All the news from Division I Mens and Womens Track.

Drake Mens XC Team
©Jim Kirby-2016

Bulldogs Earn Academic Awards

Coach Mark Carroll-Drake  ©Drake Athletics

Coach Mark Carroll-Drake
©Drake Athletics

The Drake University men’s cross country team has been honored with the NCAA Division I Public Recognition Award for ranking as one of the highest-performing teams in the nation in the Academic Progress Rate (APR).

Courtesy Bulldog Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Drake Mens XC Team©Jim Kirby-2016

The Public Recognition Awards are given each year to teams with APRs in the top 10 percent in their respective sports. Those receiving Public Recognition Awards recorded multi-year APR that ranged from 985 to a perfect 1,000. The Drake men’s cross country team was one of those elite programs to achieve a perfect score of 1,000 for the year ending 2016-17.

The Bulldogs’ perfect score marks the third-straight year in which the program has achieved a perfect APR score and the the fifth time in program history it has earned the Public Recognition Award.

The Bulldogs were the only men’s cross country program in the Missouri Valley Conference to earn the Public Recognition Award and the only one in the state of Iowa as well.

Drake teams have earned a total of 25 Public Recognition Awards since the program was instituted following the 2004-05 academic year.

Madie Waymeier-DCG-Iowa
©Hawkeye Athletics-Darren Miller-2016

Hawks Wrap-Up Post season Academic Awards

Karson Sommer-Pleasant Valley-Iowa ©Mike Brynes 2018

Karson Sommer-Pleasant Valley-Iowa
©Mike Brynes 2018

Seventy-three University of Iowa student-athletes have named Big Ten Conference Distinguished Scholars, it was announced Tuesday by the league office.

Courtesy Hawkeye Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Madie Waymeier-DCG-Iowa©Hawkeye Athletics-Darren Miller-2016

Among the Iowa honorees, 18 maintained a perfect 4.0 grade point average during the 2017-18 academic term, including:
Talia Buss (women’s track & field)
Gage Eller (men’s track & field)
Andy Jatis (men’s track & field)
Andrea Shine (cross country/track & field)
Amy Smith (women’s track & field)
Karson Sommer (cross country/track & field)

Big Ten Faculty Representatives established the Distinguished Scholar Award in 2008 to supplement the Academic All-Big Ten program. The recipients must be letterwinners in at least their second academic year at their institution and have a minimum GPA of 3.7 or higher for the previous academic year, excluding summer school.

The Big Ten recognized 1,143 student-athletes in 38 different sports as Distinguished Scholars, including 190 who maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA during the previous academic term.

Men’s Cross Country (1)
Karson Sommer – So. – Electrical Engineering/Mathematics – Bettendorf, Iowa

Women’s Cross Country (6)
Marta Gonzalez – Sr. – Marketing – Merida, Spain
Elizabeth Niedert – Jr. – Biomedical Engineering – Glen Ellyn, Ill.
Lauren Opatrny – Jr. – Human Physiology – McHenry, Ill.
Andrea Shine – Jr. – English – Crystal Lake, Ill.
Madison Waymire – Sr. – Sport & Recreation Management – Grimes, Iowa
Lindsay Welker – So. – Sport & Recreation Management – Terre Haute, Ind.

Men’s Track & Field (4)
Gage Eller – Jr. – Enterprise Leadership – Ames, Iowa
Andy Jatis – Jr. – Pharmacy – Homer Glen, Ill.
Carter Lilly – Sr. – Human Physiology – Sioux City, Iowa
Karson Sommer – So. – Electrical Engineering – Bettendorf, Iowa

Women’s Track & Field (10)
Talia Buss – So. – Elementary Education – Waukee, Iowa
Marta Gonzalez – Sr. – Marketing – Merida, Spain
Jenny Kimbro – So. – Art – Catlin, Ill.
Kara Misel – Sr. – Biochemistry – Solon, Iowa
Elizabeth Niedert – Jr. – Biomedical Engineering – Glen Ellyn, Ill.
Lauren Opatrny – Jr. – Human Physiology – McHenry, Ill.
Andrea Shine – Jr. – English – Crystal Lake, Ill.
Amy Smith – Sr. – Nursing – Wheaton, Ill.
Madison Waymire – Sr. – Sport & Recreation Management – Grimes, Iowa
Lindsay Welker – So. – Sport & Recreation Management – Terre Haute, Ind.

BOLD ITALICIZED names indicate student-athletes with a 4.0 GPA.

Jasmine Staebler-Clayton Ridge-ISU
©Jim Kirby

Cyclones Nab Nine Academic Awards

Larkin Chapman-Muscatine-ISU ©Darren Miller-Hawkeyesports.com 2018

Larkin Chapman-Muscatine-ISU
©Darren Miller-Hawkeyesports.com 2018

The Iowa State track and field squads were recognized for their strong work in the classroom by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Thursday.

Courtesy Cyclone Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Jasmine Staebler-Clayton Ridge-ISU©Jim Kirby

Both the Iowa State men’s and women’s track and field teams were bestowed with the NCAA DI Track and Field Team Academic Awards.

Individually, nine Cyclones were named All-Academic Individuals. Honorees on the women’s team included three-time recipients Anne Frisbie, Kelly Naumann and Jasmine Staebler, two-timer Erinn Stenman-Fahey and first-time winners Karly Ackley, Larkin Chapman, Cailie Logue and Amanda Vestri. For the men’s team, Eric Fogltanz was recognized.

Frisbie, Logue and Vestri all received the honor for the cross country season as well back in February. Frisbie is now a five-time honoree, adding two cross country awards to her trio of track and field recognitions.

To be eligible for the team award, teams must have a cumulative team GPA of at least 3.0. To earn the individual award, student-athletes must have at least a cumulative GPA of 3.25, and either rank in the top-96 nationally in an event, or compete at any round of the NCAA Championships.

Cailie Logue-ISU
©Cyclones Athletics

Cyclone Freshmen Impress at IAAF World Championship

Cailie Logue-ISU ©Cyclones Athletics

Cailie Logue-ISU
©Cyclones Athletics

Cailie Logue and Amanda Vestri wrapped up their long freshman seasons in style with career-best efforts at the IAAF U20 World Championships this week. Logue recorded a personal best in the 5,000-meter run on Tuesday, and came back with another PR on Wednesday in the 3,000 while Vestri joined Logue with a personal best in the 3,000 at the Tampere Stadium in Finland.

Courtesy Cyclones Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Cailie Logue-ISU©Cyclones Athletics

 

Logue, who claimed the USATF Junior National Championships in the 3,000 and 5,000-meter runs last month, started her competition for Team USA on Tuesday in the 5,000. Logue came home in eighth in a new career-best time of 15:56.00, a nearly four-second drop from the 15:59.91 she ran at the NCAA West Preliminaries in May. She came back on Wednesday to finish 12th in the 3,000 in 9:16.78, another personal best.

Logue’s first season at Iowa State saw her earn All-Big 12 and All-Midwest Region honors in cross country and a silver medal at the Big 12 Outdoor Championships in the 5,000-meter run before her run representing Team USA.

Vestri joined Logue on the track on Wednesday in the 3,000 and ran with her for the majority of the competition. Vestri eventually came home in 14th place with a personal best of 9:21.95, almost eight seconds better than her previous best in the 3K of 9:29.03 ran indoors at the Iowa State Classic in February.

Like Logue, Vestri’s freshman year also saw her earn All-Big 12 and All-Midwest Region honors during the cross country season. She was the bronze medalist in 5,000 at the Big 12 Indoor Championships and the 10,000 at the Big 12 Outdoor Championships. Vestri qualified for the NCAA West Preliminaries in the 5K, where she ran to a PR of 16:10.63.

William Dougherty-WoodburyCent-Iowa
© Darren Miller/hawkeyesports.com

Hawks Set New Heights at Nationals

Laulauga Tausaga-Iowa ©Darren Miller/Hawkeyesports.com

Laulauga Tausaga-Iowa
©Darren Miller/Hawkeyesports.com

Men 

Reno Tuufuli sat ninth at the NCAA Championships with one heave of the discus left in his junior season at the University of Iowa.

Courtesy Hawkeye Athletics, click here!  Feature photo: William Dougherty-WoodburyCent-Iowa © Darren Miller/hawkeyesports.com
 

“He said, ‘If I stay in ninth, I don’t walk away with any (All-American) hardware (awarded to the top eight placewinners),” Iowa throws coach Eric Werskey said.

So, Tuufuli literally took matters into his own hands. The native of Las Vegas gripped a discus that had been on the receiving end of more than 45 minutes of steady Oregon rainfall and threw it 189 feet. The mark thrust him from ninth to fifth on the leaderboard and Tuufuli earned his second consecutive first-team All-America accolade in the event.

“That is the best part of my day, having my best throw be my last throw,” said Tuufuli, who threw 196-feet, 2-inches last year on a much drier Hayward Field. “I lined my final throw up pretty well; I took a deep breath and made sure all the energy I was putting into the throw was going into the right aspects.”

Tuufuli opened with a toss of 178-3 and followed that with a mark of 183-2. He fouled on his final throw of the second flight and again on the first attempt of finals.

“It all started with my fourth throw, which I smacked, and I think I threw over the 60 (meter) line, but I fouled it,” Tuufuli said. “I tried to do it again on my fifth throw (181-4), I just got a little too excited.”

Tuufuli was the final competitor for the Hawkeye men’s track and field team for the 2018 season. In the process, he added four team points to the five that teammate Mar’yea Harris received moments earlier with a fourth-place effort in the 400 meter dash. Iowa finished tied for 31st in the final standings.

“It shows he is a competitor,” Werskey said of Tuufuli’s final throw. “Reno is a team guy and he knows what is on the line.”

Tuufuli has such high expectations, that a second straight fifth-place finish in the discus didn’t sit particularly well.

“It means I didn’t have as good of a meet this year as I did last year,” Tuufuli said. “If I threw what I did last year, I would have been second.”

Luke Vaughn, a senior from Memphis, won the discus with a mark of 198-2. Five of the top eight finishers are from the Big Ten Conference.

The result in the discus comes two days after Tuufuli placed 23rd in the shot put.

“I had to come to the discus with higher expectations,” he said.

Five of the eight first-team discus All-Americans return next season when the NCAA Championship are held at Mike A. Myers Track in Austin, Texas. That is the venue where Tuufuli threw a career-best 203-7 in 2017.

“I think it will be fruitful senior season for him,” Werskey said. “He has a good mojo (in Austin). He has to clean up a few things technically, stay healthy, and have his mind on the prize of being a national champion.”

Tuufuli’s mind is already there.

Women 

“The goal is to win everything and be able to say I put my best effort into every competition,” he said. “I am trying to mature as a thrower, an athlete, and a person.”The University of Iowa women’s track and field team reached its highest finish in program history with a 13th place finish on the final day of the 2018 NCAA Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon.

Iowa tallied 19 points, the most points in program history, with the help of senior Jahisha Thomas and sophomore Laulauga Tausaga earning first team All-America honors for the second time this week.
The Hawkeyes previous best finish was 20th place in 2006 and 1985.

 

Courtesy Hawkeyes Athletics, click here! 

 
THOMAS GOES OUT ON TOP
Two days after Thomas finished third in the long jump, she returned to place sixth in the triple jump despite battling through rain and hail.

“That was definitely one for the books,” Thomas said. “That rain was something serious, but we all competed in the same conditions. My first jump was a bad jump, but I knew I had something there and then I had a solid jump on my second attempt and that turned out to be my best one. I felt the potential in my body.”

Thomas is Iowa’s only first team All-American in the triple jump.

It’s not the end for Thomas, she will get to wear the Iowa uniform one last time in three weeks.

“I still have the British trials in about three weeks so I get to wear the uniform one last time,” she said.

TAUSAGA PLACES 4TH IN THE DISCUS
After a surprise fourth place finish in the shot put on Thursday, Tausaga provided a repeat performance in the discus. She recorded a best mark of 183-11 to become a first team All-American in the event for the second consecutive year.

“I came into the discus and I proved that I can throw with the best girls in the country again, but there is a lot of work to be done but I am happy where I am standing,” Tausaga said.

Tausaga only had two legal throws, but made them count even as the weather seemed to shift every 15 minutes.

“It has more of a mental factor,” Tausaga said. “Personally, when I see rain I start to panic, but I held through and I got to sixth and then bumped up to fourth. I got lucky with being able to finish fourth.”
UP NEXT

A group of Hawkeyes will head to Des Moines, Iowa, for the USATF Championships June 21-24.

Karissa Schweizer-Dowling-Mizzou
©Darren Miller/hawkeyesports.com

Schweizer Ends Mizzou Career With Sixth Championship

Karissa Schweizer-Dowling-Mizzou ©Darren Miller/hawkeyesports.com

Karissa Schweizer-Dowling-Mizzou
©Darren Miller/hawkeyesports.com

Mizzou Track & Field senior Karissa Schweizer (Urbandale, Iowa) and redshirt junior Gabi Jacobs(Bloomington, Ill.) each closed the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships on a high note, as Schweizer captured her sixth NCAA title in the 5000m run, while Jacobs finished fifth in the discus. Schweizer’s national title was her 10th career All-America finish, which matches Kearsten Peoples for the most in program history. Jacobs’ fifth-place discus finish made her a two-time discus All-American, the first to accomplish that feat in school history.

Courtesy Mizzou Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Karissa Schweizer-Dowling-Mizzou©Darren Miller/hawkeyesports.com

TEAM SCORES

The duo’s finishes, along with Schweizer’s third-place finish in the 10,000m run on Thursday netted Mizzou 20 team points and an 11th-place finish for the women’s team, its highest NCAA Outdoor finish in program history. The top-15 finish surpasses Mizzou’s 17th-place finish from 2017 when Mizzou scored 14 points.

KARISSA SCHWEIZER

Schweizer and the lead pack remained close together for the majority of the race before space starting opening up over the final 800 meters. Around 500 meters to go, Schweizer was briefly surpassed by Stanford’s Vanesa Fraser, but Schweizer was able to regain the lead on the final lap and take the title, as she crossed the finish line at 15:41.58. Schweizer’s 16 points at the meet were tied for the third-most at the meet, trailing only Arizona State’s Maggie Ewen and Georgia’s Keturah Orji, who each scored 20 points.

Schweizer becomes the sixth woman in NCAA history to win back-to-back outdoor 5000m titles, following Valerie McGovern (Kentucky, 1989-90), Jennifer Rhines (Villanova, 1994-96), Amy Skieresz (Arizona, 1997-98), Lauren Fleshman (Stanford, 2001-03) and Abbey D’Agostino (Dartmouth, 2012-13). Schweizer’s finish is the third outdoor 5000m national title in program history, as Schweizer’s back-to-back performances are joined by Sabrina Dornhoefer’s title in 1985.

Schweizer closes her career as one of the most decorated student-athletes all-time in Mizzou history, as she ends with six national titles, 10 All-America honors, eight conference titles, six school records, and one collegiate record. Each of those marks rank first in program history expect for the conference titles, where she ranks second behind Dornhoefer’s nine.

GABI JACOBS

In the discus, Jacobs placed fifth at the NCAA Outdoor meet for the second year in-a-row after producing a mark of 55.47m (182-0) with her first throw. The throw put Jacobs in the lead after one throw in the event, and was good enough to snag fifth overall. The fifth-place finish matches Jacobs’ finish in 2017 as the best discus finish in program history, as she becomes the first two-time discus All-American in program history. Mizzou has now earned five All-America honors in the discus, as Jacobs is joined by Cindy Kaiser (1977), Erica Brooks (1992, 10th), Kearsten Peoples (2012, 6th) and her own fifth-place finish in 2017.

After closing her junior campaign, Jacobs is now a two-time All-American, two-time conference champion and the school record holder in the discus. She also holds program top-10 marks in the indoor and outdoor shot put.

QUOTABLES

Mizzou senior Karissa Schweizer

On if she had enough left to make a finishing kick…

“Going into the race, my coach told me that I was going to have to kick, but to know you I have another gear and no matter how tired I would be, I was going to have that extra gear. I just really dug deep and I knew I had that in me. Coming down that final stretch just felt surreal.”

For all the latest on Mizzou Track & Field, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (MIZ_TrackField).

RESULTS – TRACK EVENTS

5000m Run, Women – 1. Karissa Schweizer, 15:41.58 // 10 points

RESULTS – FIELD EVENTS

10,000m Run, Women – 5. Gabi Jacobs, 55.47m (182-0) // 4 points

Aliyah Gustafson-IA City-Bowling Green
©Darren Miller/hawkeyesports.com

Gustafson Big Showing For Bowling Green at Nationals

Aliyah Gustafson-IA City-Bowling Green ©Darren Miller/hawkeyesports.com

Aliyah Gustafson-IA City-Bowling Green
©Darren Miller/hawkeyesports.com

Bowling Green State University’s Aliyah Gustafson and Rachel Walny concluded their seasons Thursday evening at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field National Championships. Gustafson finished 15th in the shot put and Walny placed 18th in the 10,000.

Courtesy Falcons Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Aliyah Gustafson-IA City-Bowling Green ©Darren Miller/hawkeyesports.com

For Gustafson, the result makes her a second team All-American for the second time in her career, adding to the same honor from the indoor national championship this year. She was an honorable mention All-American during the 2016 outdoor season. Walny earned honorable mention All-American status for the second consecutive year in the 10,000.

SHOT PUT

  • Aliyah Gustafson finished 15th in the shot put with a distance of 16.47m (54-feet-0.5).
  • Gustafson’s best toss was her first and she was sitting in ninth place after that throw, the would-be last spot to finals.
  • She was unable to improve upon her distance on her second throw and dropped to 10th place. Once again, Gustafson could not improve on that opening throw on her third attempt, dropping to 15th.
  • Gustafson’s finish was nine spots higher than she finished at the outdoor national championships two years ago when she made her first appearance. She did not qualify a year ago.

10,000

  • Rachel Walny placed 18th in the 10,000 with a time of 34:19.02.
  • At the 3,000m mark, Walny was sitting in last place but she slowly worked her way up the leaderboard over the final 7,000 meters.
  • Walny’s 18th place finish equals her result from a year ago when she also placed 18th.

WHAT THEY ARE SAYING

  • “There were a lot of positives to the year. Starting during indoor season, we placed third at the MAC Championships and Aliyah Gustafson became our first qualifier to nationals since 2001. Then, we had two athletes here for the first time in 20 years and we have to be appreciative of that. We have a young, talented group coming back next year.” – Head Coach Lou Snelling
Jasmine Staebler-Clayton Ridge-ISU
©Darren Miller/hawkeyesports.com

Staebler and Luque All-Americans For Cyclones

Jasmine Staebler-Clayton Ridge-ISU ©Darren Miller/hawkeyesports.com

Jasmine Staebler-Clayton Ridge-ISU
©Darren Miller/hawkeyesports.com

The Iowa State women’s track and field team started their NCAA Outdoor Championships with a pair of Second Team All-America honors Thursday evening at Hayward Field.

Courtesy Cyclones Athletics, click here!  Feature photo: Jasmine Staebler-Clayton Ridge-ISU ©Darren Miller/hawkeyesports.com

Jhoanmy Luque earned her 11th career All-America honor, earning Second Team All-American via her 11th place finish in the long jump at 20-9 3/4 (6.34m). In the women’s 800-meter run, Jasmine Staeblerearned Second Team All-America honors with her 14th place finish in 2:06.29. Staebler is now a four-time All-American in her Iowa State career.

Luque fouled on her first jump, but ensured she was on the board on her second effort, going 19-8 3/4 (6.01m). The pressure was on the Venezuelan heading into the final jump, as she was sitting 17th while needing to get into the top-9 for three more jumps. Luque did what she could, with her effort of 20-9 3/4 (6.34m) moving her up to seventh at the time, but ending up in 11th and out of the final.

Luque’s 11th place finish earned her Second Team All-America honors, the 11th All-America distinction of her career. She will look to add to her collection one more time in the triple jump on Saturday evening.

The pressure was on the third heat of the women’s 800, as a pair of fast heats before them meant that getting into the top-two became a priority. Staebler was sixth at the bell, keeping herself on the outside to keep herself from getting into traffic, though that meant more ground to cover. Staebler got clear track heading down the front stretch, but she was edged at the line, finishing third in her heat in 2:06.29. Staebler’s 14th place overall finish earned her Second Team All-America honors, her second of the season as she was also a Second Team All-American indoors.

Up Next
The men are back in action tomorrow, with Edwin Kurgat running for Iowa State in the final of the 5,000-meter run. Competition on the track will start at 7:30 p.m. Central, with Kurgat’s race going off at 9:25 p.m. Central. Friday’s running events will be shown on ESPN.

Iowa State Results
800m Run Semifinal (W): 1. Jazmine Fray, Texas A&M – 2:02.55; 14. Jasmine Staebler, Iowa State – 2:06.29

Long Jump (W): 1. Keturah Orji, Georgia, 21-10 3/4 (6.67m); 11. Jhoanmy Luque, Iowa State – 20-9 3/4 (6.34m)

Derek Jacobus-CR Kennedy-Arkansas
©DarrenMiller/hawkeyesports.com

Hogs’ Jacobus 9th at NCAA’s Decathlon

Derek Jacobus-CR Kennedy-Arkansas ©DarrenMiller/hawkeyesports.com

Derek Jacobus-CR Kennedy-Arkansas
©DarrenMiller/hawkeyesports.com

After finishing day one of the Decathlon in 11th and 14th-place, respectively, Derek Jacobus and Gabe Moore wrapped up the men’s decathlon Thursday afternoon with a ninth and 16th-place finish, respectively, at the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Championships on the campus of the University of Oregon.

Courtesy Razorback Athletics, click here! Feature photo:Derek Jacobus-CR Kennedy-Arkansas©DarrenMiller/hawkeyesports.com

 

“I think the attitude and the effort of both Derek [Jacobus] and Gabe [Moore] was phenomenal,” said assistant coach Travis Geopfert.

“Both are great young men that are highly motivated and came out here and gave it their best, especially in some adverse conditions. There was literally a third of the decathlon field that didn’t finish the competition, eight of the 24 guys did not get through all 10 events. Those guys came out here today and ran into headwinds in the hurdles but kept competing, kept fighting, kept clawing.

I was particularly pleased with Gabe’s hurdle race and then his third attempt in the discus with two fouls so clutch, just an unbelievable high-pressure situation and he stepped up and got it done. he did great. Derek competed great, was dinged up a little bit but just never stopped competing and kept fighting and is the consummate teammate and competitor,

I can’t say enough about that guy. I know Gabe is upset with finishing outside the top-eight, but Gabe is a highly motivated young man. He’s a competitor and sometimes life just throws you some challenges, and I’m very confident that he’s going to step up to that challenge in a positive manner. the future is very bright for that young man,” Geopfert continued.

Name (Place) 100-meters Long Jump Shot Put High Jump 400-meters 110-meter hurdles Discus Pole Vault Javelin 1,500-meters Total Points (Behind Leader)
Gabe Moore (9th) 11.02 7.06m (23′-2″) 14.05m (46′-1.25″) 1.92m (6′-3.50″) 49.51 14.86 45.97m (150′-10″) 4.51m (14′-9.50″) 57.25m (187′-10″) 4:57.73 7,670 (-666)
Derek Jacobus (16th) 10.93 7.36m (24′-1.75″) 13.22m (43′-4.50″) 1.89m (6′-2.25″) 49.29 16.25 36.43m (119′-6″) 4.41m (14′-5.50″) 46.90m (153′-10″) 4:44.61 7,236 (-1100)
Jacob Smith-Burlington ND-UNI
©DarrenMiller/hawkeyesports.com

Panther’s Smith-First Team All-American

Jacob Smith-Burlington ND-UNI ©DarrenMiller/hawkeyesports.com

Jacob Smith-Burlington ND-UNI
©DarrenMiller/hawkeyesports.com

UNI track and field’s Jacob Smith earned First Team All-American honors with a sixth-place finish in the 400-meter hurdles in a time of 50.60 seconds.

Courtesy Panthers Athletics, click here! Feature photo:Jacob Smith-Burlington ND-UNI©DarrenMiller/hawkeyesports.com 

“I could not be more proud of what Jacob has accomplished this year,” said head coach Dave Paulsen. “He’s as hard of worker and as tough of a competitor as I’ve ever coached.”

Smith, a sophomore, earned the 22nd Division I Outdoor All-American honor for the men’s track and field program since UNI moved up from Division II in 1979.

“Earning First Team All-American honors is one of the most difficult achievements in all of Division I athletics, and for him to earn that as a sophomore speaks volumes about his drive for excellence,” Paulsen said.

He was the first finalist to represent UNI track and field in the finals of the 400-meter hurdles at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships since Joey Woody won the title 1997. Woody continues to hold the school record (48.18), while Smith has the second-best time in UNI school history.

“Finishing sixth at the NCAA championships shows other athletes in our program as well as everyone in the country that you can achieve the highest level of success at Northern Iowa,” Paulsen said.

Smith guaranteed himself first team All-American honors with a time of 50.85 seconds in the semifinals Wednesday. His career best came at the West Preliminary Rounds in Sacramento, Calif., in a time of 50.13

Smith was seeded No. 10 among the 24 competitors at Eugene, Oregon. He was seeded eighth heading into today’s final round.

Prior to Smith, UNI’s last first team All-American honors were earned by Tyler Mulder, who took third in the 800-meter run in 2009.

Smith is a sophomore from Burlington, Iowa. He graduated from Notre Dame High School.

The finalist field is made up of three seniors, two juniors, two sophomores and one freshman. 400-meter hurdle finalists:

  1. Rai Benjamin, USC (junior), 47.02 (FR, MR, CR)a
  2. Kenny Selmon, North Carolina (senior), 48.12
  3. David Kendziera, Illinois (senior), 48.42
  4. Kemar Mowatt, Arkansas (senior), 48.83
  5. Taylor McLaughlin, Michigan (junior), 49.59
  6. Jacob Smith, UNI (sophomore), 50.60
  7. Maksims Sincukovs, Arizona (freshman), 50.63
  8. Infinite Tucker, Texas A&M (sophomore), 50.76