24 Hawkeyes to Watch: Will Teubel

Jan. 21, 2016

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Editor’s note: 24 Hawkeyes to Watch is a feature released Wednesday, July 29, highlighting one athlete from each of the 24 intercollegiate sports offered by the University of Iowa. More than 700 talented student-athletes are currently busy preparing for the 2015-16 athletics year at the UI. Hawkeyesports.com will introduce you to 24 Hawkeyes who, for one reason or another, are poised to play a prominent role in the intercollegiate athletics program at the UI in the coming year.


IOWA CITY, Iowa — The biggest question Will Teubel tried to answer during his senior year of high school was where to continue his education and running career.

Then a scholarship offer came from the University of Iowa and that answered that.


“I was born and raised a Hawkeye fan so it’s awesome I got to come here and compete,” Teubel said. “My senior year (of high school) I didn’t know where I was going or what I was going to do. I was excited when the University of Iowa asked me to run for them. It has been a dream come true.”

Teubel led Mount Vernon (Iowa) High School to a second-place finish in the state meet as a senior, winning the 400-meter dash, 800-meter run, and anchoring the victorious 4×800-meter relay. He continues to excel in middle distances for the Hawkeyes: Teubel has the second-fastest time in program history in the indoor 600 run (1:17.84) and fifth in the 800 (1:49.40). He has run 1:48.60 in an outdoor 800.

During the indoor season-opener Jan. 9 in Champaign, Illinois, Teubel won the 800 in 1:53.24.

“(Assistant) coach (Jason) Wakenight told me to just go out and win the race. I didn’t run my fastest time, but I did what I had to do to win, so I was happy with that,” Teubel said. “I can’t be mad with a victory. I didn’t have to run an incredibly fast time.”

The reaction from Teubel after winning his 2016 opener — albeit five seconds slower than his personal best — is a sign of maturity. Wakenight has seen Teubel grow physically and mentally, and that includes in-race problem-solving during the tactical 800.

“When you show up and race, it didn’t matter we weren’t on the greatest facilities and the race was slow at the start, Will won,” Wakenight said. “If you practice winning and competing all the way to the line, when you do get in that race that goes out hard and is exactly what you want it to be, the competitor takes over and you are able to drop the time you want.

“He has practiced being a great competitor and going for another medal in the Big Ten is a piece of that puzzle for him.”

Not only did Teubel open with an individual victory, the Hawkeyes won the annual Border Battle over Missouri and defending Big Ten outdoor champion Illinois.

“That was promising,” said Teubel, a team captain. “We have high expectations for the men’s team. We want to be a top three team (in the Big Ten) — we know we can be indoors and outdoors. We think we can compete for the title and that’s a pretty darn high expectation.”

This is Teubel’s final season of indoor track; he will redshirt the 2016 outdoor season so he can complete his degree in enterprise leadership and compete in the 2017 outdoor season.

“I was born and raised a Hawkeye fan so it’s awesome I got to come here and compete. My senior year (of high school) I didn’t know where I was going or what I was going to do. I was excited when the University of Iowa asked me to run for them. It has been a dream come true.”
Will Teubel
UI middle distance runner

As a junior in 2015, Teubel placed fourth in the 800 (1:50.18) at the indoor Big Ten Championships and third in the 800 (1:48.90) at the outdoor Big Ten Championships. Twice he has toed the line at an NCAA West Preliminary. Expectations have increased this season: he wants to go sub-1:48 in the indoor 800 and qualify for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials that has an “A” standard of 1:46.

“Will is on his way to being a dominant athlete in the Big Ten,” Wakenight said. “The biggest thing moving forward is making sure that when the opportunity arises he is able to strike and be at his best. He is good enough to make the indoor national championships and be an All-America caliber runner.”

At least two things are working in Teubel’s favor. The first is another offseason of productive training is under his belt.

“Every year I do more work in the summer than I did the year before,” Teubel said. “I try to have my body feel better and last longer throughout the season.”

Another is training partner Carter Lilly, a UI sophomore from Sioux City, Iowa. Lilly is also a member of the Hawkeye top 10 in the 600 (sixth, 1:18.37) and 800 (10th, 1:51.40).

“When you are the elite talents those guys are, it is hard to get the most out of yourself without having a constant reminder,” Wakenight said. “They remind each other every day how good you have to be to reach goals.”

As if Teubel didn’t already have enough motivation to succeed, he often thinks back to a conference championship race Feb. 27, 2015, at SPIRE in Geneva, Ohio. The Hawkeyes were setting the pace against the rest of the Big Ten Conference in the distance medley relay during Teubel’s 800 leg. With 200 meters to go, Teubel didn’t look or feel quite right.

“Every step I took (my hamstring) was tightening and tightening,” he said. “If I kept going I would have been hobbling along. I had to stop — it felt like someone was grabbing my hamstring and holding on to it.”

Teubel hasn’t completely overcome issues with cramping. But he can now be seen eating more bananas, drinking plenty of Pedialyte, and concentrating on stretching.

“That lit a fire under him and he started to feel like he was in position where he could either make or break some of those finishes at a Big Ten meet by taking care of the details and small things,” Wakenight said.

Teubel returns to action Jan. 23 at the Big Four Duals hosted by Iowa State at Lied Recreation Center in Ames, Iowa.

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