Mallett, Iowa performers set for USATF Outdoors
Aaron Mallett accomplished a lot already this year.
The Iowa track and field sophomore broke the school record in the 110-meter hurdles, he finished in the top five at the NCAA Championships and was named a first-team all-American.
There could be more to this story, though.
Mallett will be competing at a national level this weekend at the US Track and Field Outdoor Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. The top three in each event advance to the IAAF World Championships Aug. 22-30 in Beijing.
Mallett will be in the 110 hurdles, sophomore Elexis Guster in the 400, while former Hawkeyes Bethany Praska in the 800 and Erik Sowinski in the 800 will also be running this weekend for a shot at Beijing.
"For the college athletes that are here, I think the biggest thing is just getting to that next round to set them up for the semifinals, which would give them an opportunity to make the final," Iowa director of track and field Joey Woody said. "Aaron's goal is to make the final. That would be a really big step for him. He's competing at the highest level he's ever competed in and he's fresh, too.
"That's another big thing with the college athletes. You hope they feel fresh at the end of the season. A lot of these athletes are ready to be done, they're just worn out from the long season. But he's feeling good and looking good."
The 2015 campaign was one to remember for Mallett.
He crossed the finish line in fifth place at the NCAA Championships in 13.40 seconds, garnering first-team all-America honors. The St. Louis, Mo., native is the first Iowa trackster to be named a first team all-American in the 110 hurdles since 1989.
"We need to keep doing what we've been doing," Woody said. "We don't get caught up in all the hype of everything. It's another meet. It's another opportunity to put up a good performance. He needs to continue to focus on controlling what he can control. That's how we approached things the whole year and it's worked out well for us."
Reach Matt Cozzi at email@example.com or 319-887-5409, and follow him on Twitter at @matt_cozzi.
US Track and Field Championships
- 400M — Elexis Guster, U of Iowa
- 800M — Bethany Praska, former U of Iowa
- 1,500M — Shelby Houlihan, Sioux City East/Arizona State; Jenny Simpson, born in Webster City
- 5K and 10K — Meghan Armstrong Peyton, former U of Iowa
- 100H — Lolo Jones, D.M. Roosevelt/LSU; Alex Gochenour, Logan Magnolia/Arkansas
- High Jump — Megan Glisar, Sargeant Bluff Luton, former Morningside/South Dakota
- Long Jump — Skye Morrison, former Wartburg
- Heptathlon — Alkex Gochenour, Logan Magnolia/Arkansas; Lindsay Lettow, DM Christian/former Central Missouri
- 800M — Erik Sowinski, former U of Iowa
- 1,500M — Dorian Ulrey, former UNI/Arkansas
- 3,000M — Stanley Kebenei, former Iowa Central/Arkansas
- 110H — Aaron Mallett, U of Iowa
- 400H — LaRon Bennett, Drake assistant coach
- Steeplechase — Hillary Bor, former Iowa State
- Masters 3K — Lance Elliott, Montezuma/former Iowa State
- Triple Jump — Troy Doris, former U of Iowa
- Discus — Chase Madison, Newton/Iowa State/former Kentucky
- Hammer Throw — Alfred "A.G" Kruger, Sheldon/former Morningside College