The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Docherty getting back in swing of things

Last season went relatively well for then-freshman Kevin Docherty, until an Achilles injury brought his fitness level down completely.

He competed in all six races last season and found his first year running at the college level a journey. In his début, he won the Hawkeye Early Bird Invitational, finishing with a time of 12:34.

“Last season was definitely a learning experience,” he said. “It was a great experience to travel with the team and getting the experience of running with Big Ten competition.”

After the season, the sophomore qualified for the U.S. Junior championships. While prepping for such a big occasion in July, Docherty suffered an aggravated Achilles. With this comes a lot of recovery training, which slowed the sophomore’s performance down from the rest of his teammates.

To help recover from this injury, Docherty biked and swam to get fit for the start of this season.

Coming into the start of his sophomore campaign, he felt he wasn’t as fit as the rest of his teammates.

“It was tough to come in and see my teammates fit and ready to go and I’m just starting up,” he said. “I had to keep telling myself that it’ll take time and I’ll eventually get up there with them.”

So far this season, the cross-country squad has competed in four meets. Docherty ran only 6,000 meters out of the 8,000 at the Big Ten Preview and competed at the Notre Dame Invitational in full.

The sophomore crossed the line at 24:39 to earn 114th place of the 200 runners.

Although Docherty ran only 6,000 meters at the Big Ten Preview, the sophomore wanted to test his fitness level against his teammates and other top-level competition.

“It was definitely a good checkpoint to see where I’m at and to see where I line up against Big Ten competition and my team,” the St. Paul, Minnesota, native said. “It was also good to get some of the rust out of not racing for five months.”

As far as Docherty running in his first full meet last weekend, the sophomore felt more comfortable about his fitness level even though the turnout was better than what he expected.

After that contest, his head coach was pleased with the way he ran and his progress through the season.

“He’s making up ground,” Iowa head coach Layne Anderson said. “He wasn’t obviously fit when we started but this [Oct. 3] he showed that he’s definitely making up the ground now.”

Moving along through the season, Docherty believes the workouts are helping him get back to his top fitness level. The sophomore also plans to build his strength up for the remainder of the season.

“I think I’m almost back to where my teammates are,” he said. “I feel so much more fit just in daily running and the workouts. I’m getting back to my top fitness.

“I want to work on my strength and mileage so that I can do whatever needs to be done to get my team to nationals.”

Sophomore Ben Anderson believes much like his coach that Docherty’s fitness level is improving.

“I can remember we did a workout at the beginning of the year, and he was struggling,” the sophomore said. “Now he’s on fire at practice. Leading workouts and such. He’s a big part of our team, and we need him to be healthy, strong, and fit.”

Follow @marioxwilliams on Twitter for news, updates, and analysis about the Iowa men’s cross-country team.

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