Payton Wensel is one of many strong Iowa prep athletes to join the ranks of the Hawkeyes next year. After winning every single 400-meter race she has competed in throughout her high school career, Wensel will be one of the strongest middle-distance athletes in this upcoming recruiting class. Continue below to find out how she made her decision.
What is one of your favorite memories so far competing for Linn-Mar?
My favorite memory would definitely have to be winning the Drake Flag with my Sprint Med last year at the Drake Relays.
How have your teammates and coaches helped you succeed over the past 3 1/2 years?
They've always been super supportive and helped to push me, especially the girls on my Sprint Med. We've actually all started training together recently in a training group my dad has. My coaches also help me during the season by helping calm me down in stressful situations.
What pre-race rituals do you have?
I wear the same socks, underwear, and sports bra every meet day. I also listen to heavy metal music at every meet or before hard workouts at practice.
What is your favorite event to compete in?
The 400 dash
When did you know you wanted to continue competing collegiately?
After my freshman year.
What schools were you considering?
Near the end of the process, I was deciding between Kent State, Oklahoma State, and Iowa.
How did you end up picking Iowa?
I was flying home from my visit at Oklahoma State and I just decided that I didn't want to have to take two flights every time I wanted to come home. I also thought about how big of a part my parents have played in my track career and how I wasn't ready for that to change.
If you took an official visit, what was that like?
It was very flattering and busy. My days were scheduled out by the minute which sounds awful but it was actually a lot of fun! All the coaches and athletes were all super welcoming and nice! I highly recommend taking 5 official visits if you can. It's good to have a lot of information about the colleges when making your decision.
What advice do you have for younger athletes about the recruiting process?
ASK FOR HELP! If you are ever stressed, ask questions. There are so many people that have the ability to help you with your decision, don't think you have to go through it alone. I stressed myself out so much more than I needed to when I made my decision because I never asked for help. Also, keep your mind open when you're visiting colleges. During most of your college visits you'll get a feeling from the campus whether or not it's for you.