Epenesa continuing to dominate in track and field before heading to Iowa
On his way to the University of Iowa to become a Hawkeye, A.J. Epenesa has some unfinished business in Illinois throwing events.
Epenesa, a senior at Edwardsville High School and top football recruit, seemed well on his way to another state title in discus and is doing his usual excellent throwing in shot put, in which he was runner-up last season, as well early in this year's outdoor track and field season. As of April 21, Epenesa had three first-place showings in discus and two titles in the shot put out of three meets registered, according to athletic.net. His longest throws in that span were 56 feet, 4.5 inches in shot put and 204-1 in discus. Those season highs were farther than any throws in the same time frame last season.
“At the moment, we don't ever want to be satisfied, but at the moment, we're trying to get better every single day and practice hard every day,” Epenesa told Metro East Sun. “I mean, I'm throwing pretty good right now, but we just want to keep going further.”
He said his distance goals this season are 215 in discus and 62 to 63 in shot put. His personal records are 206-5 and 60-4.5, respectively, which were set last season.
Epenesa said he has not done much different in preparation for his final high school season.
“We're just trying to stay consistent,” he said. “The main focus in the beginning of the season was to get back into the swing of things and get my technique going back again. But since then, I've been doing a lot better.”
Epenesa said he is lifting with football in mind as he tries to get his strength up for playing at Iowa. He is looking at not much of a summer break.
“Right after track, school's over and it's right on to football,” he said.
Epenesa said he plans to also throw at Iowa, which he called his dream school since he was younger. Iowa also was the first school to make a scholarship offer to Epenesa, a highly rated, All-American defensive end who signed with the school in February, according to SB Nation Iowa blog Black Heart Gold Pants. His father, Eppy, also played at Iowa.
Despite getting offers from schools such as Alabama, Florida State, Ohio State, Michigan and Oklahoma, Epenesa said choosing Iowa was pretty easy for him.
“Whenever it came down to it, I knew Iowa was home and I felt comfortable there,” he said.
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