February 2016

Issue link: http://catalog.e-digitaleditions.com/i/636858

Contents of this Issue


Page 208 of 212

209 J ahisha omas's world changed while driving to a track and field work out on what had been a mundane Wednesday in her hometown of London. omas answered a call to her cell phone and on the other end was University of Iowa associate head coach Clive Roberts. e Hawkeye staff knew of omas because of London native Babatunde Amosu, a UI All-American and three-time Big Ten Conference champion in the triple jump. "I was trying to dodge traffic and I didn't know where Iowa was, I had never heard of it," omas said. "We started conversing and I looked up the university. It was everything I wanted." omas is in her sophomore year at the University of Iowa. She says coming to the United States to study microbiology and run track and field for the Hawkeyes is one of the two greatest choices she ever made. "It is amazing. e best decisions I've made in life were getting my hair done (in dreadlocks) and coming to America," omas said. "e first thing I noticed was the atmosphere at the track. Every- one is cheering each other on. at makes you want to do well and it's fantastic." e dreadlocked Hawkeye placed sixth in the long jump at the 2015 Big Ten Indoor Championships. Her mark of 19-feet-7 was third all-time at the UI; she also turned in the team's top performance in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.60 seconds (tied for seventh all-time at the UI). During the outdoor season, omas placed 13th in long jump at the NCAA West Preliminary (20-3), the fourth-best effort in UI history. She ran 13.80 in the 100 hurdles, the sixth-best performance for a Hawkeye. "She had a good season last year," said Joey Woody, UI director of track and field. "She didn't have any big personal bests, but she was able to compete at a high level. We had a transition with her training this year and I think it is starting to take off, espe- cially in the hurdles." It hasn't always been smooth sailing for omas, who is working her way back from a quadriceps injury sustained three days before the indoor season began. As a freshman she was limited by a hamstring injury. omas had the fastest qualify- ing time in the 60 hurdles (8.67) at the Iowa Duals on Jan. 16 in the UI Recreation Building, but did not start the final. She is understandably guarded about returning to action before her injury is completely healed. Last season she went through a three-week cycle where she was healthy, then re-aggravated her hamstring. "at is a question I ask myself every day lead- ing up to competition and that's going to be in the back of my mind when I'm warming up, when I'm running: Is it ready?" omas said. "It takes one race and I'm back down again and then I'm out for a week. It is communicating and being smart about things. If I have to take that one more week, it's a sacrifice I'm going to have to make." e definitive indoor goal for omas and the Hawkeyes is Feb. 26-27 at the Big Ten Champion- ships and March 11-12 at the NCAA Champion- ships. "I want to make NCAA indoors," omas said. "I want to make outdoors, too, but indoors you have to be top 16 and that's it. at is a goal for me, because I know I can do it. Now it's just translating and actually doing it. "At Big Tens, I want to be top three and actually do the hurdles -- last year I wasn't able to do it (be- cause of the sore hamstring). at is an immediate goal." Woody likes the energy omas brings to practice each day. To her, track and field practice and com- petitions are her social life. Because of academic and athletic commitments, omas is more likely found studying than the mall.

Articles in this issue

view archives of HAWK TALK - February 2016