UI men’s track splits meets

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UI men’s track splits meets

Iowa runner Aaron Mallett pushes to the finish line in the men's 110 meter hurdles at the Iowa Musco Invitational in Iowa City on Saturday, May 3. Mallett placed first in the event. (The Daily Iowan/Rachael Westergard)

Iowa runner Aaron Mallett pushes to the finish line in the men's 110 meter hurdles at the Iowa Musco Invitational in Iowa City on Saturday, May 3. Mallett placed first in the event. (The Daily Iowan/Rachael Westergard)

Iowa runner Aaron Mallett pushes to the finish line in the men's 110 meter hurdles at the Iowa Musco Invitational in Iowa City on Saturday, May 3. Mallett placed first in the event. (The Daily Iowan/Rachael Westergard)

Iowa runner Aaron Mallett pushes to the finish line in the men's 110 meter hurdles at the Iowa Musco Invitational in Iowa City on Saturday, May 3. Mallett placed first in the event. (The Daily Iowan/Rachael Westergard)

Adam Hensley, [email protected]

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The University of Iowa men’s track and field team heads into competition this weekend in two different meets. One group, primarily the sprinters and hurdlers, will travel to the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The rest of the team will compete in the Iowa State Classic in Ames, Iowa.

This meet stands as one more stop before the conference meet and with the Big Ten Championships coming up in less than three weeks, the coaches have slowly backed off on the training.

“As our [athletes] get more and more fresh, they’re going to feel a lot better going into every meet,” Woody said.

This past weekend at the Meyo Invitational, the Hawkeyes showed flashes of success in the meet, according to director of track and field Joey Woody.

“Overall it was a good meet for us to continue to progress,” he said. “I feel like it was a good meet for our team to continue to build towards the Big Ten [conference] meet. I think even this weekend we’re going to be tuned up even more and have some big performances.”

Michael Melchert was one of the Hawkeyes to demonstrate his prowess.

RELATED: Grading men’s track at midseason

The sophomore ran his first 3,000 meters of the season at Meyo, and finished in 8:08.57. He finished 12th overall at the meet, but ran the fourth best 3,000 in school history

“Coming out, he didn’t really feel great, but he ended up having one of the best all-time performances,” Woody said.

In his two races this season — the mile and the 3,000 — Melchert has ran the fourth best time for a Hawkeye in both events.

Melchert was not the only Hawkeye to compete at a school-record level.

Freshman Mar’yea Harris ran one of the fastest splits in the 1,600-meter relay, Woody noted. Harris boasted a 45.6 400 split – just under two seconds faster than his open 400-meter run (he placed eighth) – as the anchor of the third place relay.

Midway through his first collegiate season, Harris is realizing the talent racing with and against him.

“Everybody is fast, not only from Iowa but around the NCAA. There’s no slow people and you’re always going to have competition when you run,” he said.

His relay group including Mitch Wolff, Brendan Thompson, and DeJuan Frye ran their season best time of 3:10.04, breaking their previous season best time that stood second in the Big Ten.

Aaron Mallett is one of the fastest athletes Harris has trained with. Aside from running in a 1,600-meter relay with him, Mallett has dominated the hurdles to this part of the season.

The junior from St. Louis, Missouri, has won every 60-meter hurdle competition he’s been a part of. Currently, he hold the second best time in school history (7.71 seconds) and is hungrier than ever to take down number one.

Mallett is one of the Hawkeyes traveling to Fayetteville. This meet features seven teams ranked nationally. Four of those seven are in the top ten, including No. 1 Florida.

Woody sees this tough competition as a chance for Mallett to showcase his top-notch ability.

“Guys like Aaron will get a chance to race against the best hurdlers in the country. We always want to get our athletes into the fire, and this is definitely one of those meets. Obviously the Iowa State meet is a great meet as well,” Woody said.

After this weekend, Iowa competes at the Alex Wilson Invitational in South Bend, Indiana.

Follow @A_Hens83 for Iowa track and field news, updates and analysis.

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