IOWA CITY, Iowa — Sophomore Tyler Lienau had a record-breaking indoor season and with high expectations for the outdoor. He was ready to knock off more school records, and he was preparing to make a run at the 2020 Olympic Trials, an event put on hold this year due to COVID-19.
“It was a big surprise. During that time everything was happening so fast,” said Lienau. “We were hearing pro sports getting canceled, then indoor nationals were canceled. I don’t remember how much longer after that the spring season was canceled, but I was in my apartment with my teammates when I found out. It took a few weeks to process it all. Looking at the big picture, it was for the best. The biggest positive that’s come out of this is the amount of time I can focus on school now and being able to see family.”
Lienau broke the school record in the weight throw for the first time since 2002. While he was making history in the indoor season, the real excitement would be in the outdoor when he competed in the discus, but that will have to wait until 2021.
“My biggest goal is to make the Olympic trials in 2021 in the discus,” said Lienau. “That was a big goal for this upcoming year, but everything got pushed back. Also, making it to indoor nationals in the weight throw is on the agenda for next year.”
Lienau, an accounting major, is looking at this extra time as a positive to dive into his school work. He has returned home to Jesup, Iowa, to finish the spring semester. This is his Hawkeye Shakeout.
How has training been going?
“I took a few weeks off right away because we were unsure what was going to happen. Once I came home, I started training again. I can still throw here back at home and come up with workouts just in my basement. My high school ring is still open and I can go whenever I want.”
How have you adapted to online schooling?
“It’s been going really well. I think that has been the biggest positive, just having all this time. When you are in season or in the fall practicing and training, I don’t think athletes keep the adequate amount of time to spend on the little things like meeting with professors. That’s the biggest thing I’ve been focusing on during this time.”
What has been one of your favorite Hawkeye moments so far?
“The Texas Tech Invitational this year was the most memorable moment. Only the throwers traveled to Texas and I ended up breaking the school record in the weight throw. Just seeing how happy my teammates were for me, it was a really special moment.”
📍LIVE FROM TEXAS TECH
A SCHOOL RECORD HAS BEEN BROKEN
TYLER LIENAU with a mark of 21.35m in the weight throw🙌
— Iowa Track & Field/Cross Country (@IowaXC_TF) February 14, 2020
What have you been up to during quarantine?
“I have been sleeping a little later than usual. There is a lot of homework and training to do, and I started watching Tiger King. I also play Xbox with my friends and am able to talk with them on there.”