116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — Jenoah McKiver wasn’t exactly on everyone’s radar coming out of high school in High Point, N.C.
“Coming off his senior year of high school, nobody really knew a lot about him,” Iowa track and field head coach Joey Woody said. “But we knew he was a spectacular athlete. … When we recruited him, we knew he had a lot of potential.”
Woody was right, and McKiver’s athleticism is no longer a secret.
McKiver, who is officially a freshman although he is in his second year on campus, has already broken three school records during the 2022 indoor track season and ran one of the fastest times in NCAA history in one of the events.
“Anybody in the country would want to have a guy like Jenoah,” Woody said.
The first record-breaking performance came on his home track for the Larry Wieczorek Invitational with a 1:16.08 time in the 600-meter event.
Then he broke his own record two weeks later, finishing in 1:15.36 at Notre Dame. It was the sixth-fastest 600-meter time in NCAA history at the time. Now, it’s the eighth-fastest.
“That was obviously really impressive,” Woody said.
McKiver is not settling for No. 8 in NCAA history, though.
“I came into the race going for the No. 1 spot,” McKiver said. “I am still going for the first spot.”
A week later, he broke Iowa’s 400-meter record, too, at 45.39 seconds — the equivalent of running 19.7 miles per hour for about a quarter-mile.
“That actually surprised me,” McKiver said. “I wasn’t expecting that, so that was pretty cool."
In that same weekend, his 1,600 relay team also broke a school record with a time of 3:02.40. Only four programs — USC, Texas A&M, Florida and Houston — have ever run a faster indoor time.
“All those guys are spectacular athletes,” Woody said. “We think we can actually lower that record by another second or two, try and go after the collegiate record if everything goes right.”
One of McKiver’s teammates on that relay team is Wayne Lawrence, who held the school’s 400- and 600-meter indoor records before this season.
“It’s good to be able to have two elite-level guys in that same event group, training with each other every day, but then pushing each other on the track in competition,” Woody said.
McKiver now holds the Iowa record for every indoor race he’s participated in, and Woody is confident in his ability to succeed in other events, too.
“His range is so spectacular,” Woody said, “to be able to run the 200 — which he hasn’t even raced yet — at a very high level to running the 600.”
Woody has seen McKiver doing “extra stuff” like coming into the facility on his own on a Sunday and paying attention to his diet and sleep.
“I learned my lesson from last year just that you’ve got to take care of the body more often,” McKiver said. “So I take the little things more seriously, and that played out well.”
Along with the team goal of winning a Big Ten title, the High Point, N.C., native also has goals for a 20-second, 200-meter race and 44-second, 400 race during the outdoor season. The Iowa records are 20.31 and 44.94, respectively.
Before then, McKiver and the Hawkeyes will be competing in the Big Ten Indoor Track and Field Championships on Friday and Saturday.
“It’s going to be exciting to see what he can do this next week,” Woody said.
Comments: (319) 398-8394; email@example.com