Diamonds and Ice


A chat with Hawkeye football recruit Jordan Cotton

Iowa Hawkeye football recruit Jordan Cotton was outstanding at Monday’s A.D. Dickinson indoor track and field meet at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls.

The Mount Pleasant senior was the only athlete to post a sub seven-second time in the 60-meter dash, going 6.97 seconds in the prelims. His 7.01 finals time was first by a solid .12 over Pleasant Valley’s Ellis Robinson.

Cotton also anchored Mount Pleasant’s 4 x 200 relay team to a second-place finish at the all-class meet and to third place in the 4 x 400. The defending Class 3A state champion in the 400-meter hurdles, Cotton said he plans on running that event, the 100-meter dash and a relay or two most of this season.

A running back who rushed for 3,120 yards and 43 touchdowns as a junior and senior at Mount Pleasant, he is expected to be a wide receiver and possible kick returner at Iowa. He’ll room with Sioux City Heelan all-stater Brandon Wegher this fall.

The son of former Iowa running back Marshall Cotton was kind enough to answer some questions about track and being an Iowa Hawkeye.

How much do you enjoy track? Is it just something you do to keep in shape for football?

“Track is right there for me with football. If I wasn’t playing football, I’d probably run track in college. Iowa is actually talking to me about running track up there, too. I might look into that. I’m not sure, yet. Right now, football is my main thing.”

What are your goals this track season?

“Defending my title in the (400) hurdles is definitely my first goal. We’re trying to win a team championship. And I want to place real well in the 100 at the Drake Relays. That’s a big one.”

How did you get into the long hurdle races? That seems like a grueling event.

“Well, I qualified for Drake as a freshman in the hurdles. I didn’t really pick them up again until last year. I just did the hurdles to help out my quarter time. It did bring my quarter time down, so I just kept doing it.”

What are you going to be doing from now until you head to Iowa for fall practice?

“I’ve already started my workout program for them a month ago. That’s helping out a lot. I’m going up there June 1 just to throw the ball around with (red-shirt freshman quarterback) James Vandenberg a little bit. I know him real well. He was in the same conference I was (in high school) and everything. Then June 8 is when we actually start working in our (weight and conditioning) program with Coach (Chris) Doyle. So I’m looking forward to that.”

What are your expectations for yourself this fall?

“Going into it, my mind is set that I’m going to be the best receiver they’ve got. That’s my mindset. You can’t go in there thinking that you’re going for the number two spot or anything like that. My sights are set on trying to get the number one spot. Those are my expectations. I’m going to work really hard when I’m up there, and hopefully I can get a spot.”

Did playing running back your final two years at Mount Pleasant hurt your development as a wide receiver at all?

“I don’t think it has hurt me at all. Like Coach (Reese) Morgan has said, I remind them of Andy Brodell. He played tailback in high school at Ankeny. You want to get your best players on the team the ball, so that’s why I played running back my junior and senior years. I played wide receiver my sophomore year, so I know the position.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Linn-Mar’s Hutcheson wins Dickinson high jump

 

 

 

By Jeff Johnson

The Gazette

CEDAR FALLS — It’s not supposed to work this way.

A kid decides to go out for his high-school track and field team for the first time his senior season, practices all of twice, then has his first meet. He wins the darned thing.

Welcome to the high jump, Nate Hutcheson. You’re apparently a natural.

“I’ve never done it before, so there’s no pressure on me or anything,” the Linn-Mar senior said after winning Monday’s all-classes A.D. Dickinson indoor meet at the UNI-Dome. “It’s just a really fun thing to do.”

Yeah, things are fun when you’ve got a knack for them, and Hutcheson’s obviously got a knack for this. He said he high jumped “a little bit” when he was in middle school, but never pursued the activity until being persuaded by coaches to go out this spring.

Despite a form you’d expect from a novice, he managed to clear 6-feet, 6 inches Monday, just missing at 6-7. For a little comparison, the Mississippi Valley Conference held its indoor meet at the UNI-Dome last week and the winner went 6-feet.

The winning jumper at last year’s outdoor state meet in Class 4A cleared 6-10. Hutcheson’s jump would have placed him fourth.

And the dude has little idea about what he’s doing, yet.

“My goal was 6-7, and I didn’t quite get that,” Hutcheson said. “That’s my height, and I think you’re supposed to be able to jump your height.

“I think I can get it, though. I was looking at the tape, and my shoulders were over (the bar) pretty good. I just need to get my form down. I don’t have very good form.”

Hutcheson said after the competition had been completed, one of the judges (a UNI high jumper) stopped him and gave him some tips on his form and approach. He said he competed with sprinter’s spikes, as he’s waiting for a pair of high jumper’s shoes that are on order.

“When you play as much basketball as I do, I guess you’ll develop some ups, you know?” Hutcheson said. “My form is terrible. I’ve got to get my hips up and stuff, get my back arched. Right now, I’m just going on (pure leaping ability), I guess.”

As Hutcheson mentioned, he is a basketball player, a 6-7 all-state forward who is headed to Western Michigan University this fall. He’s also the guy everyone remembers for getting suspended for the state basketball tournament two weeks ago.

Marion police cited him for a disorderly house after a party at his family residence got out of hand. Drinking was involved, though Hutcheson tested negative for alcohol.

“It’s been pretty difficult,” he said. “I really wanted to play in the state tournament and everything. But I’ve learned a ton from what’s happened. Letting all of my teammates down has really pushed me to try and be a better person.

“Most of all, I learned who I should be associating myself with. Because in the end, that’s what got me in trouble — the guys I associated myself with. It’s a learning process, a really tough, hard learning process. But it’s going to help me. I’ve got to turn it into a positive, you know?”

Linn-Mar ended up finishing second in Class 4A, losing by 10 points to unbeaten Ames in the championship game. Hutcheson was asked if he thought the outcome would have been different had he played.

“That’s hard to say,” he said. “I’m not trying to say anything about my teammates, but I think I would have been a better matchup on (prep all-American) Harrison Barnes. Just because I’m his size and athletic. But I can’t say yes or no.”