By Jess Westendorf
Former Hawkeye track and field All-American Aaron Mallett started his professional career on June 29 at the TrackTown Summer Series in San Francisco.
Mallett outdid himself by running a 13.37 in the 110-meter hurdles, a lifetime best.
He ran as a member of the New York Empire and will now advance to the final round of the TrackTown Summer Series at Icahn Stadium in Randall’s Island Park in New York City on Thursday.
“With that group of guys, you have to get out and execute your race well,” Mallett told an online source. “I told myself to keep my feet fast and keep moving through the line. There are 10 barriers. Don’t rush anything and have a good time. The atmosphere here is great, and it was a fun race.”
Though the finish for Mallett is his first pro win, it is another win to add to his already long résumé.
Mallett graduated in May from the University of Iowa with a sport & recreational management degree and the plan of competing in the Big Ten Championships as well as the NCAA Championships, then taking on the professional side of the sport.
This past season, he has seen quite a bit of success.
At the Big Ten Indoor Championships, he won the 60-meter hurdles with a 7.63 time, breaking his previous school record.
“I want to take it all,” Mallet said in a release before the NCAA Championships. “You want to leave everything out here.”
He did that, and now he is the all-time leader for Iowa in the 60-meter hurdles.
In the outdoor season, he was honored with first team All-American status and the Big Ten champion title as he broke another record on the 110-meter at 13.24.
The All-American then went onto the NCAA Championships, where he and teammates Reno Tuufuli, DeJuan Frye, Mar’yea Harris, Collin Hofacker, and Emmanuel Ogwo were honored with first-team All-American status for their performances.
Mallet finished fourth at 13.65.
This was Mallet’s last meet as a college athlete, and though he probably wanted to go higher on the leaderboard, he was recognized for something a bit different.
He earned fifth All-American honors putting him in the history books with some of Iowa greats, such as Erik Sowinski, Justin Austin, and Bashir Yamini.
Now the St. Louis native will hope for another “W” for his professional record in the final round of the TrackTown Summer Series in New York City on Thursday.