By JACK ROSSI
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Track and field sprinter Antonio Woodard opened his junior season Saturday, but the track wasn’t the only place he took center stage this weekend.
When he isn’t dashing toward the finish line, the 2018 All-American and Big Ten Champion is part of the all-male choir, Intersection. The group held their winter concert on Friday at the Iowa Memorial Union. Woodard is the president of the group and has come a long way from being a quiet kid with a hidden talent.
“Growing up I was always extremely shy and timid when it came to music and singing,” Woodard said. “Around middle school and high school, I started to utilize the gift that God gave me.”
Woodard began to embrace singing in high school, including auditioning for “The Voice” his junior year.
“I almost made it to the live round of auditions, but the day it was on, a good friend of mine’s dad passed away and the family wanted me to sing at the funeral,” Woodard said. “The funeral took priority.”
When it was time to head to college, there wasn’t much worry for Woodard when he moved from Rancho Cucamonga, California, to Iowa since he knew singing, along with track, would follow him. When a bad break on the track led to a lost freshman season, Woodard made the most of a surplus of free time.
“I had surgery on my knee and I knew I had a lot of time on my hands after redshirting,” Woodard said. “I auditioned for three acapella groups thinking I would get in one and luckily I got in all three. I narrowed my way down to one — Intersection. It fits more of my style and passion for music.”
Intersection has performed for sorority events, luncheons, weddings, and even for President Barack Obama during his visit to Iowa City in 2012.
Woodard can also be spotted at various Iowa sporting events where he sings the national anthem.
“I have sang 10 national anthems at Iowa,” Woodard said. “Most recently, I sang at the Iowa-Wisconsin men’s basketball game on Nov. 29.”
When it comes to balancing track and acapella, Woodard is thankful that it all works out.
“Thankfully everything just fits,” Woodard said. “Our scheduled rehearsals and concerts don’t conflict too much with track. I don’t think it’s difficult and I enjoy it. I knew what I signed up for.”
Catch Woodard on the track at the Hawkeye Invitational on Jan. 11-12 inside the UI Recreation Building and head to uiowaintersection.com for more information on his acapella group.
By JACK ROSSI