Track athletes can’t stop breaking records

Jacob+Mumey+and+Taurn+Vedula+running+the+state+qualifying+3200+last+spring+at+North+Scott

Shield Staff

Jacob Mumey and Taurn Vedula running the state qualifying 3200 last spring at North Scott

Daniel Zietlow, Sports Editor

Records are meant to be broken and the sport of track and field in Iowa has seen no shortage of broken records. 

Over the past few years, running in Iowa has increasingly become more competitive and difficult. Athletes continue training harder and longer for one goal: reaching the Blue Oval, home of the state track meet.

In the 2022 state track meet alone, 27 event records were broken. Some records were broken by multiple different athletes. “The most impressive part is it’s all the events. Usually one event is good for a few years because of really good competition but it’s happening in all events,” said PV’s head sprint coach Philip George.

George has been coaching the Pleasant Valley track team for twelve years. He has been incredibly impressed with the recent level of talent across the state in all classes and events. Especially in the distance events at one of the biggest meets of the year.

The Drake Relays is a display of Iowa’s top athletes held a few weeks before the state meet. Highschool, college and professional athletes all run in the relays. In order to attend, a runner must qualify by hitting the “blue standard”. Last year 21 boys were allowed to participate in the 3200 if they had a time under 9:34.50. However, 22 qualified, meaning one kid couldn’t race despite hitting the blue standard.  

Jacob Mumey, a distance runner at PV participated in this event last year placing 7th. “There are more underclassmen across the state working out during the winter getting stronger and faster after the cross country season,” Mumey shared. The 3200 was the only event at the meet that had too many runners for the event. 

As the upcoming season approaches, the blue standard for the 3200 will drop tremendously as competition continues to increase. “Coaching in Iowa is very good right now and the training is on a new level. The technology has also improved, spikes are making the difference in some of these races, especially distance,” George added, agreeing that distance in Iowa has become much better over the past few years. 

Track has always been a game of inches and always comes down to those last few meters. As athletes become stronger and faster, track will only continue getting more competitive over the upcoming years.