ISU men’s track uses eclectic group of throwers

Isaac Hunt

Five athletes, including a freshman shot putter from Germany, a walk-on, a “developmental” javelin thrower, a improved junior, and a fifth-year senior make up the group of thrower for men’s track this season.

“This is the best men’s group I’ve had together,” said assistant coach Grant Wall. “We don’t have a lot of guys, but they work hard.”

A group that is likely to make itself known in the record books by the end of the season.

Jan Jeuschede said that one of his goals this season is to throw over 60 feet which is only five and three quarters inches away from third all time at Iowa State.

Also, Wall fully expects redshirt senior Zack Richards to be a school record holder by the third outdoor track meet. Richards’s hard work is going to pay off.

“[To prepare for this season] we had a lot of hard work in the offseason,” Richardson said. “We had a big lifting plan this summer. Get out and throw everyday.”

But the word “offseason” may not mean what most people think for track athletes.

“It’s a long year,” Wall said. “We don’t get an offseason; we work 49 weeks of the year.”

Track is a monotonous routine. Muscle memory, form, working on fast twitch and slow twitch muscle fibers to improve by fractions of seconds and inches.

“It’s been the same thing for a while here,” Richardson said. “Track is one of those things where it’s all year every year. It’s a slow progression. We have been building toward the same thing for a while now.”

Training is unique at Iowa State. With Wall using a strong dose of both lifting and repetition.

“We do the same thing we always do,” Wall said. “We are a strength-based program. In the fall we get really strong and get some mass behind the ball. Get our weight up in a good way and get some reps in. A lot of repetition, just cranking it out.”

With Wall’s five there is no doubt there is a bond between coach and player. After and sometime during every throw in practice Wall gives and receives feedback to and from his athletes.

“We are putting in the work,” Wall said. “The communication is really good between me and the [throwers] is really good. How they are feeling is really important. They are able to push way beyond their bonds, but to recover from that is hard. I can keep pushing them, but they tell me when it is time to back off. It’s a two way street.”

Head coach Corey Ihmels admires Wall’s five throwers as well, calling them a “solid group”. Ihmels also stated that they feed off of each other’s energy and are ready to go for the season.

“[They] work very hard day in and day out,” Ihmels said. “They can be competitive in this conference. This is an area where we can be really successful.”

With the first meet this week Wall’s five is ready to show what they can do, but it won’t be until later in the season that things really start to happen.

“We start out with some good meets,” Wall said. “But we are focused on February and conference.”