Men’s track seeks to build on highlights

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Men’s track seeks to build on highlights

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The Iowa men’s track and field team will continue the indoor season when it travels to South Bend, Indiana, for the Meyo Invitational today and Saturday.

The Hawkeyes will be one of many teams — 49 — that will be compete on the Notre Dame campus.

Iowa comes off of a 10th-place finish at the Razorback Invitational on Jan. 29 and 30. In facing nine ranked opponents, six Hawkeyes posted career bests that put them in Iowa’s top-10 lists for their events.

Aaron Mallett was one of those highlights. He finished the 60-meter hurdles in 7.71 (second best all-time at Iowa) in route to first place. In the finals, he ran a 7.72, the second fastest time of his career.

“[At Meyo], I just want to keep it the same, just go after my goals: try to get better every meet, beat some good guys, put a statement out there that I’m trying to win a national title,” he said.

Currently, Mallett’s time of 7.71 leads the Big Ten and is tied for fourth in the nation. Being 0.01 from tying a school record, Mallett aims to break it before the season is done.

Other Hawkeyes also earned Iowa Director of Track and Field Joey Woody’s praise over the weekend.

Two other Hawkeyes cracked the top five in their events. Carter Lilly ran the 800 meters in 1:49.37 (fifth best at Iowa), and Mar’yea Harris ran the 400 meters in 47.10 (third best at Iowa).

“Lilly was a huge highlight because that was his first 800 of the year. He led the race from gun to tape,” Woody said. “Another highlight was Mar’yea running 47.10. He’s definitely a bright spot for our program.”

On the distance side, coach Layne Anderson believes that his runners should be ready to go after personal bests.

“I think of the guys we have racing, I think everybody is in the best shape of his life,” he said. “I think they just need to go out there and race intelligently, have confidence, and just trust their fitness. If we do that, we’ll get some great performances, we’ll get some [personal records].”

Michael Melchert showed off his versatility the last time the distance group competed. At the Big Four Duals, he ran the mile, an event that was meant as training for the 3,000 meters. However, Melchert showed his coaches that he is not just a 3,000-meter runner. The sophomore finished with a personal best time (4:58.60), good for fourth place all-time in program history.

Melchert will run the 3,000 at the Meyo. Despite its being his first race other than the mile this season, his coach has faith that he’ll pick up right where he left off.

“He looks good. I think he’s confident. He’s a guy that gets in there and races intelligently, puts himself in [good] position, and really finishes the job,” Anderson said.

In the field events, junior Avery Meyers will try to build on his collegiate-best throw at the Razorback. He snared the eighth-best throw in school history in the shot put at 59-0.25.

Woody believes that was a huge momentum-builder for the team.

“[For] Avery to come out and have a big [personal record] in the shot put, we hadn’t really solidified a lot in our field events, so that was a big plus for us,” he said.

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