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 thrower Sean Smith soars to second in the men’s weight throw

Smith posted the second-best weight throw in school history earlier this season.
ADRIAN KRAUS via Imagn Content S
Webster Thomas’ Sean Smith wins the the boys shot put with a distance of 52’ 4.25” meters during the Section V Indoor Track and Field Championships at Pinnacle Athletic Campus, Thursday, Mar. 4, 2021.

Two years before second-year track and field thrower Sean Smith became the second-best weight thrower in Hawkeye history, he was building a makeshift training facility in his basement.

Back home in Webster, New York, Smith passed the time in COVID-19 quarantine by bettering his craft within the confines of his home, building a throwing net in his basement with tarps and any miscellaneous materials lying around the house.

Smith’s dedication to throwing began in middle school after receiving a mass letter from the track and field coach asking kids to join the team. There, Smith began to realize his natural strength and thus started to challenge his limits.

During his high school career, Smith’s parents drove him to meets around the country to satisfy their son’s hunger for competition. Outside of the limits of high school meets, Smith made his own opportunity to throw in the two events he now specializes in.

“I started throwing weight and hammer outside of the high school team where we did discus and shot put,” Smith said. “It took off from there.”

Smith’s high school career was covered with track and field honors. His highlights include being a four-time state medalist in track and field, four-time conference champion, six-time sectional champion, USA Track & Field Junior Olympics runner-up in the hammer throw, and second runner-up at Indoor Nationals in the weight throw.

At the University of Iowa, Smith’s progress skyrocketed.

After the Larry Wieczorek Invite from Jan. 19-20, Smith became the second Hawkeye in school history to have a weight throw over 70 feet and earned Big Ten Men’s Field Event Athlete of the Week honors.

The mark was 21.83 meters, which is 0.37 meters behind former Hawkeye Tyler Lienau’s top mark.

Smith’s performances and dedication have begun to create a domino effect on the team, leading to success for his teammates too.

“It makes it easier to throw far,” redshirt first-year thrower Austin Busch said. “As someone else gets better, it raises everyone else up. You start to realize excellence is the expectation.”

The Hawkeye throwing squad has earned a handful of personal records and history-making marks this indoor season alone, and Iowa Director of Track and Field Joey Woody accredited a portion of the throwing group’s success to its leader.

“[Smith] is a great example of what we look for in athletes who want to develop here at Iowa,” Woody said. “Those types of kids put their mindset to working hard, trusting the coaching, and trusting the training. He has done that.”

Smith’s goals for the season include breaking the school record in the weight throw and punching his ticket to the NCAA Championships in March. He also aims to medal at the indoor and outdoor Big Ten Championships.

“He just wants it,” Woody said. “He’s been really consistent with those big marks. He still has a lot of room for bigger marks.”

To do so, Smith plans to stay consistent, trust the process, and continue training every day.

“Rome wasn’t built in a day,” Busch said of his teammate. “You have to understand that this is all a process and that you will come out better on the other end.”


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About the Contributor
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.