Iowa's Holmes looks to double his pleasure at NCAA track

Hawkeye junior running in both hurdle events

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The 2012 track season has been a series of ups and downs for University of Iowa hurdler Ethan Holmes.

But it’s culminating this week at the NCAA Championships in Des Moines.

A junior from Clinton, Holmes is poised to make headlines in the 110-meter high hurdles and 400 meter hurdles. And after a season ravaged by injury, even making the national meet is quite an accomplishment.

The 2011 Big Ten Outdoor track season was a great success for the Hawkeyes. As a team, Iowa won the championship for the first time since 1967 and Holmes was a big part of that feat. He placed second in both hurdle events and ran the opening leg of the 1600-meter relay that also placed second.

After such an impressive season, Holmes had high hopes coming into this campaign. However, a pulled hamstring and bad back sidelined him for much of the winter training season.

“I could hardly walk,” Holmes said. “I had to go in for injections and began the indoor season with only two weeks of training.”

A slow start to the indoor season did little to discourage Holmes, however.

“I was losing to guys I had beaten in the past and I was a bit upset,” he said. “But I sat down with assistant coach Joey Woody and he really got me back on track.”

Holmes finished the outdoor season strong, placing second in the 110 highs at the Big Ten championships and fifth in the 400 hurdles.

“My expectations are limitless,” he said without hesitation about this week’s national meet. “I’m peaking at the right time, I’ve prepared all year for this.

“Anything can happen out there.”

Holmes runs the 400 hurdles on Wednesday, 110 highs on Thursday. The finals are Friday and Saturday, respectively.

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