All the news from Division I Mens and Womens Track.

Jessica Heims-CR Prairie-USA Olympian
©Bill Calloway

Heims Comes Up Gold in Season Opener

Jessica Heims-CR Prairie-USA Olympian and Mike Jay

Jessica Heims-CR Prairie-USA Olympian and Mike Jay

UNI track and field athlete Jessica Heims opened her season for Team USA at the Para Athletics Grand Prix in Grosseto, Italy, last weekend and will return home with a trio of gold medals.

Courtesy  Jerek Wolcott – Jerek.wolcott@uni.edu: Feature photo: Jessica Heims-CR Prairie-USA Olympian©Bill Calloway

The sophomore at UNI announced her presence on the national stage earlier this year when she set the f64 world record in the discus at the Musco Twilight in Iowa City then broke her own record a few weeks later at the Wisconsin Alumni Meet.

In her first meet in the red, white and blue this year, she continued where she finished her collegiate season. She took gold in the discus, 100-meter dash and 200-meter dash.

In the discus, she hit her best throw of 34.18m on her first toss. She won the combined event by over two meters over the second-place thrower from Ireland.

In the 100-meter dash, Heims cut nearly 2/10ths of a second off of her career-best time that she ran at Wisconsin. She finished first with a time of 14.65 to earn the win.

She closed out the week with a season-best time in the 200-meter dash of 30.04 to pick up her third gold. She took first by over two seconds.

Heims’ season will also include the Parapan American Games in August in Lima, Peru, and the Para Athletics World Championship in Dubai in November.

Edwin Kurgat-ISU
©Luke Lu cyclones.com 2019

Drake Relays Outstanding Performer Heads NCAA Men’s Championships

Coach Joey Woody-Iowa ©Stephen Mally/Hawkeyesports.com 2019

Coach Joey Woody-Iowa
©Stephen Mally/Hawkeyesports.com 2019

AUSTIN, TEXAS — South Dakota junior Chris Nilsen, who will be seeking his third career NCAA

Edwin Kurgat-ISU©Luke Lu/Cyclones.com 2019

 

individual title in the pole vault, headlines a list of Drake Relays performers who will be competing

in the NCAA Men’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships that gets underway Wednesday

at Mike A. Meyers Stadium on the campus of the University of Texas.

From a local area flavor, Iowa State, which won the Hy Vee Men’s Cup at the Drake Relays, will

have seven athletes competing in five events. Meanwhile, Iowa, coming off a Big Ten Conference

outdoor team title, has athletes represented in 11 men’s events with two in the 200 and 400, Both

the Cyclones and Hawkeyes also will be competing in the 4×400 relay.

Victories in the 4×800 and distance medley relays propelled the Cyclones, who won the HyVee

Cup for the first time. Three key members of those winning relays — Edwin Kurgat, Festus Lagat,

Roshon Roomes —will be running at the NCAA Championships.

Kentucky, which made its first appearance at the Drake Relays in more than 30 years, has 11

event entries — tied for sixth most at the NCAAA Championships. This is the Wildcats’ first

season under coach Lonnie Greene, who guided Purdue to 11 victories at the 2018 Drake

Relays.

Purdue has eight athletes competing in seven events, including five individual specialties: 100,

200 and 400, along with the decathlon and triple jump. In congruence with the storied history of

the Boilermaker relay teams, both the men’s 4×100- and 4×400 squads qualified, as well.

Kentucky is No. 18 in the latest men’s rankings entering the NCAA Championships, while Iowa is

ranked No. 23.

Trio On Bowerman List

Nilsen is one of three Drake Relays performers named to The Bowerman Pre-NCAA

Championship Watch List, who are considered top contenders in their respective events at the

NCAA Championships.

Kentucky junior Daniel Roberts and North Dakota State senior Payton Otterdahl, who had

impressive showings at the Drake Relays, join Nilsen on the list. The Bowerman, dubbed the

Heisman of collegiate track and field, is presented annually to the most outstanding male and

female athlete in the nation.

Nilsen and Roberts both came away with victories at this year’s Drake Relays that they’ll savor for

a long time.

Nilsen was named recipient of the Maury White Award as the Drake Relays outstanding men’s

performer when he became just the second collegian in meet history to upset a reigning World

Champion and Olympic medalist.

Nilsen, a junior and the defending NCAA outdoor champion, cleared a season-best 19-2 1/4

(5.85m) to beat Sam Kendricks, the reigning world outdoor champion. The event was moved into

the Drake Fieldhouse and that clearance was an indoor best for Nilsen, who entered the weekend

as the world leader and beat Kendricks for the first time in five tries.

Just one hour earlier, Roberts upset reigning world outdoor champ and 2016 Olympic gold

medalist Omar McLeod to win the World Showdown Invite 110 hurdles. Roberts, runner-up in the

60 hurdles at the NCAA indoor meet, ran a wind-aided 13.28 to nip McLeod by the narrowest of

margins. McLeod, a three-time Drake Relays champion and the meet record holder, finished in

13.29. It was the first loss on Drake’s Blue Oval for the former Arkansas star since 2014.

Otterdahl claimed 2019 NCAA Indoor titles in the shot put and weight throw, and will seek two

more titles in the discus and shot put this week. Otterdahl finished second behind reigning

Olympic gold medalist Ryan Crouser in the Drake Relays invitational shot put.

The collegiate indoor record holder in the shot put is the only men’s thrower ranked in the top-10

nationally in both the discus and shot put. He also is ranked No. 12 in the world in the outdoor

shot put this year.

Nilsen is one of 15 athletes who are back to defend their men’s outdoor titles. The five-time

NCAA All-American broke a 22-year-old NCAA Championships meet record in 2018 with a vault

of 19-1 .. To defend his title, Nilsen will have to duel LSU’s freshman phenom Mondo Duplantis,

who set the NCAA’s all-time record this spring with a jump of 19-8 ..

Roberts has been phenomenal this outdoor season capped by beating two-time defending NCAA

champ and 60 meter hurdler American record holder Grant Holliday of Florida in the SEC

Championships in 13.07 which tied the second fastest mark in collegiate history.

A few weeks later, Roberts went 13.13 at the NCAA East Preliminary Round for what is now the

second best mark in NCAA Championships history.

Purdue, Iowa To Challenge in Relay Events

The first running event on the track Wednesday – the 4×100 relay — will include the top three

place winners at the Drake Relays: Illinois, Purdue and Houston.

In addition, Kentucky, which won the Drake Relays 4×200 relay, along with Iowa, also will run the

4×100 relay at the NCAA meet.

Purdue is ranked No. 8 on the collegiate list after setting a school record 38.75 en route to

winning the NCAA East Prelims. Earlier Purdue captured the Big Ten title. Illinois will be making

its second straight appearance in the NCAA Championships after finishing 10th last year.

Several sprinters from those relay units also will be competing in the 100 and 200 at the NCAA

Championships.

Senior Devin Quinn, who anchored Illinois to the 4×100 relay victory at the Drake Relays, has

qualified in both the 100 and 200. The Big Ten 100 champ finished 10th in the 200 at the 2018

NCAA Outdoor meet.

Purdue senior Waseem Williams, who runs the anchor on the 4×100 relay, also is in the 100 after

running a season best 10.11 at the NCAA East Prelims. Teammate Samson Colebrooke, who

runs the first leg on Purdue’s 4×100 relay, qualified for the 200 after running a personal best of

20.46 in the NCAA East Prelims.

Iowa juniors Karayme Bartley and Antonio Woodard will be busy in their debuts at the NCAA

Championships running in the 200 as well as running legs on both the Hawkeyes’ 4×100 and

4×400 relays.

The semifinal round of the 400 which starts at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday features four sprinters

who participated in the Drake Relays led by Iowa’s Mar’yea Harris and Wayne Lawrence. Harris

is making his fourth straight appearance in the NCAA Championships, including a fourth-place

finish last year. Harris won the 400 and anchored Iowa’s wining 4×400 relay at the recent Big Ten

Outdoor meet. Lawrence is ranked 10th on the collegiate list with a top time of 45.33 at the NCAA

West Prelims.

Kentucky sophomore Dwight St. Hillaire and Purdue sophomore Brian Faust also will run in the

400. St. Hillaire, who ran the first leg on Purdue’s winning 4×200 relay at Drake, finished second

in the 400 at the 2019 SEC Outdoor meet.

Harris and Lawrence will be staples for Iowa in the 4×400 relay qualifying round at 7:18 p.m.

Wednesday. The Hawkeyes are a dark horse to contend for the 4×400 relay title, entering the

meet ranked sixth on the NCAA performance list with a season best time of 3:03.10 set at the

Florida Relays. Harris ran the second leg on Iowa’s 4×400 relay, which was second in the 2017

NCAA Championships and ninth last year. Iowa also was sixth in the 4×400 at the 2019 NCAA

Indoor meet.

Houston, which won the Drake Relays invitational 4×400 relay, is seeded third in the NCAA

Championships with a season best time of 3:02.61. Iowa State, Kentucky and Purdue also

qualified in the 4×400 relay. St. Hillaire and Faust, who are in the 400, will run the anchor legs for

Kentucky and Purdue, respectively.

Iowa State senior, Eric Fogltanz, who won the Drake Relays university-college 400 hurdles, will

run in the qualifying round of the 400 hurdles at 6 p.m. Wednesday, while also anchoring the

Cyclones 4×400 relay.

Other Drake Relays competitors in the 400 hurdles include Iowa senior Chris Douglas and

Houston’s Amere Lattin and Quivell Jordan. Douglas, who won the Big Ten title, is making his

second straight trip to the NCAA Championships. Lattin and Jordan ran legs guiding Houston to a

Drake Relays title in the invitational 4×400 relay. Lattin is ranked No. 5 on the collegiate list this

season with a top time of 49:45 at the NCAA West Prelims.

Lattin also will join Kentucky’s Roberts in the qualifying round of the 110 hurdles set for 5:02

p.m. Wednesday. Lattin ran a personal best 13:56 to captured the American Conference

Championship May 10. Iowa junior Jaylan McConico and Kentucky’s Tai Brown, who won the

Drake Relays university-college 110 hurdles, also will compete. McConico was second in both the

Big Ten and NCAA West Prelims.

Smeeton Favored in Steeplechase

Oklahoma State sophomore Ryan Smeeton, who ran the third leg on the Cowboys’ winning

4×1600 relay at the Drake Relays, is one of the favorites in the 3,000 steeplechase after posting

the fastest collegiate time this season of 8:27.90 at the Payton Jordan invitational May 2. Earlier,

he captured the Big 12 title in the steeplechase.

Qualifying heats in the 3000 steeplechase will start at 4:32 p.m. Wednesday with the field

featuring Iowa junior Nathan Mylenek and Minnesota’s Alec Basten who also competed in the

Drake Relays. Mylenek was second in the Drake Relays university-college 1500, while Basten

was second in the invitational 5,000.

Kurgat ranks No. 8 in the 5,000, which will be held at 9:25 p.m. Friday, having posted a season

best of 13:34.10 at the Cardinal Classic. Kurgat, who ran the first leg on Iowa State’s victorious

4×800 and distance medley relay teams at the Drake Relays, will be looking to improve on his

seventh-place finish in the 5000 at the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Championships. Kurgat was second

in the 10,000 and third in the 5,000 at the 2019 Big 12 Outdoor Championships.

The men’s 800 at 5:44 p.m. Wednesday will feature three runners who made their presence

known at the Drake Relays headed by the Iowa State junior duo of Festus Lagat and Roshon

Roomes, who are ranked Nos. 7 and 8, respectively, in the NCAA. Lagat ran legs on Iowa State’s

wining 4×800 and distance medley relay teams at Drake.

At the Sun Angel Classic, they ran matching 1:47.14s (Lagat was 0.003 seconds faster) to vault

into the top-10 nationally and the No. 3 and 4 spots in ISU history. At the Big 12 Outdoor

Championships, the two flipped spots in the record books with Roomes running a personal best

1:46.91 to finish third and Lagat taking fourth in 1:46.93. The two swapped spots once again at

NCAA West Prelims, with Lagat advancing in 1:46.58, while Roomes came in at 1:46.88.

Junior Michael Rhoads, who anchored the Air Force Academy to victory in the Drake Relays

men’s university sprint medley relay, also will run in the men’s 800 prelims Wednesday. Earlier,

Rhoads placed eighth in the 800 at the 2019 NCAA Indoor Championships. Rhoads, who owns

the school record in the 800 of 1:47.10, powered the Falcons to a school-record 3:19.33 clocking

to best the rest of the 12-team field at the Drake Relays by nearly 1.5 seconds.

North Dakota State Has 6 Throwers

The lone finale in the running events during Wednesday’s opening session will be the 10,000

meters at 9:08 p.m. featuring Oklahoma State senior Hassan Abdi who ran the anchor leg that

guided the Cowboys to the Drake Relays 4×1600 relay title. Adi went on to win the 10,000 at the

Big 12 Outdoor meet. It was his fourth career Big 12 title also winning the 10,000 in 2017 along

with the 2017 cross country title and a win in the 3,000 at the 2018 Big 12 Indoor

Kentucky sophomore Matthew Peare, who finished second in the Drake Relays university-college

pole vault, will join Nilsen in the pole vault finals that will start at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.

North Dakota State tied with UCLA for the most entries in the men’s throwing events at the NCAA

meet, with six including three in the shot put.

There are fourth other Drake Relays competitors joining Otterdahl in the shot put finals at 6:40

p.m. Wednesday: UNI junior Darius King; Kentucky senior Noah Castle and North Dakota State

teammates Kristoffer Thomsen and Alex Talley.

Talley was third in the Drake Relays university-college shot put, while Thomsen was seventh,

Castle 14th and King 15th. King is coming off a personal best 63-4 . at the NCAA West Prelims.

Otterdahl and Talley are doubling up, competing as well in the discus and hammer throws,

respectively.

The hammer throw will be the first field event of the NCAA meet, being contested at 2 p.m.

Wednesday. Minnesota sophomore Kieran McKeag, who captured the Drake Relays title, is in the

field along with Talley who was third, and Iowa State senior Vlad Pavlenko who was fourth.

This will mark McKeag’s second straight trip to the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Both McKeag

and Pavlenko earned second team NCAA Indoor All-American honors in the weight throw.

Pavlenko has set the Iowa State school record twice during the outdoor campaign, while placing

second in the Big 12 Championships.

North Dakota State freshman Brendan Artley, who was second in the Drake Relays universitycollege

javelin, will compete in the javelin finals at 4:45 p.m. Wednesday.

The discus finals on Friday also include Drake Relays runner-up Charles Lenford, a junior from

Kentucky; Kentucky senior Noah Castle (7th) and South Dakota senior Ben Hammer (12th).

Otterdahl ranks No. 4 on the collegiate list this season in the discus with a personal best of 206-6

The men’s high jump final on Friday features three Drake Relays performers headed by South

Dakota junior Zack Anderson who captured the title. Kentucky sophomore Rahman Minor, who

was third at Drake and Iowa sophomore Jay Hunt (fifth), also are in the field. Anderson is a twotime

NCAA All-American who is ranked No. 5 on the collegiate list this season at 7-4.25 en route

to winning the Summit League title. Minor is coming off a season best 7-2.25 at the NCAA East

Prelim.

Purdue’s Jah Stange and Tamar Greene, who finished first and second at the Drake Relays,

respectively, will compete in the triple jump finals Friday. Greene won the Big Ten outdoor

meet, while Stange was third. Strange is ranked No. 12 on the NCAA performance list with his

season best of 53-1.5 en route to winning the Drake Relays.

Rebeka Topham-Griswold-Wichita State 
©Jim Kirby-2016

Drake Relays Alums Perform Well at Natty’s

Drake Relays Outstanding Performer Ross Among 15 Champs Competing At NCAA Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Championships

Feature photo: Rebeka Topham-Griswold-Wichita State ©Jim Kirby-2016

 

AUSTIN, TEXAS – Fifteen Drake Relays champions, led by double winners Faith Ross of Kentucky and Amira Young of Minnesota, will be performing in the NCAA Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships that start Thursday at Mike A. Meyers Stadium on the campus of the University of Texas.

Jenny Kimbro-Iowa ©Darren Miller hawkeyesports.com 2019

Jenny Kimbro-Iowa
©Darren Miller hawkeyesports.com 2019

Ross was named the outstanding women’s performer of the Drake Relays after becoming the third collegian to sweep the 400 and 100-meter hurdles and first since 2004. Ross raced to a 58.21 time to win the women’s university-college 400 hurdles marking the first Drake Relays victory for Kentucky since 1988. She returned Saturday to win the 100 hurdles by pulling away over the last half of the race to finish in 13.30 and edge Iowa’s Jenny Kimbro, a three-time Big Ten indoor champion. Ross

Young, a freshman, won both the university-college 100 and 200 in her Drake Relays debut.

Ross, a three-time NCAA All-American, will run in both the 100 and 400 hurdles at the NCAA meet, while Young has qualified in the 100.

Kentucky, making its first appearance at the Drake Relays in more than 30 years, won five women’s titles at the 110thrunning of America’s Athletic Classic. The Wildcats, under the guidance of first year coach Lonnie Green, has 11 event entries tied for fifth most in the women’s division.

Kentucky, ranked No. 9 in the latest track and field poll, has finished in the top five at NCAA outdoors three of the last four years and was fourth with 46 points last year.

The Iowa women, which won the Drake Relays Hy-Vee Cup for the first time, has four athletes competing at the NCAA Championships led by junior Laulauga Tausaga, who was named the Midwest Women’s Field Event Athlete of the Year.

Iowa State has three performers who have qualified for the NCAA Championships.

There are two opportunities for a Drake Relays champ to win an NCAA women’s individual title in the 1,500 and discus. Oklahoma State junior Sinclaire Johnson is the collegiate leader in the 1,500 after running a school-record 4:09.50 to win the NCAA West Prelims while beating a field that included defending champ Jessica Hull from Oregon..

Iowa junior Laulauga Tausaga threw a school record 205-8 to register the highest mark at either the NCAA East or West Prelims May 23.

“I’m am very proud of Laulauga and everything she has accomplished so far this season,” said Iowa coach Joey Woody, who also was named the Midwest Track and Field Coach of the Year. “To win both indoor and outdoor field athlete of the year in this region is extremely tough and is a tribute to her competitiveness in multiple throwing events. She is very deserving of this honor.”

Joining Minnesota’s Amir Young in the 100 at 8:16 p.m. Thursdaywill be Kentucky’s Kianna Gray and Celera Barnes. Gray, who was second in the 100 at the SEC Championships, anchored Kentucky to victory in the 4×200 relay at Drake while Barnes ran the opening leg.

Kentucky freshman Abby Steiner, who also ran on that winning Drake Relays 4×200 relay team, has qualified for the 200 which will be held at 9:14 p.m.Thursday.If that’s not enough the trio of Gray, Barnes and Steiner will join anchor Janie O’Connor in competing in the 4×100 relay qualifying that will be the first event run Thursday at 7:02 p.m.

Junior Chloe Abbott, who also ran on leg on Kentucky’s winning 4×200 relay at Drake, is in the400 that starts at 8:30 p.m. Thursday. The SEC Outdoor champ won the 400 at the NCAA East Prelims, running a personal best 51.32 seconds

Ross will be running in three events during Thursday’s opening session starting with the 100 hurdles at 8:02 p.m. where she will be facing Iowa State freshman Keira Christie-Galloway in the second heat.  Christie-Galloway arrived in Ames at the start of the second semester, setting a school record en route to winning the 60 hurdles at Big 12 Indoor Championships. She then became Iowa State’s first ever Big 12 100 hurdle outdoor champ in  a school-record 13.10 .

Ross will be joined by Kentucky teammate Masai Russell, a freshman, in the 400 hurdles qualifying at 9 p.m. Thursday, along with Minnesota junior Rachel Schow. Russell placed third behind Ross at the Drake Relays university-college 400 hurdles.

Ross, Abbott and Steiner also will run legs for Kentucky in the4×400 relay, which will have qualifying rounds at 10:18 p.m. Thursday.The Wildcats won the 4×400 at the SEC Championships in a season best 3:30.81.

Johnson will run with two teammates in the 1500 at 9:26 p.m. Thursdaywho played a role in Oklahoma State winning the 4×800, 4×1600 and distance medley relay titles at the Drake Relays. Senior Molly Sughroue, who anchored the winning distance medley relay at Drake, won the Big 12 Outdoor 1500 title. Senior Jenny Celis, who ran on all three winning relays at Drake, is coming off a personal best of 4:12.92 in the NCAA West Prelim in the 1500.

Senior Dana Klein, who anchored San Francisco to third in the distance medley relay at Drake, also will compete in the 1500 after clocking a personal best 4:15.27 at the NCAA West Prelims.

The women’s 800 at 8:44 p.m. Thursday will include San Francisco’s Sadi Henderson and Iowa State senior Erinn Stenman-Fahey. Henderson, who ran on San Francisco’s 4×800 and distance medley relay teams at Drake, ran a personal best 2:03.31 at the NCAA West Prelims which ranks seventh overall on the collegiate list. Stenman-Fahey ran on the Cyclones’ 4×400 and distance medley relay teams. She placed sixth in the 800 at the Big 12 Outdoor meet.

Iowa junior Jenny Kimbro, who was second in both the Drake Relays university-college 100 hurdles and 400 hurdles, is in the heptathlon along with senior teammate Tria Simmons who ran a leg on Iowa’s 4×400 which placed second at Drake. Kimbro and Simmons placed second and third at the Big Ten meet, respectively.

Thursday’s opening round of competition features just one final running event – 10,000– with two Drake Relays performers competing in Minnesota’s Megan Hasz and Iowa State’s Amanda Vestri. Hasz ran the opening leg for Minnesota’s 4×1600 relay, which placed second at the Drake Relays. She finished second in the 10,000 at the Big Ten Championships.

Vestri, who also ran a leg on the Cyclones 4×1600 relay at Drake, was second in the 5,000 and 10,000 at the Big 12 Championships. She is ranked eighth on the NCAA performance list.

Megan Hasz’  twin sister – Bethany – will run in the 5,000 finals Saturday. Bethany anchored the Gophers’ 4×1600 relay at Drake.

Thewomen’s 3000 steeplechase at 7:32 p.m. Thursdaywill feature Wichita State redshirt junior Rebekah Topham who won captured the Drake Relays university-college 1500 as well as South Dakota State senior Rachel King who finished second behind Topham at Drake. Topham, a native of Griswold, Iowa, punched her ticket to her first NCAA Championships after finishing 11th in the NCAA West Regional with an American Athletic Conference and school record time of 9:53.92.

King will run in the first heat, while Topham is scheduled to run heat No. 2 of the  steeplechase prelims. The top-five finishers from each heat plus the next two fastest will advance to Saturday’s finals at 5:54 p.m. Topham is the first female Shocker in the program’s history to qualify for the NCAA Championships in the steeplechase.

The 2019 outdoor season was packed full of highlights for Tausaga, setting Iowa records in the shot put , discus and hammer throw. She won her third-consecutive Big Ten discus title and was named Big Ten Outdoor Female Field Athlete of the Year after winning the discus title, placing third in the shot put and seventh in the hammer throw.

Missouri senior Gabi Jacobs is making her third straight appearance in the discus at NCAA Championships after recording back-to-back fifth-place finishes in  2017 and 2018. She finished second to Tausaga at the Drake Relays.

Missouri sophomore Sophia Rivera, who captured the Drake Relays women’s javelin title, earned her first trip to the NCAA Championships. She will be joined in the women’s javelin final Thursdaywith North Dakota State freshman Akealy Moton, who won the Drake Relays women’s university-college shot put.

Moton will have a busy Thursday also competing in the finals of the women’s shot put where she will be joined by Drake Relays competitors Tess Keyzers, a freshman from Minnesota who finished fifth at the Drake Relays, along with Iowa junior Nia Britt, who was 11that the Drake Relays.

Keyzers advanced to the national meet with a fifth-place finish in shot put at the NCAA West Prelim, where she recorded a career-best mark of 56-8, while setting a school record. She enters the NCAA meet seeded seventh and owns the nation’s 11th-best mark this season.

Britt is coming off a personal best throw of 55-7 ¾ at the NCAA West Prelim. A downside to Britt’s big throw is that it knocked teammate Laulauga Tausaga into 13th and only the top 12 from each region advanced to Austin. Tausaga placed fourth at the 2018 NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon, with a throw of 56-10 ¾.

Thewomen’s hammer throw Thursdayfeatures four place winners from the 2019 Drake Relays led by Minnesota senior Temi Ogunrinde, who finished fourth. Other athletes are Missouri senior Becky Keating (sixth), North Dakota State junior Bailey Retzlaff (seventh) and South Dakota senior Lara Boman (18th). Ironically Drake Relays champ Amy Herrington from North Dakota State did not advance from the NCAA West Prelims in the event.

Ogunrinde returns to the NCAA Championships for the third straight time after placing 18th in 2017 and ninth in 2018. She enters the national meet seeded fourth with a mark of 211-6, which earned her a runner-up finish at the NCAA West Prelim. Ogunrinde won her third-straight Big Ten title in hammer throw this spring with a season-best mark of 221-2 to become the first individual to three-peat as Big Ten women’s hammer throw champion.

South Dakota junior Helen Falda, who captured the Drake Relays university college pole vault, will be aiming for all-American honors in pole vault finals at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. She is ranked seventh on the collegiate list with a personal best of 14-5.25.

Kentucky junior Ellen Ekholm, who won the Drake Relays university-college high jump, advanced to the NCAA Outdoor Championships for the third year in a row. When the high jump finals take place SaturdayEkholm will be looking to ride momentum from a strong spring. Ekholm captured the SEC title May 11, marking her fifth straight victory including wins at the Florida Relays, Tennessee Relays, Kentucky Invitational and Drake Relays .

Kentucky senior Marie-Josee Ebwea-Bile Excel won the Drake Relays university-college triple jump and will contend for the NCAA outdoor title in the triple jump Saturday. She finished second in the triple jump as a sophomore at the 2017 NCAA Outdoor meet, while placing third last year as well as in the 2019 NCAA Indoor Championships.

Sydney Milani-SE Polk-ISU
©Luke Lu/Cyclones.com 2019

Cyclones Claims Three Individual Titles at Conference

Coach Amy Rudolf - ISU ©Luke Lu/Cyclones.com 2019

Coach Amy Rudolf – ISU
©Luke Lu/Cyclones.com 2019

The Iowa State track and field team wrapped up the 2019 Big 12 Outdoor Championships with three individual titles, an individual award and a historic team effort for the Cyclone men. Cailie Logue picked up her second title of the weekend in the 5,000-meter run, while Keira Christie-Galloway got her first Big 12 outdoor crown. For the men, Dan Curts got his first career Big 12 title, bringing home the win in the 5,000-meter run.

Courtesy Cyclone Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Sydney Milani-SE Polk-ISU©Luke Lu/Cyclones.com 2019

 

The Iowa State men finished in second with 126 team points, which is the Cyclones’ highest team finish in the Big 12 era (previous best: sixth, twice) and highest team point effort as well. The ISU women finished sixth with 72 points. In addition, for his three top-four finishes across the weekend and 18 team points, David Too was the co-recipient of the Big 12 Outdoor Championships Men’s High Point Award.

The Cyclones worked as a team to help Curts get his win. Finn Gessner and Mitchell Day combined to pace the first 2,000 meters, with Curts and David Too breaking away from the field. Curts and Too ran together up until the final lap, when Curts turned on the jets to bring home his inaugural Big 12 crown in 14:08.76. Too finished second in 14:11.86, his third top-four finish of the weekend, while Edwin Kurgatcame in third at 14:12.32. Also scoring for ISU was Chad Johnson (sixth, 14;16.16) and Thomas Pollard(14:21.28), a 28-point outburst for ISU.

Christie-Galloway took control of the race from the start, getting first to the first hurdle to lead wire-to-wire. She got a strong challenge from Oklahoma’s Camri Austin off the final hurdle, but was able to lean at the line first in a new school record of 13.10. Her previous school record was 13.25 at the Sun Angel Classic last month. Joining her on the podium was Kaylyn Hall in eighth, also clocking a legal PR in 13.72.

Christie-Galloway is the first Cyclone to win the 100m hurdles in the Big 12 era, and first Cyclone to win a conference title in the event since Debbie Esser in 1977. She is also the first individual Cyclone to sweep the conference championships in the 100m hurdles outdoors and 60m hurdles indoors.

The women’s 5,000m went off at a slower pace, with a big lead pack staying together until the final mile. With three laps to go, Logue finally made her move out of turn four and did not look back, stepping on the gas to run away from the pack in 16:12.81. Amanda Vestri made a last-lap pass to make it a second ISU 1-2 in three days in 16:23.51. Anne Frisbie joined the ISU scoring contingent in fifth in 16:32.69.

Logue’s 5K/10K sweep is the ninth of the Big 12 era on the women’s side, the fourth by the Cyclones as she joins Lisa Koll (2009, 2010) and Katy Moen (2014) as Cyclones to do the distance double outdoors.

The battle for second in the men’s team standings came down to the 4x400m relay, a race which took an interesting twist when Big 12 leaders Baylor dropped out 200 meters in. The Cyclones and Texas’ battle happened throughout the 4×400 with the two teams battling among the top-four heading to the anchor. While TCU pulled away for the win, Eric Fogltanz split 45.34 on the close to get the silver medal in 3:05.50, making Charlie Johnson (47.43 split), Roshon Roomes (45.54), Ben Kelly (46.68) and Fogltanz the fourth-fastest quartet in ISU history.

In the 1,500-meter run, Lagat found himself in eighth in the bell lap, but utilized his closing speed to continue to move his way up the field and finish in second in 3:52.59. Lagat’s final 400 came in at 52.79, the second-fastest final lap in the field.

Lagat came back 90 minutes later to be part of three Cyclones finishing in the top six of the 800-meter run, all running personal bests. Roshon Roomes led the way with a third-place finish in 1:46.91, Lagat right behind him in fourth in 1:46.93 and Cebastin Gentil breaking 1:50 for the first time to finish sixth in 1:49.26.

The Cyclone men’s hurdlers did their thing again on Sunday. In the 110-meter hurdles, the guys brought home second and fourth place. Mason Weh got the silver medal with a personal best 13.80, tied for third in school history, while Logan Schneider got fourth in a personal best 13.99. Weh came back in the 400m hurdles along, joined by Eric Fogltanz. Fogltanz led the way for ISU in third at a season-best 50.51, while Weh came in fifth at 51.66.

A pair of seniors stepped up with sixth-place finishes for the Cyclone women, with Emma Whighamgetting a personal best in the 400m hurdles at 1:00.51, and Erinn Stenman-Fahey getting three points for the Cyclones in the 800-meter run in 2:08.87.

Up Next
The road to the 2019 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships begins on May 23-25 at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships West Preliminaries, hosted by Sacramento State. Qualifiers for West Prelims will be announced no later than Thursday.

Final Team Scores
Men: 1. Texas Tech, 164 Points; 2. Iowa State, 126 Points; 3. Texas, 120.5 Points; 4. Kansas State, 85 Points; 5. Kansas, 79 Points; 6. Oklahoma, 75 Points; 7. Oklahoma State, 59.5 Points; 8. Baylor, 57 Points; 9. TCU, 53 Points
Women: 1. Texas, 172 Points; 2. Kansas State, 156.5 Points; 3. Oklahoma, 101.5 Points; 4. Texas Tech, 93 Points; 5. Kansas, 73.5 Points; 6. Iowa State, 72 Points; 7. Baylor, 51.5 Points; 8. Oklahoma State, 48 Points; 9. West Virginia, 27 Points; 10. TCU, 24 Points

Iowa State Results
800m Run (M):
1. Bryce Hoppel, Kansas – 1:45.95; 3. Roshon Roomes, Iowa State – 1:46.91; 4. Festus Lagat, Iowa State – 1:46.93; 6. Cebastian Gentil, Iowa State – 1:49.26
800m Run (W): 1. Sinclaire Johnson, Oklahoma State – 2:04.79; 6. Erinn Stenman-Fahey, Iowa State – 2:08.87
1,500m Run (M): 1. Sam Worley, Texas – 3:50.99; 2. Festus Lagat, Iowa State – 3:52.59
5,000m Run (M): 1. Dan Curts, Iowa State – 14:08.76; 2. David Too, Iowa State – 14:11.86; 3. Edwin Kurgat, Iowa State – 14:12.32; 6. Chad Johnson, Iowa State – 14:16.16; 8. Thomas Pollard, Iowa State – 14:21.28; Mitchell Day, Iowa State – DNF; Finn Gessner, Iowa State – DNF
5,000m Run (W): 1. Cailie Logue, Iowa State – 16:12.81; 2. Amanda Vestri, Iowa State – 16:23.51; 5. Anne Frisbie, Iowa State – 16:32.69; 9. Kelly Naumann, Iowa State – 16:45.89; 10. Abby Caldwell, Iowa State – 17:02.22; 22. Gwynne Wright, Iowa State – 17:50.49
100m Hurdles (W): 1. Keira Christie-Galloway, Iowa State – 13.10; 8. Kaylyn Hall, Iowa State – 13.72
110m Hurdles (M): 1. Cordell Tinch, Kansas – 13.72; 2. Mason Weh, Iowa State – 13.80; 4. Logan Schneider, Iowa State – 13.99; 9. Elijah Young, Iowa State – 14.79
400m Hurdles (M): 1. Norman Grimes, Texas Tech – 49.11; 3. Eric Fogltanz, Iowa State – 50.51; 5. Mason Weh, Iowa State – 51.66
400m Hurdles (W): 1. Ranae McKenzie, Kansas State – 56.73; 6. Emma Whigham, Iowa State – 1:00.51
4x100m Relay (M): 1. Texas Tech – 38.83; 8. Iowa State (Gage Clay, Ben Kelly, Chandler Diercks, Logan Schneider) – 40.92
4x100m Relay (W): 1. Texas – 43.84; 9. Iowa State (Emma Whigham, Katarina Vlahovic, Erika Furbeck, Sydney Milani) – 46.91
4x400m Relay (M): 1. TCU – 3:04.86; 2. Iowa State (Charlie Johnson, Roshon Roomes, Ben Kelly, Eric Fogltanz) – 3:05.50
4x400m Relay (W): 1. Texas – 3:31.16; 9. Iowa State (Emma Whigham, Sydney Milani, Kaylyn Hall, Zakiyah Amos) – 3:43.75

High Jump (W): 1. Zarriea Willis, Texas Tech – 6-0 (1.83m); Megan Durbin, Iowa State – Foul
Triple Jump (W): 1. Shardia Lawrence, Kansas State – 45-0 1/4 (13.72m); 17. Jalaiya Bartley, Iowa State – 40-1 1/2 (12.23m); 22. Jessie Stindt, Iowa State – 36-8 1/2 (11.19m)

Carter Lilly-SC East-Iowa
©Stephen Mally/Hawkeyesports.com 2019

Hawks Take Conference Title at Home

Coach Joey Woody-Iowa ©Stephen Mally/Hawkeyesports.com 2019

Coach Joey Woody-Iowa
©Stephen Mally/Hawkeyesports.com 2019

The University of Iowa won the Men’s Big Ten Outdoor Track and Field Championships for the fourth time in school history with 116 points on Sunday. The last time the Hawkeyes won was in 2011, the most recent time that they hosted.

Courtesy Hawkeye Athletics, click here!  Feature photo: Carter Lilly-SC East-Iowa ©Stephen Mally/Hawkeyesports.com

“The guys did what we came here to do, what we’ve been planning all year,” Iowa Director of Track and Field Joey. “They’ve had a vision, a mindset, a drive, a heart, and it has been all about fighting and loving each other and doing it for the team and doing it for each other. They all came through, it was awesome.”

The women tied their best finish, taking third place for the second consecutive year with 93 points behind Ohio State (126) and Indiana (95).

“Both of our teams did really well. The women got third, almost second, and had a great battle. I’m very proud of both teams,” Woody said.

Seven Hawkeyes came away with gold medals in four events on the  final day of competition.

Junior Laulauaga Tausaga is three-for-three in the women’s discus, earning her third consecutive title with a facility record, 60.28 meters (197-9).

“It means a lot. Our coaches have been telling us it’s our turf, we’re comfortable with it, so we should have the ability to take advantage of being home and try to get up there on the Big Ten list, so I’m very excited that I came out and did exactly what they wanted me to do,” Tausaga said.

On the men’s side, senior Mar’yea Harris won the 400 meters in 45.67, and senior Chris Douglas ran a personal best 400-meter hurdles to win in 50.32. Freshman Wayne Lawrence, Jr., junior Chris Thompson, and seniors Carter Lilly and Harris expanded the men’s lead out of reach from second place finishers, Indiana (103 points), with the 1,600-meter relay win (3:07.36).

“Being at home really makes it special for everyone,” Harris said. “The fans, my teammates, and family are out there, so going out and winning in front of them was a really good moment, very special to me.”

MEDALS, ON MEDALS, ON MEDALS
The Hawkeyes medaled nine more times on day three, earning six silver medals and three bronze medals. Juniors Jaylan McConico, Karayme Bartley, Anthony Williams, and Antonio Woodard all ran personal bests to earn hardware.

2. Jenny Kimbro – 100 hurdles (13.38)
2. Jaylan McConico – 110 hurdles (13.78)
2. Briana Guillory – 200 meters (23.31)
2. Briana Guillory – 400 meters (52.66)
2. Karayme Bartley – 400 meters (45.80)
2. Konstadina Spanoudakis – discus (52.94 meters, 173-8)
3. Anthony Williams – 110 hurdles (13.81)
3. Antonio Woodard – 200 meters (20.69)
3. Raymonte Dow – 400 hurdles (51.37)

POINTS SCORED
The Hawkeyes scored 17 additional times. The men’s 400-meter relay, including junior Collin Hofacker, Woodard, Lawrence, and Bartley, tied Iowa’s 10th all-time fastest mark. Sophomore Josh Braverman broke his personal best in the 110 high hurdles for the second time this weekend in 13.96, freshman James Carter jumped 15.28 meters (50-1 3/4) to add a personal best in the triple jump, and senior Tria Simmons ran a personal best in the 100-meter hurdles (13.72).

4. Matt Manternach – 800 meters (1:49.16)
4. Hofacker, Woodard, Lawrence, Bartley – 400-meter relay (39.59)
5. Chris Douglas – 110 hurdles (13.93)
5. Nolan Teubel – 800 meters (1:49.54)
5. Noah Larrison – 400 hurdles (51.64)
5. Jenny Kimbro – 400 hurdles (58.41)
6. Josh Braverman – 110 hurdles (13.96)
6. Tria Simmons – 100 hurdles (13.72)
6. Antonise Christian – 100 meters (11.81)
6. Tysen VanDraska – 800 meters (1:49.58)
6. Karayme Bartley – 200 meters (20.97)
7. Christian, Buss, Carty, Weum – 400-meter relay (45.83)
7. Antonio Woodard – 100 meters (10.40)
7. Kelli DeGeorge – high jump (1.70 meters, 5-7)
7. Aubrianna Lantrip – high jump (1.70 meters, 5-7)
7. Amanda Carty – triple jump (12.13 meters, 39-9 3/4)
8. James Carter – triple jump (15.28 meters, 50-1 3/4)

NEXT ON THE BLOCK
The Hawkeyes will head to the NCAA West Regional in Sacramento, California, on May 23-25. The NCAA will announce the NCAA Regional qualifiers on Thursday, May 16 by 1 p.m. on NCAA.org.

UNI Men's Track Team
©Panthers Athletics 2019

Panthers Dominate at Conference

Conner Ham-Solon-UNI ©Darren Miller/Panthers Athletics 2018

Conner Ham-Solon-UNI
©Darren Miller/Panthers Athletics 2018

The UNI men’s track and field team dominated the final day of the Missouri Valley Championship to cruise its second consecutive title and ninth in program history Sunday in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Courtesy Panthers Athletics, click here!  Feature photo: UNI Men’s Track Team©Panthers Athletics 2019

Four Panthers earned individual titles and 13 earned All-Conference honors on championship Sunday to bring the total to six individual titles and 22 total All-Conference awards on the weekend.

Head coach Dave Paulsen was named the MVC Men’s Coach of the Year for the second consecutive year.

The UNI men opened the day with a 10-point lead over second-place Illinois State. When the dust settled Sunday, the Panthers cruised to a 52-point win with 183.25 team points to Illinois State’s 131.25 points for second place.

The Panther women finished fourth with a team score of 100.5. Illinois State won the team title, Southern Illinois was second and Indiana State finished third.

Isaac Holtz won the discus with a throw of 179-feet to pick up his second All-Conference honor of the weekend.

Evan Long won the 400-meter dash with a time of 46.99 to lead a group of Panthers that took four of the top five spots and five of the top seven. Connor Blough also earned All-Conference honors after finishing second in the event with a time of 47.42.

Connor Ham won the 110-hurdles with a time of 14.06. Cole Phillips also earned All-Conference honors with a time of 14.32.

On the women’s side, Maddie McCalla defended her indoor 400-meter dash championship and won with a career-best time of 54.39.

Other All-Conference honors include Wal Khat who finished third in the 1,500-meter run with a time of 3:52:30.

Lyndsie Schinkel was second in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:08.84.

Carter VonEssen was third in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 53.30. Katie Nimrod finished third on the women’s side with a career-best time of 1:01.46.

Tayshaun Cooper finished third in the 200-meter dash with a time of 21.67.

In the relays, the men’s 4×100-meter relay team took second with a time of 41.02. The women’s 4×400 team finished third with a time of 3:48.10.

The UNI men’s 4×400-meter relay was cruising to victory with a significant lead and just over 100-meters left in the race when Blough went down with an injury.

A season ago, the Panthers won by just one point and it came down to the final event, but by the time the 4×400-meter relay rolled around Sunday, UNI had the team championship well in hand.

It is the first consecutive championship for the Panthers since they won three straight in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

UNI now prepares for the NCAA West Regional which will take place May 23-25 in Sacramento, California. Athletes in the top 48 in the region compete at the event.

Jessica Heims-CR Prairie-USA

World Record For Heims as Panthers Prowl at Musco

Jessica Heims-CR Prairie-USA Olympian

Jessica Heims-CR Prairie-USA Olympian

Jessica Heims broke the para-athlete F64 classification discus world record with a throw of 105-feet-07 (32.19-meters) to take 18th-place at the Iowa Musco Twilight meet in Iowa City. Heims’ new world mark was one highlight on a day that included nine event wins and 38 top-three finishes for the UNI track and field team.

Courtesy Panthers Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Jessica Heims-CR Prairie-USA

 

Heims also finished second in the unseeded 100-meter dash with a time of 15.30, the top time in the world this year to date for the F64 classification.

Event winners included Connor Ham in the 110 hurdles with a time of 14.10, the fastest time of the season for Ham and the fastest mark in the MVC to date. Katie Nimrod picked up the win in the 400 hurdles with a time of 1:03.33. Lyndsie Schinkel won the 800 with a time of 2:10.72.

Alex Jackson won the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 9:16.42, a new personal best. He led a group of Panthers that took four of the top five spots in the race.

McKayla Cole won the 3,000-meter run with a time of 10:08.30, her best time of the season.

UNI closed the track events by sweeping the 4×400-meter relays. The women’s team won with a time of 3:52. 58 and the men took home the title with the time of 3:13.22.

Isaac Holtz took home the lone field event title by winning the hammer throw with a toss of 188-feet-11. It is the best throw of his season and vaulted him to third place in the MVC rankings.

Evan Long finished third in the 200-meter dash, but his time moved him into the second spot in the MVC.

The Panthers are back in action next Friday and Saturday at the Tom Botts Invite in Columbia, Missouri.

Elijah Young-DM Lincoln-ISU
©Cyclones Athletics

Cyclones in Action at Stanford this Weekend

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

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

The Iowa State track and field teams are in action this weekend at the 2019 Stanford Invitational. Competition at Cobb Track will take place on Friday and Saturday, with running events starting at 2 p.m. Central on Friday and 3:30 p.m. Central on Saturday.

Courtesy Cyclones Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Elijah Young-DM Lincoln-ISU©Cyclones Athletics

 

FloTrack will provide full live coverage of events throughout the weekend via FloPro, here. Live results will be provided by Record Timing, here.

This will be a big weekend for the Cyclones, as many of its top competitors are making outdoor season debuts this weekend. For the Cyclone men, Eric Fogltanz (400m hurdles), Festus Lagat (1,500m run) and Roshon Roomes (400m dash) are all back in action for the first time since earning Second Team All-America honors in the distance medley relay at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Fogltanz will be back into his specialty event in the 400 hurdles, which he earned Second Team All-America honors last year and qualification to the USA Outdoor National Championships.

The Cyclone women are also taking a strong group to Stanford, with the highlights coming in the late Friday night distance races, with Cailie Logue in the 5,000m run Invite and Anne Frisbie and Amanda Vestriin the 10,000m Invite. Other notable distance entries include Jasmine Staebler in the 1,500m run and school record holder Kelly Naumann in the 3,000m steeplechase invite.

The hurdles groups will also be in action, with Big 12 indoor 60m hurdles champ Keira Christie-Gallowayamong those in action for ISU. The Cyclone women’s hurdlers got off to a strong start last week, with Kaylyn Hall winning in Arkansas with the No. 9 time in ISU history at 13.94. The Iowa State men will see Logan Schneider and Mason Weh in action for the 110-meter hurdles on Friday.

Iowa State Entries (as of Mar. 27, 6:30 PM)
Men
400m Dash: Cebastian Gentil, Ben Kelly, Nate Kennedy, Roshon Roomes
800m Run: Milo Greder
1,500m Run Invite: Festus Lagat
1,500m Run, Section 3: Milo Greder
5,000m Run Invite: David Too
110m Hurdles: Logan Schneider, Mason Weh
400m Hurdles: Eric Fogltanz
4x400m Relay: One Team

Women
400m Dash: Sydney Milani, Emma Whigham
1,500m Run, Section 2: Jasmine Staebler
1,500m Run, Section 4: Karly Ackley, Erinn Stenman-Fahey
1,500m Run, Section 6: Gwynne Wright
3,000m Steeplechase Invite: Kelly Naumann
3,000m Steeplechase, Section 3: Abby Caldwell
5,000m Run Invite: Cailie Logue
10,000m Run Invite: Anne Frisbie, Amanda Vestri
100m Hurdles: Keira Christie-Galloway, Emily Coghill, Kaylyn Hall, Katarina Vlahovic
4x100m Relay: One Team
4x400m Relay: One Team

Jenny Kimbro-Iowa and  Jaylan McConico-Iowa
©Darren Miller-Hawkeyesports.com

Vroom, Vroom, Broom by Darren Miller

Jenny Kimbro-Iowa ©Darren Miller hawkeyesports.com 2019

Jenny Kimbro-Iowa
©Darren Miller hawkeyesports.com 2019

When the University of Iowa track and field teams packed for the Big Ten Conference Indoor Championships, they loaded starting blocks and mini hurdles. What they didn’t bring to Ann Arbor, Michigan, last weekend was a broom.

Courtesy Hawkeye Athletics, click here. Feature photo: Jenny Kimbro-Iowa and Jaylan McConico-Iowa©Darren Miller-Hawkeyesports.com

Juniors Jaylan McConico and Jenny Kimbro took care of the sweeping with back-to-back victories in the men’s and women’s 60-meter hurdles.

McConico was first across the finish line in 7.79 seconds in a men’s race that saw Hawkeyes finish first, third, and fourth. Kimbro set a facility record by winning the women’s race in 8.29 seconds. She is the first Hawkeye female to win a Big Ten 60-meter hurdle title.

“Having Jenny win on the women’s side is the one I wanted bad,” said Joey Woody, Iowa director of track and field. “I think it sets a precedent of what type of hurdle program we expect to have on the women’s side like we have with the men.”

Ten minutes before Kimbro’s race, the Hawkeyes featured McConico, senior Chris Douglas, and sophomore Anthony Williams in the eight-person men’s final. Douglas was third in 7.84 and Williams was fourth in 7.88.

“I was watching them in warm-ups and the guys looked ready and confident,” Woody said. “Jaylan and Chris both looked ready to win. Anthony is progressing well and every race he has gotten better. In my mind, I envisioned we could go 1-2-3, but I didn’t know what the order would be.”

For McConico, it is his second consecutive conference title, but he did it last year as an Illinois State Redbird running 7.64 in the finals of the Missouri Valley championships.

“It was good to keep that reign going, no matter the conference,” McConico said. “It was nerve-racking being in that Big Ten environment. It was different from being in MVCs last year. I trusted my training and what I do every day and that helped me push through.”

McConico transferred to Iowa because of its proximity to his home in Bolingbrook, Illinois, the outstanding facilities and atmosphere, and his familiarity with the Hawkeyes. In the past he had competed against Iowa’s Aaron Mallett and Douglas.

Now he trains daily with Douglas, Williams, and the rest of the Hawkeye hurdle corps.

“We push each other and it feels like a hurdle final every day in practice,” said McConico, who will make his second consecutive appearance at indoor nationals. “I am used to that caliber of competition every day in practice. It helps going into a race.”

While McConico had just a 60-meter hurdle preliminary under his belt prior to finals, by the time Kimbro settled into the starting blocks, she had already finished a pentathlon, where she was runner-up to teammate Tria Simmons, and a hurdle preliminary, where she had the fastest qualifying time of 8.31 seconds.

Her mission in the finals was two-fold: calm her nerves and start fast.

“I was focused on out of the blocks to the first hurdle, because sometimes I have a tendency to be really high over the first hurdle,” Kimbro said. “I was thinking about that a lot to make sure the first hurdle was OK and set up the rest of the race. I know I hit a couple hurdles in the middle, I’m just glad it didn’t affect me much.”

The difference between Kimbro and runner-up Jasmine Barge, a senior from Nebraska, was 0.01 seconds.

“I could feel the girls beside me and we were pushing each other along,” Kimbro said. “It came to the last few meters after the last hurdle. I had no idea (who won) until the times came up on the scoreboard, so that was exciting.”

In a matter of 15 minutes, the Hawkeye track and field program compiled 31 points in the 60-meter hurdles (21 from men, 10 for women). No other program came close to matching that combined production (Nebraska scored 21).

“The expectation is that we are going to be a great hurdle program,” Woody said. “The future is bright.”

It might be time to invest in more brooms.

Jenny Kimbro-Iowa
©Darren Miller hawkeyesports.com 2019

Hawks’ Jenny Kimbro by Darren Miller

Jenny Kimbro-Iowa ©Darren Miller hawkeyesports.com 2019

Jenny Kimbro-Iowa
©Darren Miller hawkeyesports.com 2019

 Joey Woody observed something that stuck with him shortly after taking over as director of track and field at the University of Iowa.

Courtesy Hawkeye Athletics, Darren Miller-HawkeyeSports.com, click here!  Feature photo: Jenny Kimbro-Iowa©Darren Miller hawkeyesports.com 2019

He was watching the women perform at the NCAA Championships and noticed that a majority of points were being scored by multi-event performers.

“The pentathletes and those in the heptathlon outdoor were coming back and making finals in the long jump and scoring points,” Woody said. “They were making finals in the hurdles and scoring points, some of them were making finals in the high jump and scoring points.

“When you see an athlete of that caliber at the national championships, I determined at that point we have to develop our multi-event program, particularly on the women’s side, because those end up being some of your most important athletes.”

Enter Hawkeye junior Jenny Kimbro. The native of Catlin, Illinois, can run, jump, throw, and hurdle, the latter being her specialty event.

After the Big Ten Indoor Track and Field Championships on Feb. 22-23 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the conference coaches voted on most valuable performers. Ohio State senior Sade Olatoye scored 20 points and was named Field Athlete of the Championships; Wisconsin junior Alicia Monson scored 20 points and was named Track Athlete of the Championships.

The female performer who scored the most points over two days was Kimbro with 20.5. She placed second in the pentathlon (eight points), won the 60-meter hurdles (10 points), and ran the lead leg of the winning 4×400-meter relay (2.5 points).

“I wanted to help the team as much as possible because I knew we had a good shot of ending up on top,” Kimbro said. “My main goal was to try to get us as close to the team title as we could.”

The Hawkeyes finished in third place with 80 points, three points out of second.

“Having someone like Jenny who can contribute in other areas plus be a Big Ten champion in the hurdles says a lot about her as an athlete and as a person,” Woody said. “On the women’s side, it’s even more critical to get athletes like Jenny that are multi-event type athletes.”

It was a busy championships for Kimbro, who competed in eight events. On the first day of competition, she was runner-up to senior teammate Tria Simmons in the five-event pentathlon, scoring 4,030 points in the 60-meter hurdles, high jump, shot put, long jump, and 800 meters. In between, Kimbro ran the fastest qualifying time in the 60-meter hurdles (8.31).

She won two events on the final day of competition. Kimbro reset her facility record in the 60-meter hurdles by winning the finals in 8.29 seconds. She teamed with Simmons, sophomore Aly Weum, and senior Briana Guillory to win the 4×400 relay in 3:37.58. Kimbro led off with a 56.4 split.

“(Associate head) coach (Clive) Roberts told us going into the 4×4 that a lot of people had done multiple events and a lot of people were tired,” Kimbro said. “It was going to come down to putting everything out there. We knew if we got (the baton) to (anchor leg) Bri close, she would bring it home for us and she obviously did.”

Kimbro felt a little sore after the Big Ten Championships, but after a rest day and a shake-out day, she was back on the track training for the NCAA Indoor Championships on March 8-9 in Birmingham, Alabama. She will join Simmons in the pentathlon competition that begins March 8 at 12:15 p.m. (CT).