Matt Banse is feeling “poppy.”
That’s a good thing, by the way.
“I’m ready for a big throw in both events,” he said Thursday on the bus ride to Madison, Wis., for this weekend’s Big Ten track and field championships.
A University of Iowa senior from Strawberry Point, Banse is hoping to help the Hawkeyes win a second straight outdoor title. He also is looking forward to the best meet of his career.
“This year has been one of my most consistent,” he said. “If I can just put one together, I’ll throw a huge PR (personal record).”
Banse will compete in the hammer throw and the shot put, which was his specialty at Starmont High School. He won a Drake Relays shot put title as a senior and was a four-time state champ in the shot and discus.
In college, however, he’s left his mark on the hammer.
“I’m not the biggest thrower,” said the 5-foot-10 1/2 Banse, who learned the hammer from his brother, former Hawkeye Andy. “It’s the event I enjoy the most ... Depending on the day, shot could be my favorite event, though.”
Fourth in the Big Ten meet last spring, Banse has a simple goal.
“I want to make the medal stand,” he said. “In the shot, I would just like to break into the top eight.
“I basically built my season to PR at the Big Ten.”
It’s a formula that has worked in the past. His best hammer (199-11 feet) and indoor (57-3 3/4) and outdoor (56-9 1/4) shot put efforts have come in conference championships.“The Big Ten meet can either bring out the best or the worst in you,” he said.