5 Good Minutes With Taylor Twedt

Taylor Twedt-West Fork-Wisconsin ©DM Register

Taylor Twedt-West Fork-Wisconsin ©DM Register

 

When I think of Taylor Twedt, I immediately think of you as one of the best ever in Iowa High School Track and Field, who unfortunately or fortunately, had to compete against some of Iowa’s All Time bests at every Drake Relays and State Meet.  E.g.: Hannah Willms and Alex Gochenour, just to name a couple.

 

Were you ever down about this “luck of the draw”?  Did it make you better?  Make you hungrier?

There were defiantly a couple times were I was unhappy that I was constantly competing against some of these girls, but in the end I think it was a blessing in disguise.  Especially when I competed against Hannah and Alex, I usually put up my best marks. I may not have gotten a Drake Relays flag or as many gold metals, but at least I never had to worry about a lack of competition in my events.

Tell us a bit about your high school career.  Did success come easy?  Are you a “natural athlete”?  I know you worked hard to perfect certain aspects of your events, but do athletics come easy for you?\

Since my dad was a track coach as I was growing up, I was exposed to track early. I ran in my first meet when I was 3 and started high jumping when I was 6. My dad tells me that many of the events I tried came pretty naturally, but I definitely had to work on them. I think one of the bigger reasons I had such success in track was how I handled some of the bigger meets. I have been to several large meets where it’s easy to psych yourself out, but I tried to remain as calm as possible. As for the “natural athlete” question, that depends on the sport. Volleyball and track were the easiest for me to catch on to, but for sports like golf and bowling…I’m a lost cause.

 

Tell us a little bit about the recruiting process.   What schools did you visit?   Why did you pick Wisconsin?   

Taylor Twedt©Matthew Putney-Waterloo/Cedar Falls Courier

Taylor Twedt
©Matthew Putney-Waterloo/Cedar Falls Courier

I had started getting letters in the mail after my freshman track season. When my sophomore season rolled around, Iowa State offered a scholarship pretty early in the season and I verbally committed after taking an unofficial visit to the campus. When my senior year came around I wanted to make sure I was making the right decision, so I de-committed from ISU. Over a period of 3 days our email, house phones, and cell phones were constantly busy with coaches wanting to talk and arrange visits. I decided to visit Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa State based on their track programs and how well I got along with their coaches. I ended up choosing Wisconsin because the campus was beautiful and I got along with my coach right away. I met the girls I would be training with and I was able to see myself there. Looking back on it all I’m glad I decided to be a Badger.

 

The University of Wisconsin has a history of outstanding Combined Events folks.  Men’s coach Ed Nuttycomb was a very good Decathlete in his day.   Did they always recruit you as a Combine Event athlete?  Or did it start our as a high jumper or hurdler then progress to Multi’s?

Going into the recruiting process I knew most people would probably want me for multi-events. I had competed in some heptathlons, in the summer, when I was younger and I think most coaches saw that as my strongest event. Who knows what I will end up doing though!

 

Your Dad, Mark, is a very successful High School Coach, and undoubtedly has played a huge part in your getting to where you are now.  How difficult has it been (if at all) to be coached by different people?  Has your technic changed much?

After having my dad coach me for over 10 years I was definitely worried about changing coaches. When I was visiting Wisconsin, I saw how Coach Nate and my dad talked about training aspects and many of them were similar. They both know what they are doing; I just may have to tweak a few things with a new coach. I’m sure my performance will look different now that I’m training in Wisconsin, but I’m confident it will better my overall performance.

 

Tell us a little bit about adjusting to college life.  Going from small town Iowa to a Big 10 institution.

Moving from Rockwell that has a population of barely 1000 people, to Madison where there are almost 300,000 people has been a large adjustment. The campus is in downtown Madison so there is never a dull moment. I ride my bike everywhere since there are so many bike trails, but I love it so far.

 

You have been a little “banged up”.  Is that something new?  Did you have any injury issues in high school?

About half way through my senior season of track my right foot started to bother me. It wasn’t anything painful at that point, just annoying so I kept competing on it.  I continued to run on it over the summer and it was still bothered me when I did certain things. When I got to Wisconsin they gave me new shoes to try and I figured the pain was just my feet being sore from training. In late September we found out I had had a pretty bad stress fracture in my foot for over 6 months. I have been in a boot and I have been doing therapy to try and heal it in time for the outdoor season. As a whole I never really had injuries in high school, just a sprained ankle here and there.

 

Have you decided if this will be a redshirt year or not?  Learning the different events you must learn, must have a pretty steep learning curve.

After learning that I wouldn’t be able to get out of the boot until January at the earliest, we decided to red-shirt my indoor to make sure everything healed completely. I will never know if I would have competed if it wasn’t for the injury, but now I have more time to master the many skills of the multi-event. As for learning the events, I have learned a thing or two about all of them but certain events require much more attention than others. I have no doubt that with my training squad and Coach Nate I will be able to have a better handle on all of them before it’s all said and done.

In addition to talking with Taylor, I talked with the Wisconsin coaching staff, and they had this to say about their young prodigy:

 

Taylor will do both the Multi and high jump here at Wisconsin.  She had a navicular stress fracture this fall that made it impossible for her to train on her feet.  This is incredible, but she came to practice every day in a boot and threw 50 shot throws against a wall from a chair and 50 Jav throws from a chair!  She was very talented in the other events of the hep, but she will be a very good thrower early in her career because of this fall.  Also, she will redshirt the indoor season, but will compete in the outdoor season.  In addition, Taylor will return to Drake and compete in the hep at the USA championships this summer.

 

 

 

 

 

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