April 2014

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49 One variable from last year will not change. Mincy ran the first leg a year ago, and that's where he'll start again this season. He said starting with the baton represents more than just a fraction of a race, it embodies a chance to lead. "Last year I was the youngest on the 4x1, but now I have to lead these guys, rather than be led," said Mincy. "It's a different feeling, but I like it because there is more pressure to show up and set the tone. If I do what I'm supposed to, these guys will follow and everything will work out just as it did last year." e first exchange will go to Wilson, who intends to use his 200-meter speed to run the "longest" of the 100-meter stretches. "I like catching people down the straightaway," said Wilson. "It's the longest leg of the race, and I'm naturally a 200 runner. at's what makes the second leg the perfect fit for me." Harrington will run the third leg and Saucer will carry the anchor. "at's where I'm comfortable," said Saucer. "Never in my life have I handed it off. I've been the anchor ever since I started track in middle school, and I feel like I can provide what we need at the anchor position." ere are seven weeks on the schedule before Iowa defends its Big Ten title, and Mincy said he will remind his teammates that every outing is a chance to work toward the final goal. "It is one big event aer the other, but you have to look at it one meet at a time," said Mincy. "You want to peak toward the end, but even if you're not peaked, you have to continue to improve. You work on the little things, and if you keep improving you're going to run fast no matter what." Big Spikes to Fill By CHRIS BREWER e cupboard was not le completely bare, but only one dish remains. Fortunately for University of Iowa assistant coach Joey Woody, that dish holds a lot of water. Tevin-Cee Mincy is the lone holdover from a 400-meter relay team that not only looked like the best in school history, it was the best team in school history. Mincy ran leadoff on a group that collectively raced around the oval faster than any quartet in the Big Ten last year. Mincy, Justin Austin, Ethan Holmes, and Josh Larney also ran faster than any foursome in school history, and they did it quicker than all but five teams in the entire country. "at was a good group," said Woody. "But we have another group now that is used to competing at a high level. ere are a lot of young guys that need to take the bull by the horns and decide how good they want to be and then make it happen." is year's opening day relay includes Mincy, freshman O'Shea Wilson, sophomore transfer James Harrington, and freshman Vinny Saucer. Wilson is a high school national record holder in the 400-meter relay. Harrington dominated the Iowa prep scene before continuing his career for one season at Alabama. Saucer is a California high school state champion and former Junior Olympic Champion at 100 meters. Woody says their experience lends reason to believe the potential is there, but at the same time their lack of experience raises a few questions. "It's going to be interesting to see how they handle it because at the end of the day they need to take it themselves and make it their own," said Woody. "I expect to see the high levels of performance we saw last year, but there is going to be a lot different look and makeup to it."

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