Feb. 28, 2014
Editor's Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa's Hawk Talk Monthly, an e-newsletter that offers a look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered once a month at no charge to fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide.
By CHRIS BREWER
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Before this season senior Tevin-Cee Mincy was never the fastest man on his own team. But by Saturday afternoon he expects to be the fastest man in the Big Ten.
"Bring home 10 points," Mincy said when asked to unveil expectations heading into the 2014 Big Ten Indoor Championships. "I'm so close and I know I can do it, it's just about executing the day off."
Mincy, Iowa, and every other Big Ten school travels to Geneva, Ohio, to challenge for conference supremacy at the Spire Institute. Mincy's 60-meter prelims begin Friday at 1:30 p.m. (CT). The finals start Saturday at 1:10 p.m. (CT).
It's the second year in a row the Big Ten Indoor Championships have been hosted at the Spire Institute, but a lot has changed for Mincy since last February.
A year ago, he entered the 60-meter race at the conference championships seeded No. 18. This year his personal best 6.73 rates No. 2. He is now the alpha dog among Iowa sprinters, and his coaches say the change started with a state of mind.
"People develop at different rates and different times," said director of track and field Larry Wieczorek. "It's not set in stone that you should be in this pecking order and this is your place. You're working to change it. That's what you do every day. You're trying to change that relationship, that status quo, and that's what he's done."
Mincy isn't looking for his first taste of success. He ran the lead leg on Iowa's All-America 400-meter relay team during the 2013 outdoor season. He is 1-of-2 runners returning to Iowa from that relay. The other is Ethan Holmes, and prior to this year they were both named team captains -- a responsibility Mincy does not take lightly.
"I feel like I have to do more this season," said Mincy. "I have to perform because I'm a captain and guys look up to me. They always look for me to start things off right, and what better way than to show them I'm out here working hard and putting my whole self out there on the track every day."
Mincy has shaved .08 seconds off his personal best since the beginning of the season. He set a new PR in each of first three races, finally hitting 6.73 while placing first at the Bill Bergen Invite on Feb. 1. He entered the season tied for eighth on Iowa's all-time top performers list, but has since climbed to the No. 2 spot, tied with Kurt Felix.
He has won 4-of-5 races this season, and he has made it a point to win at least one more.
"You always hope and pray that they have a great senior season," said UI sprint coach Joey Woody. "Some guys go south, and some guys go north in the right direction. You always hope they're going to have that big breakout year, and with Tevin you could see certain things were coming. I think it's only going to get better here on out."
Today Mincy is .02 seconds behind Michigan State's DeVantre Whitelow for the top time in the conference, but according to Woody, that could change Saturday.
"He has got everything that you need to be a Big Ten champion," said Woody. "I tell the guys they have nothing to lose, go out there, put your best self on the track, and if you do that you're going to be happy."