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 notebook | Murphy kicks off season, Hawkeyes host Jimmy Grant Alumni Invitational

Iowa distance runner Max Murphy opened the track and field season in Boston, Massachusetts, on Dec. 2. Next up, the Hawkeyes will host Western Illinois and Wisconsin on their home track.
Theodore Retsinas
Iowa’s Max Murphy closes in on the lead during the Hawkeye Invitational at Ashton Cross-Country Course in Iowa City on Friday, Sept. 1, 2023. Murphy broke the University of Iowa men’s 6,000-meter record at the invite. The Iowa men’s team won the invite with the women coming in second.

Just weeks after competing in the NCAA Cross Country Championships, Iowa third-year distance runner Max Murphy opened the indoor track and field season for the Hawkeyes.

Murphy traveled to Boston, Massachusetts, to compete in the Sharon Colyear-Danville Opener. Murphy was entered in the 5,000-meter race and finished with a time of 14:15.23.

“It wasn’t [Murphy’s] best race,” Iowa Director of Track and Field Joey Woody said. “Even though he wasn’t pleased with it, he is motivated to recover and get back at it.”

Despite the outcome of the race, Murphy was grateful to kick off the 2023 indoor track and field season for Hawkeyes.

“I was excited to get my first track race in, and it was a super exciting meet,” Murphy said.

Looking ahead, Murphy plans to return to competition in January as a leader on the Iowa distance squad.

“He’s a guy we count on to do big things,” Woody said. “He’s definitely proven himself every time out at major championships.”

Up next

The Hawkeyes will host the first of four consecutive home meets on Dec. 9. The Jimmy Grant Alumni Invitational will host competitors Western Illinois and Wisconsin.

The pentathlon will be the first event of the day beginning at 10:30 a.m. at the Hawkeye Indoor Track Facility. Shortly after, the weight throw will start at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex at 11 a.m. Running events will follow, starting at 2:45 at the indoor track.

“I’m really excited about opening things up,” Woody said. “We’ve been training really hard throughout the fall.”

The men will be led by a strong sprinting squad of veteran seniors Damoy Allen, Khullen Jefferson, Austin Kresley and Kalen Walker. Following suit are hurdlers Grant Conway and Gratt Reed. Mid-distance fourth-year Connor Belken and second-year Ryan Schreiner look to build off of last year’s success. Lastly, third-year Yohana Yual plans to lead the distance group in the absence of Murphy.

Veteran All-American Austin West prepares to improve on his personal-best heptathlon performance of 5,965 points.

As for field events, fourth-year Quintin Lyons and second-year Sean Smith are set to lead the men’s throwing group. Fourth-years Zack Pluff and Deandre Stapleton Jr. return to jump.

“We have a good team culture where we have a lot of good individuals, but it still feels like a team,” Murphy said. “Hopefully if we all do well on the same day, it’ll lead to a Big Ten title.”

On the women’s side, third-year Lia Love and second-year Holly Duax are poised to lead the Hawkeye sprinters. Fourth-year Paige Magee looks to continue success as a hurdler, and fourth-year Alli Bookin-Nosbisch hopes to take down even more mid-distance records. Fourth-year Amber Aesoph, coming off of another cross country season, is looking to lead the distance squad.

Returning fourth-year Tionna Tobias aims to replicate last season’s success in the pentathlon, where she finished with a score of 3,997.

Field event specialist fourth-year Kayla Hutchins looks to achieve even more success in the triple jump. In the throws, the Hawkeyes are led by fourth-years Alivia Bauer, Jamie Kofron and Kat Moody.

Woody believes all the individual talent Iowa brings to the table will result in positive team outcomes.

“This is our first opportunity to get together as a complete team,” Woody said. “Just to bring everyone together and feel like a team is my favorite part of the opener.”

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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.
Theodore Retsinas
Theodore Retsinas, Photojournalist
Theodore Retsinas is a freshman at the University of Iowa studying Neuroscience.