CEDAR RAPIDS – Former University of Iowa runner Erik Sowinski is having a memorable summer, and it’s just getting started.
Sowinski took second in the 800 meter run at the U.S. Track and Field Championships last month in a time of 1:44.8, qualifying him for the World Championships in Beijing in August.
Yet despite the success, Sowinski hasn’t left the area since graduating from the UI. He works at Running Wild in Coralville part time while he trains full time with Hawkeyes coach Joey Woody.
“I am so comfortable. I’ve got everything I need a mile away. Indoor track, outdoor track. Coach Woody’s office, weight coach, I have everything there,” said Sowinski, who signed autographs for area runners at Running Wild’s Cedar Rapids location Tuessday night.
“Just having that solid background of people wanting to see you achieve your goals just makes it that much easier for me to stay around here.”
Training in Iowa with Woody instead of joining a big-name team has paid off for Sowinski. His time has improved over 15 seconds since high school.
“One of our major goals is to make major championship teams,” Sowinski said. “I made the finals at U.S. outdoors every year so to be top three in a year that mattered means the world to me. I am just excited to wear the red white and blue.”
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Sowinski is only 25 years old, which is young by middle-distance standards. He thinks he has room for improvement and a shot at the Olympics in Rio next year.
“I would like to break 1:44 we are shooting for this year,” Sowinski said. “Hopefully make the finals at the World Championships–that is going to be a big task–and make the Olympic team. That is the goal we set three years ago so keep making strides towards that.”