Glenwood grad Nate Kennedy bringing lofty goals to Iowa State track team

Glenwood grad Nate Kennedy bringing lofty goals to Iowa State track team
Nate Kennedy won the Class 3-A state title in the 400 meters this year with a time of 48.28, the 24th-fastest fully automatic clocking in state history. (World-Herald News Service)

Nate Kennedy understands the vast potential collegiate track coaches see in him. He plans to realize that potential.

The Glenwood High School graduate has signed a national letter of intent to continue his career at Iowa State.

It’s unclear what Kennedy’s best college distance will be. He won the Class 3-A state title in the 400 meters this year with a time of 48.28, the 24th-fastest fully automatic clocking in state history.

If that remains his specialty, then he already has lofty goals in mind.

“It’s pretty far-fetched, but probably be a national champ in the 400, which I think I can do,’’ he said. “And then hopefully go on and, I don’t know about run in the Olympics, but the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships for sure. And hopefully go mid-43 by my senior year.’’

Michael Norman of USC recently won the NCAA title in the 400 in a record time of 43.61 seconds, the fastest time in the world this year and the 11th-fastest in world history.

Kennedy also made visits to Iowa, Nebraska and Northern Iowa, and enjoyed aspects of each program. One proposed question made his decision easier to reach.

“Someone told me, ‘If you weren’t running track and field, what school would you go to?’’’ he said. “It was Iowa State.’’

Many believe Kennedy is better suited for the 800 meters outdoors (and 600 indoors). “That’s what every single coach has told me,’’ he said.

Even though he has virtually no experience at that distance, he is embracing the challenge of the 800.

“I’ve gained a lot of speed this last year, so I think the 800 will fit me pretty well,’’ he said, “just because I have such a good stride and my turnovers became so much faster. I think I’ll be able to hang with a lot of the premier athletes.’’

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