U.S. Junior Nationals and competing for Team USA at the Pan Am Junior Championships, is a glimpse of what he will be able to do when he puts on the Hawkeye uniform.”
Iowa opens the regular season Saturday at the Border Battle in Champaign, Illinois. Throwing events begin at 10 a.m. (CT) at the UI Armory Track and Floor.