Track & Field: Mulder, Sowinski Fall Short Of Moscow Spot

By Dylan Montz (Story) and Josh Christensen (Video), Reporters

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By Grant Burkhardt

DES MOINES, Iowa — One thing became very clear to former UNI runner Tyler Mulder and former Iowa runner Erik Sowinski on Sunday, the United States is very deep with 800-meter runners.

Mulder and Sowinski left Drake Stadium disappointed again this season after placing fifth and sixth, respectively. Mulder clocked in at 1:45.13 with Sowinski right behind at 1:45.21 with Duane Solomon Jr. winning the event in 1:43.27.

Mulder jumped out to the front of the pack and tried to control the race while maintaining a certain level of relaxation.

“I knew everybody was in the race still and it felt fast, but I still felt like I had control of it and I didn’t really know until the last 100 I had no legs left,” Mulder said.

For Sowinski, who recorded a personal best two days in a row, said that while it is disappointing not to make the team, it has to be taken with a grain of salt in order to improve.

“You knew just the past couple days and how [those races] went that today was going to be fast and it was going to take 1:43 or 1:44 to make it,” Sowinski said. “I’m definitely disappointed, but at the same time it’s been a long year and I’ve made a lot of progress.”

Mulder said he will once again use this experience as another learning point for the future. With the way the race unfolded, the strategies of the other runners were slightly different than he planned for.

“I thought some of the other guys would fill the gaps a little bit and instead, I was that guy,” Mulder said. “I probably made a good rabbit for [Nike’s Brandon] Johnson. I guess you live and learn, but it just sucks to learn this way.”

Nelson honored for long-awaited Olympic Gold Medal

Even though it has been nine years since shot putter Adam Nelson’s accomplishment, it is better to be recognized for it later than never.

Nelson was recently recognized as the true Olympic Gold Medalist in the men’s shot put for the 2004 Olympics after Yuriy Bilonog of Ukraine was stripped of the goal in December 2012 for a doping violation.

“I look at it as I’ve got the rest of my life to be the gold medalist and I’m not going to look back,” Nelson said. “I’ve never looked back on any past victories or failures. I’ve used them as learning points and ways to improve. Hopefully the message here is that it does pay to do it the right way. It may not pay right away, but over the long term, you’ve always got your integrity and eventually that will pay off.”

Nelson’s winning throw was 21.16 meters and was thrown on Aug. 18, 2004, in Athens, Greece. Although he is currently awaiting his gold medal, Nelson was honored Sunday in front of the Drake Stadium crowd with a laurel wreath, a playing of the national anthem, and a victory lap around the stadium.

“I think it’s about as unusual for me as it is for you all,” Nelson said after receiving the honor. “I did this thing like nine years ago. Because it happened so long ago, I think the emotions are a little bit more subdued, but it’s been great because I’ve been able to share the experience with my family. I wouldn’t have had that opportunity nine years ago.”

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