Mallett, Teubel headline Big Tens for Hawks


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]

The Iowa men’s track team enters the first championship meet of the indoor season this weekend when it travels to Geneva, Ohio, for the Big Ten Indoor Championships.

Iowa comes off of a successful meet in South Bend, Indiana, at the Alex Wilson Invitational.

“I was happy with how everybody performed,” Iowa Director of Track and Field Joey Woody said. “I think when you have energy going, it just keeps the ball rolling, kind of a snowball effect; you got things going in the right direction, and everybody feeds off the energy of the previous great performance.”

Numerous athletes put on their best performances of the season.

Iowa’s middle-distance runners tore up the 800 meters.

Senior Will Teubel won the 800 in record-setting fashion, with his time of 1:47.74 elevating him to second all-time at Iowa.

“We all knew he had it in him,” Woody said. “I was obviously happy for him because he’s been putting the work in. He put his best self out there and really competed with a lot of confidence.”

Fellow mid-distance runner Pavlo Hutsalyuk was right behind him, running the third-fastest time in program history (1:48.97).

“I’m really excited about the indoor [championship],” Teubel said. “After I had a big [personal record] last week, I think it set me up really well for this weekend. I’m really excited for the rest of the middle-distance group to run as well. I think we are all ready to score in whatever event we are in.”

Teubel’s time is the third-best finish in the Big Ten.

While the middle-distance events will be a highlight for most fans, the main show comes in the form of the 60-meter hurdles.

Aaron Mallett’s 7.71 finish at the Razorback Invitational earlier this season leads the Big Ten and ties for seventh nationally.

The junior believes he is competing at the highest level he’s displayed, and he wants to avenge a second-place finish in the 2015 indoor conference championships.

“I really want this indoor championship because I know I have been working hard for it, and I feel like I’m next in line to win the indoor title,” he said. “It’s a steep accomplishment, especially when indoor is not my strong suit, but it’s something I want to prove to the conference and the nation, that I’m a fierce competitor.”

Along with the hurdles, Iowa’s sprinter group comes in with some of the top times in the Big Ten.

Vinnie Saucer Jr’s 60 meters (6.75), Christian Brissett’s 200 meters (21.36), and Mar’yea Harris’ 400 meters (47.10) all rank in the top eight in the conference.

Harris also anchors the second-best 1,600-meter relay in the Big Ten (11th best in the nation). Along with Mitch Wolff, Brendan Thompson, and Jared Ganschow, the quartet wants to improve upon their time, which has decreased in each meet of the season.
Iowa’s distance group comes in with no runners making headlines across the Big Ten. However, sophomore Michael Melchert has been the leader in the group. Earlier this season, he ran the fourth-best indoor mile and 3,000-meter times in school history.

In the field events, Iowa got a major confidence boost at the Alex Wilson Invitational. Reno Tuufuli recorded his personal best in the shot put (60-3.25), moving him to sixth all-time in Hawkeye history. That distance is the ninth best in the Big Ten and is the fifth best among freshmen in the country.

“It’s big when you have an athlete that we know has the ability, but then maybe not on paper is expected to do much,”Woody said. “All of a sudden, they put themselves in a position to score. That just gives everybody extra motivation.”

Following the Big Ten meet, the next competition will be the NCAA Championships,March 11 and 12 in Birmingham, Alabama.

Follow @A_Hens83 for Iowa men’s track news, updates, and analysis.

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