The University of Iowa track and field program held the annual awards banquet on Dec. 6 to recognize 14 student-athletes for their performance in athletic competition, in the classroom and in the community.
Juniors Aaron Mallett and Elexis Guster were named recipients of the 2015 MVP award. A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Mallett captured the Big Ten title in the men’s outdoor 110-meter hurdles before earning All-America accolades for his school record-setting (13.43) fifth-place finish at the NCAA Championships.
Courtesy Hawkeye Athletics
Guster, a native of Atlanta, Georgia, kept her crown at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships, completing the 400 meters in a personal-best 52.19, a time that ranks third on Iowa’s all-time list. She went on to claim second-team All-America honors in the event at the NCAA Championships.
After finishing seventh in the women’s hammer throw at the 2014 Big Ten Outdoor Championships, Annemie Smith is a deserving recipient of the Most Improved award for her bronze medal performance in 2015, becoming the first Hawkeye in school history to throw over 200 feet (200-01.5; 60.99m).
Mitch Wolff was named Most Improved for the men. The senior climbed 13 places from the 2014 Big Ten Outdoor Championships to finish fifth overall in the 400-meter hurdles. The Plainfield, Illinois, native capped his season with second-team All-America honors. He’s the 10th-best performer in the event (51.10) in school history.
Taking home the Most Outstanding Freshman award were sophomores Jahisha Thomas and Carter Lilly. Thomas, a native from London, returns as the team’s top long jumper for the women after sealing a pair of sixth-place finishes at the indoor and outdoor Big Ten Championships. Her collegiate-best indoor (19-7; 5.97m) and outdoor (20-3; 6.17m) marks rank third and fourth all-time at Iowa.
Lilly (Sioux City, Iowa) made his Big Ten Championship debut with a fifth-place finish in the men’s indoor 600 meters (1:18.37), which lands sixth all-time at Iowa, before clocking the ninth-best time in school history in the outdoor 800 meters (1:50.12).
Receiving the Most Outstanding Cross Country Team Member award were sophomores Michael Melchert and Madison Waymire. Melchert, a native of Monticello, Iowa, was a frontrunner for the Hawkeyes in three races this season, including a 17th-place finish at the Big Ten Championships. His collegiate-best 8,000 meters (23:57.5) is slotted 10th on Iowa’s all-time list.
Waymire, of Grimes, Iowa, became the first Hawkeye to lead the team in all six races this season since 2000, running the 10th-fastest 6,000-meter time (21:01.8) in school history at the Big Ten Championships. She was a Big Ten Sportsmanship award honoree.
Other notable honors include:
Inspiration Award: Babatunde Amosu / Brittany Brown
John Raffensperger Dedication Award: Will Teubel / Lindsay Herra
Keatinge/Cretzmeyer Award: Carter Lilly / Madison Waymire
Silver Hawk: Kevin Lewis / Annemie Smith
Teammate Award: Kaleb VanCleave / Annemie Smith