Iowa Athletics battle injuries ahead of Musco Twilight invite

Sophomore runners Kalen Walker and Jenoah McKiver will not be competing in the Hawkeyes’ only outdoor home event of the season.

Gabby Drees

Iowa’s Jenoah McKiver celebrates after placing first in the first men’s 600-meter race with a time of 1:16.08 during the 2022 Larry Wieczorek Invitational Track and Field Meet at the University of Iowa on Friday, January 21, 2022.. McKiver’s time to set a meet, facility and school record. The Larry Wieczorek Invitational hosted Baylor, Gonzaga, Mount Mercy, University of Northern Iowa, Purdue, Wartburg and the University of Wisconsin.

The Iowa Athletics will host its only home meeting of the 2022 outdoor season this weekend at the Francis X. Cretzmeyer Track. The Musco Twilight Invitational hosted by Hawkeye takes place Saturday at 12 p.m.

Several of the Hawkeyes’ top athletes will not be participating in the event. Second-year sprinter Kalen Walker was spotted wearing a protective walking boot during a media availability session on Wednesday.

Although Walker won’t compete on Saturday, he said the injury won’t affect him long term.

“It’s just a small thing,” Walker said of her illness. “We’re all just a little banged up with travel and stuff. I think everything will be fine. We’re just taking this week to recuperate, and it’ll be a day-to-day thing from there.

Sophomore runner Jenoah McKiver is also unlikely to compete on Saturday. Iowa director of athletics Joey Woody said the NCAA leader in the 400 yards could miss an extended stretch by the end of the season.

RELATED: Iowa’s Jenoah McKiver targets outdoor national title

We’re also working on some things with him, Woody said Wednesday. “We have a good system in place with our coaches to make sure [he] come back healthy. We just have to watch some things and be smart.

“This time of year, when it’s been a long season, we have to step back and let his body heal a bit,” Woody added. “I think the trip has caught up with us a bit.”

Woody said Walker will likely return from his injury in time for the Big Ten Championships in Minneapolis May 13-15.

Woody also hopes McKiver is healthy before Iowa heads to Minneapolis.

“We’re still evaluating some things,” Woody said. “He is still doing tests. I think we will try to prepare him for the Big Ten. This is our plan at the moment. We’ll just wait and see. I can’t say much, because we rely on what the doctors say.

Although many of the program’s top athletes won’t be competing this weekend, Woody stressed the significance of the Hawkeyes’ only home outing of the season.

“Coming home allows us to focus on the student part of being a student-athlete, Woody said. “Coming back to class allows us to catch up on our schoolwork, especially over the next few weeks as we finish school and prepare for the final. This takes us directly to the Big Ten Championships.

“I think it’s important to sleep in our own bed, to get back into the routine of not eating on the road… I’m delighted, as are my staff, to be home and to have some normalcy back. “

After this weekend’s meeting, the Hawkeyes will split up for two short car rides. Some of the Iowa athletes will compete in the Drake Relays in Des Moines April 27-30 and others will compete in the Simpson College Janvrin Kip Open in Indianola, Iowa on April 29.

You may also like...