Strength in the 800 club

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Strength in the 800 club

Iowa's Brendan Thompson (relay A) and Mitch Wolff (relay B) make their way to the hand-off exchange zone during the Men's 4X400 Meter Relay at the Iowa Dual meet on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016. Iowa's A relay consisting of Brendan Thompson, Aaron Mallett, Ryan Dorman and Mar'yea Harris finished in first place with a combined time of 3:16.06. (The Daily Iowan/Brooklynn Kascel)

Iowa's Brendan Thompson (relay A) and Mitch Wolff (relay B) make their way to the hand-off exchange zone during the Men's 4X400 Meter Relay at the Iowa Dual meet on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016. Iowa's A relay consisting of Brendan Thompson, Aaron Mallett, Ryan Dorman and Mar'yea Harris finished in first place with a combined time of 3:16.06. (The Daily Iowan/Brooklynn Kascel)

Iowa's Brendan Thompson (relay A) and Mitch Wolff (relay B) make their way to the hand-off exchange zone during the Men's 4X400 Meter Relay at the Iowa Dual meet on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016. Iowa's A relay consisting of Brendan Thompson, Aaron Mallett, Ryan Dorman and Mar'yea Harris finished in first place with a combined time of 3:16.06. (The Daily Iowan/Brooklynn Kascel)

Iowa's Brendan Thompson (relay A) and Mitch Wolff (relay B) make their way to the hand-off exchange zone during the Men's 4X400 Meter Relay at the Iowa Dual meet on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016. Iowa's A relay consisting of Brendan Thompson, Aaron Mallett, Ryan Dorman and Mar'yea Harris finished in first place with a combined time of 3:16.06. (The Daily Iowan/Brooklynn Kascel)

Adam Hensley, [email protected]

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Heading into the Iowa State Classic, the Hawkeyes’ middle-distance group had made great strides. In Ames, the group churned out its best performances of the season.

Iowa’s Carter Lilly, Will Teubel, Pavlo Hutsalyuk, and Ryan Dorman showed fans just how powerful they could be in the 800 meters.

Lilly finished seventh with a time of 1:49.09. Not only was that his college best, the time ranks second all-time at Iowa.

“There were a lot of fast people in my heat, so I wanted to get out fast,” the sophomore from Sioux City said. “I had the ‘rabbit’ in my lane, so that helped me get in front of everyone right away. I just stuck with the ‘rabbit’ and then kept pushing after he stepped off, and I ended up going fast.”

Assistant coach Jason Wakenight believes Lilly is one who leads by example.

“I think Carter is a guy who doesn’t talk much about what he’s going to run, he just goes out there and does it,” Wakenight said. “I think from that standpoint, he’s a guy people can count on.”

Teubel followed closely behind, coming in at 1:50.48. While it may not have been his best time overall, it was still the fastest he has run this season.

The race helped to boost morale, but the senior believes that he still has more to prove.

“I’m feeling pretty confident,” he said. “It wasn’t my [career] best time [or] my best race. The rabbit went kind of slow through the 400. It shows that I’m in shape, and I can close well in my race. I can still finish strong. I was just excited to be in a quick race in a big meet with a bunch of other good runners, and I was ready to run.”

Teubel’s career best in the 800 is 1:48.60, which he set at the Beach Invitational in 2015.

Of Iowa’s four runners in the 800, Wakenight said Teubel has been the leader of the middle-distance group for the last two years. He credit’s Lilly’s success to being a teammate to a top runner in Teubel.

“What you saw Carter do is just a product of him and Will training well together as training partners. I think that’s just the product of the environment as a whole,” he said. “The relationship that Carter and Will have, that’s something that’s pretty special.”

As close as the two are, both want their name atop the record for best 800 in school history.

“I want it really bad,” Lilly said. “Will and I have been talking about the school record all year, and it’s been one of our goals since the beginning. If I keep working hard in practice and I can get completely healthy, I think both of us have a shot at breaking the record.”

Freshman Hutsalyuk finished behind Teubel but ran a career-best 1:50.88, earning him 27th in the meet, eighth in program history.

Even with a top time, Hutsalyuk was not pleased with the way he ran.

“Obviously, I’m happy with my time, but I didn’t really like my race,” he said. “I was just all over the place, bouncing back and forth. I got boxed [in] at the end, so I didn’t run what I wanted to run. I think next week, I can run a smarter race and run faster.”

Earlier this season, he won the 800 at the Big Four Duals, clocking a time of 1:53.23.

Dorman finished around five seconds behind Hutsalyuk — about two seconds slower than his career best — but his coach sees promise in the sophomore.

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