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 second-year javelin thrower Mike Stein preparing for Olympic Trials

Stein and other Hawkeyes will compete from June 21-30 at the USATF Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon.

The 2024 Summer Olympics are right around the corner, and Hawkeye javelin thrower Mike Stein is in search of the opportunity of a lifetime.

Athletes continue their rigorous training sessions with the hopes of reaching their lifelong goals of becoming Olympians.

While many of the athletes vying for the few spots are professionals, there are also many college athletes from various universities across the country balancing the difficult practice schedule while completing their studies at the same time.

Though the spring semester has been over for a month, track and field athletes at the University of Iowa have been working hard to prepare for the 2024 USATF Olympic Trials, which are held from June 21-30 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.

One of those athletes competing next week is second-year javelin thrower Mike Stein.

Hailing from Milford, Iowa, Stein completed a terrific sophomore season in 2024, earning first-team All-American honors while setting the school’s javelin record at 81.19 meters.

After missing the NCAA Championships during his freshman season in 2023, Stein continued to work on his throwing during the offseason and qualified for the event this past year, finishing in seventh place with a best throw of 72.81 meters.

“He has made immense progress since missing this meet last year,” Iowa Director of Track and Field Joey Woody said after the 2024 meet.

Before his career in track and field, Stein was a standout baseball player at Spirit Lake High School, earning two all-district honors as an outfielder and three all-conference honors as a pitcher.

Stein, who comes from a family of track athletes, soon discovered javelin throwing during his sophomore year, an event that is not offered by the IHSAA. Despite this disadvantage, he quickly found his talent for the sport and competed in several college meets, winning three of them.

“When I started throwing the javelin, I knew I had a bright future in front of me,” Stein said.

To prepare for the trials, Stein works out around four hours each day and works through various mobility and training exercises. There are shorter, two-hour recovery-based days included in the cycle, but it has mostly been a busy routine for the young thrower.

“There’s really no days off,” Stein said. “Maybe a few days of the year I’ll have a day off, but training has been really consistent.”

The opportunity to compete in the Olympic Games is incredible by itself, but athletes take pride in representing their home countries. Stein enjoys representing not only the United States, but also the Black and Gold in Iowa City.

“There’s nothing better than putting on the USA uniform,” Stein said. “It’s really cool to represent Iowa at this meet too and show that Iowa kids can throw javelins too.”

And despite entering the biggest competition of his life, Stein feels like he has nothing to lose in Eugene.

“My mindset has shifted with the trials where I don’t have much to lose,” Stein said. “I’m 20 years old. I have nothing to lose, and I’m going to swing freely, and I’m going to swing for the fences. I know I’ve trained harder than just about anybody, so I’m just going to let the chips fall where they may. I plan on throwing big.”

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About the Contributor
Brad Schultz
Brad Schultz, Sports Reporter
Brad Schultz is a sophomore at the University of Iowa majoring in Journalism and Mass Communication with a minor in Sports Studies. This is first year working as a sports reporter and he has a deep passion and love for sports. Outside of the Daily Iowan, Brad is a contributor for Saturday Blitz, a college football site, with his content primarily covering Iowa and the Big Ten.