WAVERLY — Mosai Newsom’s track and field career came full circle last year when members of the Wartburg College track and field team stopped by to support him in his Drake Relays discus debut.
“It was probably one of the coolest things ever,” said Newsom, a Waverly-Shell Rock senior multi-sport standout. “They all came and watched me throw and it was just cool because my dad’s team and I were competing at the same meet. It was a really unique and fun experience.”
The son of Wartburg’s longtime track and field coach Marcus Newsom, Mosai grew up playing in long jump sand pits and watching athletes like Missy Buttry win national titles. He can recall annual trips to the Drake Relays dating back to kindergarten.
“That was my first introduction to competition,” Mosai Newsom said. “Wartburg track and field, they have high standards and they want to go out and win national championships every year. It was awesome for me to be around ever since I was little.”
Always the biggest kid in his grade, Newsom quickly gravitated toward the throws. Wartburg shot put and discus All-American Cole Feltes was one of his favorite athletes to watch compete.
A defensive end signed to attend the University of Nebraska, Newsom has enjoyed a multi-sport approach to high school athletics. He’s found success as a center on state-qualifying basketball teams and has developed into a state track and field contender in the discus and shot put.
“He’s been well-rounded and that’s how he has developed into the outstanding athlete that he is, being involved in all the sports and taking each sport seriously,” W-SR head track and field coach Kevin Kueker said.
Newsom’s mom, Stephanie, competed in tennis at Central College, and he credits both parents for helping him athletically and keeping his head on straight academically. The talented football recruit never thought of specializing in a sport.
“Being from a town like Waverly, it’s important to be able to help out and be a part of all the different activities and sports and represent your community,” Newsom said. “That’s a big part of being a multi-sport athlete.
“Growing up and going through high school, every single sport you get a different role. Track, it’s more individualized. You’ve got to worry more about yourself and how what you’re doing will impact you.”
Newsom has qualified for the state discus each of the previous two years, placing seventh last spring, while this week will mark the first time he’s qualified for the Drake Relays shot put. The Go-Hawk senior has powered past 50 feet in the shot put and reached a new PR of 53-7 last week in Waterloo.
In the discus, Newsom’s long wingspan and athleticism make him a natural. He enters Drake with the state’s fifth-best, all-class mark of 166-7 1/2. The coach’s son has been receptive to the variety of instructors he’s worked with during high school.
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“I’ve had three different throws coaches and they’ve each brought something different to the table,” Newsom said. “I’ve grown so far.”
This is Newsom’s first season working with Bob Goeller, who previously excelled as a throws coach at Wapsie Valley. They’ll lift three to four times a week, while also breaking down film and watching footage of professional throwers.
“He knows what I need to work on and what’s going to get me to the goals I want to reach,” Newsom said. “We watch film, take it extremely seriously.”
Kueker has enjoyed witnessing Newsom’s work ethic and leadership. He’ll come in for off-day workouts and help coach up younger teammates.
“He’s a very goal-oriented kid,” Kueker said. “He sets high standards for himself and works hard to achieve those goals.”
Newsom also speaks with pride in his community and school. He could have graduated at semester and got a head start on football and classes at Nebraska, but opted to stay in Waverly.
“My parents and coaches said that you only get to be a senior in high school one time,” Newsom related. “It was a great opportunity that I was given to be able to go to college early, but I think it’s just really important to enjoy that senior year and represent my hometown on the track and basketball court.”
One major goal remains on Newsom’s list. Borrowing a motto from W-SR’s state championship wrestling team, Newsom says he’s been trying to live a championship lifestyle and do the little things that add up to overall success.
“I definitely want to be a state champion,” Newsom said. “That’s the main goal. I’ve never accomplished that in high school and that’s one thing I always said that I will get done.”
Beyond high school, Newsom is determined to help Scott Frost’s Nebraska football program find success. While senior prom prevented him from attending the spring game, he’s eager to get to work in Lincoln.
“It’s going to be great to be around guys with the same mentality as me, working towards one common goal,” Newsom said. “Those coaches are awesome men and awesome coaches. We have a big goal in mind once we get there, too, so it’s going to be fun to start working.”