Athletics News – News – Iowa’s Jenoah McKiver Determined To Level Up In 400 Meters - News - Iowa's Jenoah McKiver Determined To Level Up In 400 Meters

McKiver Returns To Big Ten Championships This Week After Showing Impressive 400-800 Range

By David Woods for DyeStat

Photos courtesy University of Iowa

Jenoah McKiver would run, but always with a football tucked under his arm. He was a dual-threat quarterback and do-it-all athlete who was all-conference in basketball. He plays golf.

Run? Just to run? That was for his brother, Jevon.

Then the track coach at T.W. Andrews High in High Point, N.C., explained to McKiver college recruiters had no interest in slow quarterbacks. The coach, Eric Berry, also a football coach, encouraged him to come out for the team.

“And three days later, he was out on the track practicing,” Berry said. “The rest of it was history, he progressed so fast. He wants to be the best at everything he does.”

By one measurement, McKiver (pronounced muh-KEE-ver) has been the best collegian ever.

In February’s Big Ten indoor meet at Geneva, Ohio, the Iowa junior was timed in 1:14.27 for 600 meters. The oversized nature of the 300-meter oval meant the time was ineligible for a collegiate record. But only one man – Donovan Brazier, 1:13.77 in 2019 and 1:13.97 in 2022 – has ever run faster indoors.

“That’s one of the most impressive things I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen a lot in track and field,” said Iowa coach Joey Woody, a 1997 NCAA champion in the 400 hurdles and 2003 world silver medalist.

The 1:14.27 won’t be on any all-time list. McKiver was disqualified for stepping on a lane line.

It did not count. It did matter. For someone set back twice by a torn hamstring, it was affirmation he was back on track.

“I didn’t want to dwell on it,” McKiver said. “I used that as fuel to come back for outdoors. ‘If I can do it once, I can do it again.’ That was my mind-set.”

It is a mind-set influencing him to think beyond the 400 meters at the outdoor Big Ten Championships, which begin a three-day run Friday at Bloomington, Ind.

Not thinking just to NCAA Championships, but to nationals and worlds. And yes, the Paris Olympics.

“I definitely think he is a guy who can be in that conversation,” Woody said.

Learning To Run The 400

Considering McKiver’s introduction to the 400 meters, his track career nearly ended before it began.

It was his sophomore year, and Andrews needed a leg on the 4×400 relay at the Class 2A state meet. Berry induced McKiver to run it.

“After that, I did not want to run. I did not know the pain,” McKiver recalled. “I was like,…

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