Editor’s Note: This is the fourth part in a five-part series previewing the University of Iowa track and field team’s indoor season. The fourth installment previews the Hawkeye throws and horizontal jumps.
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.
By JACK ROSSI
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Senior Jahisha Thomas, junior Reno Tuufuli, and senior O’Shea Wilson highlight the University of Iowa’s throwers and horizontal jumpers in 2018.
Thomas returns as Iowa’s strongest jumper. The London native holds Iowa’s indoor records in the long jump and triple jump. She returns for her final season looking to become an NCAA qualifier once again.
“She has been to the national meet in both jumping events,” Iowa director of track and field Joey Woody said. “She has been a lot more consistent with her training this year and she has the other intangibles that go along with being an elite athlete. She has been dialed in on her sleep and nutrition. She has big goals.”
Not only is Thomas coming off a successful collegiate season, but she finished third at the United Kingdom World Team Trials in July in the triple jump and fourth in the long jump with personal best marks.
“That was a big eye-opener for her,” Woody said. “She now knows that she can be at that elite level. Once she got back, she has been all-go on all the things that will allow her to take that next big step this year.”
On the men’s side, one of Iowa’s best returners is Tuufuli. Tuufuli led Iowa in the shot put with a mark of 18.78 meters (61-7 ¾) and finished the indoor season ranked 22nd overall in the event. He hopes to transition that success to 2018 with a new throwing coach — Eric Werskey.
“Reno made some big strides last year and has adapted well to a coaching change with coach Werskey coming in,” Woody said. “He has adapted to his training and the philosophy is a little different than what he was doing last year. It has been fun to see him buy in.”
Tuufuli is looking to become one of the top three shot put throwers in the country.
Wilson finished the 2017 indoor season at No. 8 in the country in the long jump, earned All-America honors and was a Big Ten silver medalist. 2018 is the year he finds his consistency.
“With O’Shea it is about being consistent and if he is consistent, then he has a chance of being a Big Ten champion and potentially a national champion,” said Woody.
Wilson ranks third in program history in the long jump behind Anthuan Maybank and Bashir Yamini. The former, an Olympic Gold Medalist and the latter, an NCAA Champion.
ATHLETE POISED FOR A BREAKOUT SEASON
Sophomore Hannah Schilb just missed the cut to make the finals in the triple jump at the Big Ten Indoor Championships, but the coaches are excited to see her jump in 2018.
“She just missed making the final as a freshman,” Woody said. “Coach (Clive) Roberts is excited about her training this fall.”
Schilb ranks ninth all-time in the triple jump (12.03 meters, 39-5 ¾).
FRESHMAN TO WATCH
The freshman to watch in the long jump is Tyree Sorrells. Sorrells, a native of Raytown, Missouri, finished third in the USATF Region 16 Junior Olympic Championships in July with a mark of 22-feet.
“Tyree was one of the better long jumpers out of the Midwest last year when he was in high school,” said Woody. “He has had a great fall and coach Roberts is excited about what he can do. It is about him getting the uniform on and seeing what he can do here.”