Hawkeye track’s Mar’Yea Harris continues to turn heads in senior season

Mar'Yea Harris has had back-to-back record-breaking weekends, but he wants more.


Ben Smith

From left: Iowa's DeJuan Frye, Collin Hofacker, Mar'Yea Harris, and Chris Thompson rehydrate following their victory in the men's 4x400 meter relay during the 2018 Drake Relays at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa on Saturday, April 28, 2018.

Robert Read, Sports Reporter

In a span of eight days, Iowa sprinter Mar’Yea Harris picked up victories in the 400 and 600 meters, won Big Ten Male Track Athlete of the Week, and ran anchor for the 1,600-meter relay team that broke the school record.

Achievements such as that can make some athletes’ college careers, but Harris accomplished them all in a little more than a week. To Harris, a senior at Iowa who is a seven-time All-American and two-time Big Ten champion, things are going just according to plan.

“Everything is going the way I had hoped it would go coming into the season,” Harris said. “I had some big goals coming into my senior season, and I still have big goals. These past couple of meets have been bigger steps in the right direction. You couldn’t have expected a school record in the 1,600 relay this early in the season, so that was a special thing to be a part of and a good sign of where we are at.”

That relay squad broke the school record at the Tyson Invitational with a time of 3:04.76, sneaking just past the previous best set in 2017. Harris also anchored that 2017 relay.

RELATED: 1,600-meter relay squad enters the Hawkeye men’s record book

“The 1,600-meter squad, it’s a really great thing to be involved in,” Harris said. “I know all of these guys have tremendous talent, and the fact that we went out there and broke the school record, in what was honestly a pretty sloppy race, shows me that we have a lot more in the tank.”

While being a key component to the 1,600 relay, Harris has also boasted many individual accolades recently. At the Meyo Invitational, Harris won the 400 (46.02) and 600 (1:16.60); both times lead the Big Ten.

Ben Allan Smith
Iowa junior Mar’yea Harris poses for a portrait in the Iowa Rec Building on Jan. 10, 2018.

“I’m pretty happy with both of those times right now,” Harris said. “I know at Big Tens, I will drop something fast in the 400. The 600, I’m really pleased with as well because I was able to set a personal best. I’ve really seen improvement in that event.”

With Harris leading the charge, the Iowa men’s track team has jumped to No. 20 nationally in the rankings, and the rise up the totem pole is something Harris takes pride in.

“I think we are starting to turn some heads nationally,” Harris said. “Now that we’ve broken some records and run some fast times, we have numerous athletes in the top 10 [in the NCAA] in numerous events. That shows that we are definitely contenders, and other programs should watch out for us.”

With the indoor regular season winding down to a close, and the Big Ten Indoor Championships coming in two weeks, Harris seeks to continue to turn heads.

“I’m a little tired right now, but that’s just this week; next week, I know I’ll be ready to go,” Harris said. “I’m super excited for my last indoor Big Tens, and I want to got out on a high note. I expect to put up some really good times and to represent my team well.”

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