The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Iowa track and field boasts new leaders looking to replicate last season’s success

The new upperclassmen on Iowa’s roster hope to create a tighter team bond and accomplish big goals.
Jerod Ringwald
Iowa’s Paige Magee jumps a hurdle during day three of the 2022 Big Ten Outdoor Track and Field Championships at the University of Minnesota Track and Field Stadium in Minneapolis on Sunday, May 15, 2022. Magee did not finish the event.

Filling the shoes of last year’s graduating class might pose a challenge for Iowa track and field athletes, but it’s a hurdle the Hawkeyes are ready for.

The new roster of upperclassmen is littered with school record holders, All-Americans, and national medalists.

“This is the elite of the elite,” Director of Track and Field Joey Woody said.

One of these elite athletes is fourth-year multi-event specialist Austin West, who is an indoor second-team All-American and outdoor first-team All-American.

During West’s final season as a Hawkeye, he looks forward to achieving big goals with the team.

“I’d like our team to win a Big Ten title indoor and outdoor,” West said. “We’ve also been working toward getting on the national podium as a team.”

Similarly, fourth-year hurdler Paige Magee has high hopes for the Hawkeyes on the conference and national level. She said the underclassmen on the team show just as much potential to make an impact as the fourth- and fifth-year athletes.

“We are trying to show them that even though they are just freshmen, someone has to make it, and it could be them,” Magee said.

The key will be to instill confidence in the team during training.

“Track is a unique sport where it is a team sport made up of individuals,” West said. “You can’t exactly help anyone who is out on the track. Once they are out there, they’re kind of on their own.”

The upperclassmen will lean on their experience and appreciation for those who guided them during their first seasons.

“I was lucky enough to have mentors myself, so I am trying to pay it forward and use what I have learned over the years to aid their learning process,” West said.

Third-year sprinter Lia Love recalled the emotions of her first meet and how she plans to be a steady leader as her freshman teammates have those experiences.

“I remember being so nervous,” Love said. “I don’t think I have ever felt that level of nerves. Now I just need to be a friend to my teammates so they feel like they have someone they can talk to, and they can trust in those situations.”

Magee still fosters the belief that the sky is the limit for her teammates — no matter their age or level of experience.

“At the end of the day, it has to be someone,” Magee said. “It has been done before, and it can be done again. I just hope they do better than I’ve done because it’s all about growing the program.”

Woody has faith in this year’s group of veterans to compete at a high level and encourage the newcomers to join them.

“This isn’t fun and games all the time,” Woody said. “You’ve got to be focused and dedicated. I think we have a really great group of athletes who understand that and what it takes.”

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About the Contributors
Mia Boulton
Mia Boulton, Sports Reporter
Mia Boulton is a freshman at the University of Iowa majoring in Journalism & Mass Communication, as well as exploring a possible double major in Sports Media. She works at the Daily Iowan as a sports reporter. Outside of the Daily Iowan, Mia has been a photographer for her hometown newspaper, The Record.
Jerod Ringwald, Creative Director
Jerod Ringwald is the Creative Director at The Daily Iowan. He is a senior at the University of Iowa majoring in journalism and cinema. He was previously a managing editor this past summer as well as a former photo editor. During his sophomore year, he worked as a photojournalist covering news and sports.