Iowa Opens Outdoor Season

THIS WEEK 

The University of Iowa track and field team begins the 2018 outdoor season at the Willie Williams Classic in Tucson, Arizona. The meet runs Friday through Saturday inside Roy P. Drachman Stadium. 

FOLLOW ALONG

Fans can follow the meet on the live results page at hawkeyesports.com/tracklive. Notable results will be posted on the team’s official twitter account @iowaxc_tf. 

HAWKEYES EARN PROGRAM-BEST 14 INDOOR ALL-AMERICA HONORS

The Hawkeyes traveled 10 athletes and two relays to the NCAA Indoor Championships in College Station, Texas. The Hawkeyes tallied 14 All-America honors at the event, the most in a single NCAA indoor championship in program history. The women placed 32nd overall with seven points.

Senior Jahisha Thomas finished fifth in the long jump, becaming Iowa’s first-ever first team All-American in the event with a jump of 6.40 meters (21-0). 

Junior Briana Guillory earned first team honors with a sixth-place finish in the 400 meters. Guillory ran a personal best 51.68 in the finals to become only the second Hawkeye to run under 52 seconds indoors (Kineke Alexander, 2007).

Juniors Mar’yea Harris (400 meters) and Chris Douglas (60-meter hurdles) were named second team All-Americans after a pair of 13th place finishes. Harris and Douglas both earned their first career All-America honors in their respective events.

The women’s and men’s 1,600-meter relays were both named second team All-Americans and ran a 3:33.19 and 3:06.63, respectively. The women’s All-America nod is their second in school history, while it is the men’s fourth overall and second consecutive.

TOP OUTDOOR RETURNEES

Iowa returns 14 NCAA regional qualifiers and two Big Ten Champions in 2018. Brittany Brown and Laulauga Tausaga won 2017 Big Ten Outdoor Championships in the 200 meters and discus, respectively. Tausaga became the program’s first discus champion in school history with a facility record throw of 55 meters (180-5).

Tausaga and Brown join 12 other returning national qualfiers, including Marta Bote Gonzalez, DeJuan Frye, , Briana Guillory, Mar’yea Harris, Collin Hofacker, Noah Larrison, Carter Lilly, Andrea Shine, Jahisha Thomas, Reno Tuufuli, and O’Shea Wilson.

BARTLEY OPENS OUTDOORS

Junior Karayme Bartley sat our the indoor season, but will be the men’s most notable addition during the outdoor season. Bartley, a transfer from Iowa Central Community College, ran unattached in the 400 meters at the Black & Gold Premier where he set the meet record and won the event with a time of 46.65. That time would have placed Bartley third on Iowa’s all-time top 10 list. 

Outdoors, Bartley set his personal best in the 400 meters at the 2017 Musco Twilight meet with a time of 46.47, while competing for Iowa Central.

TAUSAGA AIMING FOR MORE RECORDS

Sophomore thrower Laulauga Tausaga ended the indoor season as Iowa’s school record holder in the shot put and weight throw. Tausaga enters the outdoor season as the school-record holder and reigning Big Ten Champion in the discus (59.37 meters, 194-9) and is fourth overall in the shot put at 15.09 meters (49-6.25). 

PASSING THE TORCH

Junior Chris Douglas has taken sole possesion of Iowa’s top hurlder following the departure of Aaron Mallett. During the indoor season, Douglas improved to third in program history in the 60-meter hurdles (7.76) and became an All-American at the NCAA Indoor Championships for the first time in his career.

Douglas  is No. 10 on Iowa’s all-time top-10 list in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.23 in the event. In addition, Douglas holds a personal best time of 51.53 in the 400-meter hurdles set at the 2017 Big Ten Championships.

RELAY RETURNERS

The men return three legs of their 2017 third-place finishing 1,600-meter relay. The group set the school record in the event at the NCAA West Regional (3:02.57) and at the NCAA Championships (3:01.91). The third place national finish is Iowa’s highest finish in program history and first time a relay at Iowa has run sub 3:02.00. During the indoor season, the group of junior Mar’yea Harris, junior DeJuan Frye, sophomore Collin Hofacker, and freshman Bradford Garron ran 3:05.33 to garner second team All-America honors.

The women are coming off their second NCAA Indoor Championships appearance in three years. Junior Briana Guillory returns as Iowa’s only member of the 2016 school-record setting relay that ran 3:30.97 outdoors. During the indoor season, the group of senior Sheridan Champe, Guillory, senior Brittany Brown and junior Sarah Plock ran 3:33.19 for second team All-America honors.

RETURNING MULTI-EVENT ATHLETES

Iowa returns all of their multi-event scorers from the Big Ten Outdoor Championships. Senior Will Dougherty, a 2017 NCAA qualifier, will look to improve upon his school record score of 7,471 points from the Mt. SAC Relays. On the women’s side, junior Tria Simmons (6th) and sophomore Jenny Kimbro (7th) both scored points in their first Big Ten heptathlon. The duo ranks third and fourth all-time, respectively.

IOWA DISTANCE RESURGENCE

The Hawkeyes had four NCAA regional qualifiers participate in distance events in 2017. The Iowa distance resurgence under assistant coach Randy Hasenbank saw Iowa place sophomore Nathan Mylenek 25th in the region in the 3,000-meter steplechase (9:16.32) and junior Andrea Shine place 29th in the 10,000 meters.

In addition, Iowa’s four regional qualifers are the most since 2012.

ROSTER BREAKDOWN

Iowa has 100 athletes on its roster in 2018. There are 36 freshmen, 29 sophomores, 19 juniors, and 16 seniors. Of the 100 student-athletes,  35 are from Iowa followed by 19 from Illinois. The team also has seven international athletes.

COUNTING CURRENT ALL-TIME HAWKEYES 

Iowa holds a total of 42 current athletes in the program’s all-time top-10 with 22 on the women’s side and 20 on the men’s side. In addition, the women have four school-record holders on the roster including, Briana Guillory (100 meters, 400-meter relay,  800-meter relay, 1,600-meter relay), Brittany Brown (100 meters, 200 meters, 800-meter relay), Marta Bote Gonzalez (3,000 meter Steeplechase), and Laulauga Tausaga (Discus).

The men boast five school-record holders heading into the outdoor season including, Will Dougherty (Decathlon), O’Shea Wilson (400-meter relay), Mar’yea Harris (800-meter relay, 1,600-meter relay), DeJuan Frye (1,600-meter relay), and Collin Hofacker (1,600-meter relay).

NEXT ON THE BLOCK

Iowa will split up for the Florida Relays and Texas Relays March 28-31.

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