Track & Field Announces 26 Signees for 2017

Hawkeye Fan Shop — A Black & Gold Store | 24 Hawkeyes to Watch 2016-17 | Hawk Talk Monthly — April 2017

IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Iowa track and field team announced Friday the signing of 26 athletes to the 2017 recruiting class.
The signees includes four throwers, 12 sprinters/hurdles, four mid-distance runners, three distance runners, and three jumpers.
“I am extremely excited about this 2017 recruiting class,” UI director of track and field Joey Woody said. “Our staff worked relentlessly to put together a class that hits in every event area. Not only did we recruit some great quality athletes, we filled some needs for our program to continue to compete to win Big Ten Championships and place high at the NCAA Championships. This is one of the top recruiting classes in the country and one of our best classes ever.”


Marissa Mueller
Ontario, Canada
Lambton Central
Javelin: 46.86m
“We are beyond words excited to welcome Marissa to our Hawkeye Family.  Marissa is the defending Canadian Youth National Champion in the Javelin and will look to make an immediate impact.  She is an all around incredible young woman who will bring many qualities of high character and class to our team.  Having only thrown the Javelin for about a year, she has already shown signs of being a potential elite level thrower.  Marissa brings a tremendous work ethic both on and off the track, as evidence by her academics and extra curricular involvement.  Coming from a wonderful family at home in Ontario, we are thrilled to welcome her family to ours.” – Coach Andrew Dubs
Konstadina Spanoudaki
Crete, Greece
4th Geniko Lykeio of Chania (HS)
Discus: 52.04m
“To be able to add someone as special as Konstadina to our Hawkeye Family is an incredible opportunity for us.  From our very first conversation you could tell in her voice her excitement and energy she had for the University of Iowa.  Konstadina has shown tremendous improvement over the years as she has developed in the Discus and shows the ability to continue to develop into a top NCAA contender during her time at Iowa.  Having already competed on a national level at home in Greece as the defending Junior National Champion, she brings that competitive experience with her that will help translate on both the B1G Ten and NCAA levels.” – Coach Andrew Dubs

Sprints & Hurdles

Kyara Avant
Indianapolis, IN
Ben Davis High School
200m: 24.20
100m: 11.75
“Kyara avant Simmons — The Hawkeye Family would like to welcome Kyara Avant Simmons  and her family.  What a great addition to our program.  I think this is a young lady that will surprise a lot of folks.  From the moment Kyara step on campus her personality won the day. 
Primary event focus will be 100/200 and relays. “ – Coach Clive Roberts
Mika Cox
Reynoldsburg, OH
Reynoldsburg HS
200m:  25.33
400m: 57.85
“Mika Cox will be a great addition to our sprint group. Daughter of former Hawkeye great Yolanda Cox. Mika’s primary focus will be the 200m/400m.” – Coach Clive Roberts
Antonise Christian
Gary, IN
West Side Leadership Academy
400m: 54.93
200m: 24.52
100m: 11.76
“The Hawkeye Family would like to welcome Antonise Christian and the Christian family. 
We are so excited to add such a versatile sprinters in Antonise to this program.  Early in the recruiting process we knew that she would be a fantastic fit within our program.  That was further solidified on her visit.  Can’t wait to get her on campus and further build on the great relationship that we have begun to develop.”
– Coach Clive Roberts 
Addie Swanson
Bettendorf, IA
Pleasant Valley HS
400m: 56.03
400m Split:  54.60
“I have seen Addie race in the state of Iowa for years now and she is an absolute animal competitively. She attacks races and has shown such impressive range. I watched her run the 200M and 400M at the state meet last season and knew she had the biggest upside of any long sprinter or middle-distance runner in the state. Her 600M potential is out of this world and as she learns how to run the 800M and develops rhythm as a mid-distance runner she will take her talents to the highest levels of NCAA track and field. She is going do some really special things here at Iowa and I am ecstatic she will be wearing black and gold next year.” – Coach Wakenight
Kylie Welch
Bloomington, IL
Bloomington High School
400m: 54.84
 “The Hawkeye Family would like to welcome Kylie Welch and the Welch family.  Kylie is a young lady that we’ve had our eye on for quite a while.  She comes highly recommend from coach  Kenny Herman, coach Marques Lowe and coach Tiffany Johnson our current school 100m hurdler record holder.   One of the things that really strike me about Kylie when I saw her compete was for fearlessness. 
Primary event focus will be 200/400m and relays.” – Coach Clive Roberts
Shelby West
Round Rock, TX
Round Rock High School
400m Hurdles: 60.48
300m Hurdles: 42.69
“I am very excited about adding Shelby to our 400 Hurdle crew. She has competed at an elite level in the 400 hurdles at the Junior Olympic level, and I look forward to seeing her progress as an elite competitor in the Big Ten and NCAA throughout her career here at Iowa.” – Coach Joey Woody 

Mid-Distance and Distance

Mary Arch
Iowa City, IA
City High HS
800m:  2:18.97
Cross Country:  Finished 10th at the Class 4A Iowa State Cross Country Championships.
 “Mary will be a fantastic addition to our program.  She has built an outstanding resume while at City High.  Most recently, she led her team to a 3rd place finish this past fall in cross country.  Mary has very good range, covering the 800 meter distance up to the 5k.  Her versatility will serve her well at the next level.  She comes from an outstanding family and is a lifelong Hawkeye fan.”  – Coach Randy Hasenbank
Aly Weum
Stoughton, WI
Stoughton HS
400m:  56.34
800m Split:  2:12.10
“Aly has been such a special person to recruit. She instantly clicked with the girls on our team and has unbelievably strong character that fits right into our young team’s culture. As an athlete Aly is going to add a whole new dimension to this group because she has such fantastic speed as a long sprinter. Being one of the best 400 runners in the Midwest and having shown tremendous endurance abilities makes her a perfect fit here at Iowa. Aly is going to be fantastic addition to this women’s mid-distance group, we want to be a national power in these events and she can help make that happen. She is one of the best mid-distance athletes I’ve ever recruited.” – Coach Wakenight


AJ Epenesa
Edwardsville, IL
Edwardsville High School
Discus: 206′ 5″
Shot Put: 60′ 4″
“Just an incredible addition to the Hawkeye Family, both for Track and Field and Football.  AJ is one of the top Discus thrower’s in the country and one of the top overall Football prospects for any position.  With strong family ties to Iowa, as his Dad was a former Hawkeye football player, it is tremendous to be adding AJ as well.  A phenomenal athlete and all around person, adding someone like AJ will have an immediate impact for our program both in the B1G and at the NCAA level.  AJ will be a dual sport student-athlete for Iowa in both Track and Football and we couldn’t be happier for him and Hawkeye nation.” – Coach Andrew Dubs

Tristan Wirfs
Mount Vernon, IA
Mount Vernon High School
Discus: 195′ 2″
Shot Put: 66′ 3.5″
“Another dual sport student-athlete for Iowa with Track and Football, we couldn’t be happier that Tristan will be joining the Hawkeye Family.  It is always a fantastic opportunity when we can add the best in the state of Iowa to the University of Iowa.  I am very excited and looking forward to working with Tristan in both the Shot and Discus.  As one of the top Shot Putters in the country and one of the best to ever come out of the state of Iowa (#3 all-time), he is someone who I feel will have a chance to contend to make the B1G final in both events as a Freshman and qualify for the NCAA Championships.  His potential is outstanding and can’t wait for Tristan to begin his Iowa career.” – Coach Andrew Dubs

Sprints & Hurdles

Wade Barclay
Southeast Polk, IA
110m Hurdles:  14.46
400m Hurdles:  53.36
Accomplishments – Placed 4th in both the 110HH and 400H at the Class 4A Iowa State Meet
“Wade was a huge force in both hurdle races in the state of Iowa last season. As one of the topcombo hurdlers in Iowa, I felt it was extremely important for us to make him a Hawkeye. He is exceptionally versatile and I love the toughness he brings to our group of young hurdlers. We have a history of developing Iowa’s best hurdlers into some of the best in the country and I see that being the path Wade Barclay is on. Wade has all the characteristics I look for in a hurdler, he is hard-working and driven to be elite at the highest levels of track and field.” – Coach Wakenight
Josh Braverman
Lacey, WA
River Ridge HS
110m Hurdles:  14.06
300m Hurdles:  37.62
Long Jump:  22’5
Accomplishments –Class 2A Washington State Champion in the 300H. Class 2A Washington State Runner-Up in the 110HH.
“Josh is an unbelievable individual who has a level of pure athleticism you don’t find very often. He has only been hurdling for a year and half and has already put himself in contention to sweep the hurdle titles in the state of Washington this season. I think Josh is one of the best kept secrets in the country and can be a world-class hurdler down the road. He is going to be one of the best combo hurdlers in the Big Ten.” – Coach Wakenight
Raymonte Dow
High Point, NC
High Point Central HS
300m Hurdles:  37.39
400m Split:  47.60
Accomplishments – North Carolina State Champion in the 300H. Ranked 5th in the Nation in the 400 hurdles.
“From the first day I met Raymonte I kinda just knew. He was this amazing athlete, top 5 in the country and looked every bit the part but was not arrogant about it. He had a quiet confidence about him that caught my eye and we just had this fantastic connection right from the start. I think he has an opportunity to help take our hurdle program to a level it has never been before. We are going to be the best hurdle program in the country and he is going to be a huge reason why. Monte is coming to Iowa to win a national title. This kid is the real deal.” – Coach Wakenight
Jojo Frost
Center Point, IA
Center Point Urbana HS
100m:  11.02
400m:  49.02
110m Hurdles:  14.36
400m Hurdles:  53.06
Accomplishments – Class 3A Iowa State Champion in the 400M and 400H. Class 3A State Runner-Up in the 110 High Hurdles.
“Jojo is a stud, plain and simple. He competes to win in everything he does. To see a young athlete win both the 400M and the 400H at the same state meet is pretty stunning. His love for the Hawkeyes is contagious and when he decided to commit to Iowa I was so fired up. I think he is going to be one of the biggest x-factors in this recruiting class. He has huge goals for this spring and is relentless in his pursuit of excellence. Jojo is a tremendous addition to our team. He is going to be a handful for the rest of the Big Ten.”  – Coach Wakenight
Bradford Garron
Evanston, IL
Evanston Township HS
200m:  21.77
400m:  47.72
Accomplishments – Class 3A Illinois State Finalist in the 400M. Is the #1 returnee in the state at 400M.
“Brad was the best long sprint prospect in the state of Illinois last season, and is preparing to be an immediate impact athlete in our program. I believe he has the tools to make Big Ten Finals and be an NCAA qualifier early on in his career. He is very thoughtful, quiet, and reserved until he gets on the track. He is a competitor and his versatility in all the sprint events makes him an excellent candidate for relays as well. Brad is an unbelievably great addition to our sprint program.” – Coach Wakenight
Nolan Kembel
Loveland, Colorado
Mountain View HS
300m Hurdles:  37.75
200m:  21.98
400m:  47.87
Accomplishments – Finished top 5 in both the 110H and 300H at the Class 4A Colorado State Meet
“The first time I saw Nolan I knew he was an unbelievable long sprinter and hurdler. One look and I knew he was going to be a superstar. He is a blue chip recruit and is going to have his sights set on becoming an All-American hurdler. He is still raw when it comes to his hurdle technique but his ceiling is so incredibly high. He is going to be one of the best we have ever had at Iowa by the time he is done. He has improved so much as a sprinter, his 400M speed is fantastic and will allow him to compete for a spot on our All-American relays. Nolan is a star in the making.” – Coach Wakenight


Jay Hunt
Batavia, IL
Batavia HS
High Jump 6’9
100:  11.09
200:  22.38
Accomplishments – 2016 Class 3A Illinois State Qualifier in the High Jump.
“Jay has been a fantastic athlete to recruit. He is a wonderful person and has big goals for this season. He really wanted to be part of a championship level program and will be one of the biggest additions to our team next season because he gives us some horsepower in the field events. He is also developing as a great short sprinter but I believe his true niche will be as a vertical jumper. Jay is going to help us fight for team titles as a 7-foot high jumper.” –Coach Wakenight
Cole Moeller
Wheatland, IA
Calamus Wheatland HS
High Jump 6’10
Accomplishments – 3-Time Defending Class 1A Iowa State High Jump Champion
“Cole was our first commit in the class of 2017 and for him to be a Hawkeye means so much. He bleeds black and gold, and has been one of the best high jumpers in the state for years now. It was a priority for our program to sign him. He has great shot at becoming a 7’0 jumper this year and becoming an all-time Iowa great. I love his attitude and everything he brings to the table. Cole is a blue-chip jumper and makes us so much stronger in the field events. I love this kid, he is going to be a special part of our team” — Coach Wakenight
Tyree Sorrells
Raytown, MO
Raytown South High School
Long Jump: 23′ 5″
Triple Jump: 45′ 11.5″
The Hawkeye Family would like to welcome Tyree Sorrells and his family.  Tyree will add tremendous depth to our jumps group.  We feel that once given the opportunity to focus on just track and field Tyree will be a game changer for this program.”  – Coach Clive Roberts

Mid-Distance and Distance

Noah Healy
Frankfort, IL
Lincoln-Way East HS
4:22.06 (1600M)
14:47.00 (3-Miles)
Accomplishments – Finished 24th at the 2016 Illinois Class 3A Cross Country Championship
“Noah Healy is a terrific student athlete and will not only excel in the classroom, but, also has the potential to add high quality depth to our young group of distance runners. Noah will be a very versatile runner in our program; he has a lot of range.  I am looking forward to working with Noah.”  – Coach Hasenbank
Johnelle Joe
Mt. Pleasant, DE
Mt. Pleasant HS
800m:  1:54.29
Accomplishments – 2017 Delaware Indoor State Champion at 800M. 2016 Delaware State Runner-Up at 800M.
“I really love adding Johnelle Joe to this year’s recruiting class. Johnelle has been the best middle-distance runner in Delaware for 2 years now and he wanted to be part of an elite middle-distance program. We are one of the nation’s best 800M programs and he couldn’t say no to the chance to join forces with some of the best young runners in the country. I love his enthusiasm and willingness to fight to contribute to the team’s success. Our mission at Iowa is to win championships with a core unit of great athletes who are also great people. Johnelle is a great 800M runner and also a great person, he is exactly what we look for and we are lucky he chose Iowa. ” – Coach Wakenight
Matt Lorenz
Cedar Rapids, IA
Cedar Rapids Prairie HS
800m:  1:54.71
Accomplishments – Placed 5th in the Class 4A Iowa State Meet in the 800M. Is the #2 returnee in the state of Iowa at 800M.
“Matt has been one of the best all-around athletes in the state throughout his high school career. He plays golf, basketball, baseball, and somehow finds time for cross country and track too. I think Matt’s ceiling is extremely high and once he starts to focus more on running you will see some big things happen. I think he has great endurance capabilities but also is explosive which has developed by playing other sports. That is going to serve him very well in our speed oriented program. Matt was a great signing for our team.” – Coach Wakenight

Jeff Roberts
River Vale, NJ
Pascak Valley High School
1600m: 4:18.69
“I am very excited to welcome Jeff to our program.  During the recruiting process it was clear that Jeff was very excited about the direction that our program is headed.  He is a talented runner who has played a lot of soccer in the past.  He is looking forward to directing all of his energy to track and cross country at the next level.  Jeff is very athletic and at 6’3, we feel that Jeff has the length and the foot speed to develop into a great athlete.  He has posted very good marks from 800 up through the mile.   Jeff believes in himself and was looking for a program that would give him an opportunity to compete at the highest level.  More importantly, Jeff is a terrific student, we look forward to him joining our program.” – Coach Randy Hasenbank
Alec Still
Kingsley, IA
Kingsley-Pierson/Woodbury Central HS
800m:  1:54.89
Accomplishments – Placed 3rd in the Class 2A Iowa State Meet in the 800M.
“Alec is one tough dude. He is the starting running back for his football team, he runs cross country, he wrestles, and he runs the 800M. I have been watching him compete since he was a freshman and he refuses to surrender. His competitive nature is something that is contagious and I can tell he is just scratching the surface of his potential as a mid-distance runner. He will make a major impact on our program and exemplifies what a student-athlete should be. I am very happy I get to coach Alec next season.”  – Coach Wakenight