Hawkeyes Add 16 to Men's 2021-22 Roster

IOWA CITY, Iowa— The University of track and field program announced Tuesday that 16 male student-athletes comprise the 2021 incoming recruiting class.

The incoming class represents nine states, including four athletes from the state of Iowa.

“I’m extremely excited to announce our 2021-22 recruiting class,” Iowa Director of Track and Field Joey Woody said. “This is probably the deepest and most comprehensive recruiting class we’ve had since I’ve been the head coach at Iowa. We were able to fill some holes for both genders, as well as add to the tremendous talent we currently have in our program in all event groups.”


“After a historic season winning multiple Big Ten Championships, it was our goal to make sure we brought in elite athletes who could add some horsepower to already strong event groups,” assistant coach Jason Wakenight said, “Kalen Walker is the best incoming 200 meter runner we’ve had in almost a decade, Chadrick Richards will compete to medal in our conference from day one in both the 200 meter and 400 meter, and Kris Moore has the pedigree to follow in the footsteps of some of our greatest long sprinters in the 400 and 4 x 4.

Kalil Johnson and Phillip Jefferson are used to tough competition coming from two of the best track and field states in the country. Kalil is an Illinois State Champion in the 110 hurdles and 300 hurdles who we feel is a hidden gem, and Phillip is one of the best hurdlers and long sprinters California saw all season long.”

Phillip Jefferson

Los Angeles, California

Long Beach Wilson High School

37.73 (300H)

48.23 (400M)

1:54.74 (800M)

Kalil Johnson

Evanston, Illinois

Evanston High School

14.01 (110H)

38.08 (300H)

Kristopher Moore

Clinton, Mississippi

Hinds Junior College

10.49 (100M)

21.00 (200M)

47.05 (400M)

Chadrick Richards

Longwood, Florida

Lake Brantley High School

10.54 (100M)

21.34 (200M)

47.40 (400M)

Kalen Walker

Eddyville, Iowa

Indian Hills Junior College

10.51 (100M)

20.94 (200M)



“Our mid-distance program had a fantastic 2021 season,” Wakenight said. “I was extremely selective in deciding who to add to this already polished group and hit the jackpot in signing Antonio Abrego. He’s one of the top five in the nation, and has the tools to be one of the best ever here at Iowa.”

Antonio Abrego

Santa Clarita, California

Golden Valley High School

48.63 (400M)

1:19.37 (600M)

1:51.33 (800M)


“These guys have been through a very challenging year,” associate head coach Randy Hasenbank said. “They all missed junior year competition, a big year when it comes to the recruiting process, so we know there is more in the tank for these young prospects. This past fall, Isaac Hartman and Jack Gschwendtner both had very competitive cross country seasons as two of the top five seniors in the state of Minnesota. The entire group competed well in the spring, and I am very excited to have them join us.”

Will Arbanas

Kirkwood, Missouri

Kirkwood High School

4:18.64 (1600M)

Jack Gschwendtner

Eden Prairie, Minnesota

Eden Prairie High School

16:05.72 (5000M, XC)

Isaac Hartman

Eden Prairie, Minnesota

Eden Prairie High School

1:56.71 (800M)

4:19.89 (1600M)

9:24.25 (3200M)

Blake Hayden

Minnetonka, Minnesota

Wayzata High School

16:27.30 (5000M, XC)

Colin Hill

Elmhurst, Illinois

York High School

1:56.30 (800M)

4:18.49 (1600M)

14:53.70 (3 Miles XC)

Yohana Yual

Des Moines, Iowa

Johnston High School

15:44.90 (5000M)



“It won’t be long before everyone knows what this group is capable of,” assistant coach Ray Robinson said. “Sean Smith comes in ranking eighth in the U.S. in both the hammer and weight for high school boys. He threw a personal best at Nike Nationals, which shows his competitive nature. Nik Curtiss comes to Iowa as an accomplished, high-level thrower. He is a ten-time Division II All-American at Tiffin, and has competed in the Olympic Trials (17th 2021) and at US Indoor Championships.”

Nikolas Curtiss

Lancaster, Ohio

Tiffin University

64’10.75” (Shot Put)

187’1” (Discus)

63’4.25” (Weight Throw)

Sean Smith

Webster, New York

Webster Thomas High School

70’8.5” (Weight Throw)

205’0” (Hammer Throw)



“We are adding two of the top athletes in the state on the men’s side in both the vertical jumps and multi event groups,” Assistant Coach Paige Bohannon said. “Lovell will join the multi-events group, bringing experience in both the jumps and the hurdles. He is an extremely versatile athlete. I can’t wait to see how he develops. Noah James adds a lot of raw talent to the high jump. He is one of the most talented jumpers to come out of the state of Iowa in years.”

Noah James

Treynor, Iowa

Treynor High School

6’9 (High Jump)

Brody Lovell

Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Cedar Rapids Kennedy High School

6’5 (High Jump)

21’1 (Long Jump)

11.19 (100M)

15.51 (110H)


Coach Woody on the Men’s Event Groups:

Men’s Sprints/Long Sprints:  “Kalen, Kris,  and Chadrick will really enhance our sprints group  across all events from the 100 to the 400 and both relays. All three of these guys are exceptional talents and will be immediate contributors to our men’s team. Kalen wasn’t highly recruited out of high school, but he believed in himself and worked hard to improve on his times and continued to improve his personal bests this summer to emerge as one of the best junior college athletes in the nation.  Chadrick is one of the top high school sprinters in the country who can compete at a high level in the 100-, 200-, and 400-meters.  Kris is another junior college athlete who has a huge upside in all 3 sprint events and will be an immediate impact athlete on our team.

Men’s Hurdles: “With the highly ranked returners we have in both hurdle events, we were very selective in who we wanted for our team and both Kalil and Phillip emerged as the best fit for our program.  Both are extremely talented athletes and ranked in the top 25 for the 2022 class in their events.  I can’t wait to see how they progress in our hurdle program.”

Men’s Distance: “Last year was one of the best years in Iowa history for our men’s distance program.  We witnessed two freshman in Max Murphy and Kal Lewis who were immediate impact athletes and took our program to a whole new level.  This year’s recruiting class we really focused on adding the right athletes who we feel can develop to the highest level in our program and contribute to our continued success in cross country and the distance events on the track.

Men’s Field events: “Our field events took a big jump with this recruiting class headlined by transfer Nik Curtiss in the throws who we believe will be competing for Big Ten titles and NCAA All-American status this season.  Sean Smith is one of the best weight/hammer throwers in the nation and will be an immediate contributor in those events at the Big Ten level.  Noah James is s tremendous jumper with a big upside who will add quality depth to our high jump crew.

Men’s Middle Distance: “We had unprecedented success in the mid-distance group last season with multiple Big Ten finalists and NCAA qualifiers.  We will look to build on that success with one of the top rated recruits in the country in Antonio Abrego who can compete at a high level in anything from the 400 to the mile.”