DES MOINES — The Iowa men’s track and field squad closed the Drake Relays on a slow note, with only three athletes finishing in the top-ten.
The weather in Des Moines was a forecast of 45 degrees, and at least partially caused a sprinter to be disqualified due to slipping and falling during an event. Although the weather wasn’t up to par, Iowa Director of Track and Field Joey Woody didn’t use that as an excuse for his athletes underperforming.
“Everyone had to deal with the same weather, so you can’t blame anything on the weather,” Woody said. “At the end of the day there’s a lot of people putting up Drake Relays marks.
“It doesn’t matter what the weather’s like we gotta go head-to-head against all these athletes and go out there to beat them.”
Although there were not a ton of highlights, redshirt junior Sam Fourman showed up big for the men as he finished second in the 1,500-meter race. His time of 3:44.50 ranks fourth on Iowa’s all-time list. Junior Mitch Wolff also had the audience on their feet when he finished fourth in the 400-meter hurdles, with a personal best of 51.44.
Sophomore Vinnie Saucer finished seventh in the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.59 and Woody is looking to get him in the groove come championship time.
“We gotta work on a couple of things technically,” Woody said. “I know that he’s got the ability to go win the Big Ten Championship in the 100-meter.”
Things went downhill for the men, when sophomore Aaron Mallett slipped and fell after jumping over a hurdle in the 110-meter hurdles. He was disqualified from the event.
“I slipped over a hurdle or two and it took me into hurdle three and I just fell over,” Mallett said. “The rain and the wet surface kind of brought me down.”
Mallett may have had a fall here on the blue oval, but he’s not letting it affect him in the next few weeks of the outdoor season.
“I just gotta keep focusing on myself and focusing on my race,” he said. “I’ll be ready for the NCAA final and I’m making that my main objective.”
Woody, echoed his sentiments.
“We just have to know he’s got the ability to be a national level guy and he’s already shown that,” he said. “Those things happen and sometimes in the hurdles you just gotta move on.”
Iowa also competed in the 1,600-meter sprint medley relay. The quartet of Iowa
Jared Ganschow, Nicholas Aly, Brennan Davey, and Will Teubel finished 11th with a time of 3:26.16.
The men closed its final event of the afternoon with a performance from Daniel Gardarsson, Nicholas Aly, Carter Lilly, and Kevin Lewis in the distance medley relay. They finished 12th with a time of 10:07.07.
The Hawkeyes will next compete at home – at the Musco Twilight on May 2.