Freshmen Show Attitude in Self-Evaluation

Jan. 15, 2016

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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. To receive daily news from the Iowa Hawkeyes, sign up HERE.


IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa director of track and field Joey Woody liked what he saw last week from his Hawkeye freshmen, and he expects to see more of it at home this weekend.

The Hawkeyes host Iowa Central and Western Illinois on Saturday at the UI Recreation Building. Field events start at 1 p.m. (CT) and running events begin at 2:30 p.m.


It is the second event of the indoor season, the first and only meet at home, and the next opportunity to showcase a freshman class that captured three titles at the Border Battle in Illinois last week.

Christian Brissett and Briana Guillory won the men’s and women’s 200 meters, and Tria Seawater-Simmons won the women’s triple jump.

“I was proud of how the kids competed in first meet of the year,” Woody said. “To see our freshmen come out and do what they did is impressive.”

The results from Week 1 were good, but what is more encouraging for the program’s future is how those three freshmen responded to their results.

Despite winning the race, which Guillory admits is the main objective, the rookie sees a need to improve.

“It was a good start, but I never get too ahead of myself,” Guillory said. “I kind of keep myself humbled to work toward my next goal.”

Brissett won the men’s 200 meters in 21.74. His converted mark of 21.36 ranks second in the Big Ten after the opening week, but that time will need to improve to score at the conference meet. His teammate James Harrington ran 21.22 at the 2015 Big Ten Championships and placed fourth.

“I know I can get better, that wasn’t my best race,” Brissett said. “I’m getting pushed every day in practice and I know I can improve.

“By the end of the season I want to be competing for championships and scoring points for this team. That’s the most important thing.”

In her college debut, Seawater-Simmons’ cracked the school’s all-time top 10 list with a triple jump of 37-foot, 3 inches (11.35 meters), but the Arizona state champion had mixed feelings after falling nearly three feet short of her personal best.

“I was hoping to jump better, but I feel good about it,” Seawater-Simmons said. “You have to start off the year with something. You’re not going to PR every meet, but you have to start somewhere.”

Seawater-Simmons ranks eighth in the Big Ten. If the conference championships were scored today, her mark would earn the Hawkeyes one team point, which would be the first point scored by an Iowa triple jumper since Renee White won the conference title in 2008.

“That’s something coach (Clive) Roberts and I have talked about,” Seawater-Simmons said. “I want to be a difference maker at Big Tens and, of course, I want to advance to nationals.”

“Tria will fill that gap,” Roberts said. “I think she’s going to go down as one of the best triple jumpers at Iowa before her time is through.”

Including Saturday’s home dual, the Hawkeyes have seven competition dates to prepare for the postseason. Woody wants to see the attitude from the season opener continue from week-to-week.

“Our young athletes stepped up and every athlete competed to win,” Woody said. “That is a good sign for us moving forward.”

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