Mallett, Teubel confident heading to NCAAs


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)

The Iowa men’s track team will conclude its indoor track season on Friday and Saturday, when two Hawks will run in Birmingham, Alabama, during the NCAA Indoor Championships.

Hurdler Aaron Mallett and 800-meter runner Will Teubel will represent the Hawkeyes.

Going into the weekend, Mallett remains, in terms of times, tied for fourth in the country in the 60-meter hurdles. This comes after he broke the Iowa record in the event during the Big Ten Indoor Championships, finishing in 7.69 seconds.

“All the hard work comes to this point,” he said. “This is the pinnacle of track and field for collegiate athletes, so just go out there and have some fun.”

The junior from St. Louis will face the best group of hurdlers he’s competed against this season.

LSU’s Jordan Moore and Oregon’s Devon Allen are both deadlocked in a tie to lead the country. Each athlete finished in 7.60 seconds, coincidentally, both on the same day, but in different meets.

Mallett is only 0.02 seconds off from the man in front of him at No. 3, William Barnes.

Until the Tyson Invitational on Feb. 12, Mallett had yet to lose a race in the 60-meter hurdles this season. After that second-place finish, he has yet to look back.

This meet marks the second time Mallett has competed in the national championships. In 2015, he placed sixth in the 60-meter hurdles.

“I think having the experience of being in a meet like that really calms the nerves,” he said. “You still get nervous for a meet like that, but I’ve been there before, I know what to expect, and I know what I’m up against.”

Unlike Mallett, this is Teubel’s first national meet.

“I’m really looking forward to going to my first national meet,” he said. “I’ve made it to the regional meet a couple of times. I want to be first team All-American.”

Iowa Director of Track and Field Joey Woody wants his two athletes to keep doing what they have been all season long.

“It’s the same mentality,” he said. “If you go out there and you run what you did to get there, you have a really good chance at making the finals and being a first-team All-American.”

Teubel, a senior from Lisbon, Iowa, clocked in a time of 1:47.74 in the Alex Wilson Invitational. That ranks 16th in the country, good for the highest seed in one of the toughest 800-meter groups in college history.

“This is the greatest 800-meter field in collegiate history,” Iowa assistant coach Jason Wakenight said. “If you look at the time it took to make it in, it is by far the most elite 800-meter field in indoor NCAA history. I think there are eight guys who have already run faster than the world championship A-standings. To give you an idea professionally right now, there are only two professional 800-meter runners who have run that time in the United States.”

Being the highest seed in the group, Teubel has nothing to lose.

“I don’t need to do much, I don’t need to think,” he said. “I just need to follow some people, and I’ll get everything done.”

As the meet grows closer, other teams praise Woody and his efforts with the Hawkeye program.

Arkansas head coach Chris Bucknam said Iowa will be a program to watch in the near future, thanks to Woody.

“Joey Woody is doing a great job leading the Iowa program,” Buckman said. “They will compete for Big Ten Titles and be a podium NCAA team in the near future. Iowa competed in our Razorback Team Invitational at the end of January, and they brought a lot of energy to the meet, a reflection of their coach.”

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