Feb. 2014

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47 One of Holmes' successors is freshman Aaron Mal- lett, a national high school indoor champion in the 60-meter hurdles. "I think it's more than one time a week that I say he is the next big thing," said Holmes. "I don't mean that from the next big thing at Iowa standpoint, I mean he's the next big thing in track and field. I think he has limitless capabilities." Mallett said he attached himself to Holmes the min- ute he arrived on campus. "Ethan is definitely my role model," said Mallett, a St. Louis native and Missouri high school state champion in the 110-meter hurdles. "He has the credentials. He's a Big Ten champion and has been on a Big Ten cham- pionship team. He consistently qualifies for nation- als, and I feel like if I'm close to him I must be doing something right." Mallett was close in his Hawkeye debut — two one- hundredths of a second in front of Holmes. "He is so much more than just raw talent," said Holmes. "He's on top of his training and he knows what he needs to do. He knows what he wants to do, and he wants to be really good." Mallett's time in the 60-meter hurdles ranks fourth in program history, two spots below Holmes' personal best. Holmes, who for three years trained with All- American and school record-holder Jordan Mullen, says the competition is a strength of the program, and he's embraced his role as mentor. "It's always fun to step up and be a leader to these young guys, especially when you think about the amount of talent that they have and the amount of opportunity that they're going to have in the future. ey are the future of track and field." Hurdles Reloaded By Chris Brewer I t is not a case of out with the old, in with the new. It is mostly a case of in with the new. e University of Iowa track and field team won 18 events and broke a 31-year old school record to sweep Drake, Iowa State, and Northern Iowa at the Big 4 Duals on Jan. 18. What Iowa accomplished sent a message: is is a Hawkeye State. How Iowa did it added a post script: It may be that way for a long time. Six Hawkeye freshmen won individual titles — three men and three women. e Hawkeyes also claimed the men's and women's 1,600-meter relay. e quartet for both relays? Two freshmen, two sophomores. "Over the last four years — going back to the pe- riod where we won the Big Ten — we have lost some of the best athletes ever to come through this program," said UI director of track and field Larry Wieczorek. "ey le a great legacy, but I've told everybody I'm not in despair because we had a great recruiting class, they're on campus now, and it's going to be a whole new exciting era." To bridge the gap between the two eras, Wieczorek can lean on remnants of that 2011 championship team. Fih-year senior Ethan Holmes was a Big Ten champion and two-time runner-up in 2011. He's one of the most decorated Hawkeyes in program history. He's accomplished, smart, and becoming a keen observer. "I think I have a little bit of experience on these guys, but you can't ever count talent out," said Holmes, a six-time All-American. "Fortunately this sport is continuing to grow. e people are getting better and better. Young kids are coming in and performing better than fih-year seniors, and it's no surprise to me because kids are starting to train hard at a younger age and getting better and better."

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