All the news from Division I Mens and Womens Track.

Jasmine Blue-CR Jeff., Maddie Bell-Hudson, Maddie Irmen-Assumption and Lyndsie Schinkel-Ankeny
©Jim Kirby 2017

Panthers Win at MVC Championships

Jordan Pingel-Pella-UNI ©Mike Brynes 2017

Jordan Pingel-Pella-UNI
©Mike Brynes 2017

The UNI track and field men’s squad captured the Missouri Valley Conference team title thanks to double-digit points in multiple events and one relay victory, and head coach Dave Paulsen was named Coach of the Year.

Courtesy Panthers Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Jasmine Blue-CR Jeff., Maddie Bell-Hudson, Maddie Irmen-Assumption and Lyndsie Schinkel-Ankeny©Jim Kirby 2017 

The team win came down the final event, the 4×400 relay. UNI led eventual runner-up Illinois State by three points. The Panthers were edged out in the final stretch of the relay, but the second-place finish to ISU was enough to secure the team title.
The second-place relay was ran by Corey Hertz, Sven Van den Bergh, Jacob Smithand JoJo Frost in a time of 3 minutes, 8.81 seconds.

Smith set a facility record in the 400 hurdle prelims and improved that time to win in the finals. His finished in 50.69 seconds, edging out teammate JoJo Frost, who took second.

The 4×100 relay team of Connor Ham, Isaiah Trousil, Matt Turcotte and Tayshaun Cooper won in 39.96. Ham followed it up with a second-place finish in the 400-meter run.

The men continued to turn in multiple points in the throws with three placewinners in the discus. Isaac Holtz led the way with his second-place finish with a throw of 181 feet, 10 inches. Tom Yezek took third, and Darius King was sixth.

Four Panthers earned points in the 400-meter run. Evan Long was the top Panther with a third-place finish in 47.33. Sven Van den Bergh was fourth, Corey Hertz was fifth and Bryce Newcomb rounded out the quartet with an eighth-place finish.

Jordan Pingel earned All-MVC honors with his third-place finish in the 800-meter run.

UNI had three men score in the 100-meter dash. Isaiah Trousil was fourth in 10.51. Tayshaun Cooper was fifth, and Matt Turcotte limped across the line to take the eighth final scoring position.

The same trio for the 100-meter dash returned to score in the 200-meter dash. Trousil finished sixth. Cooper was seventh, and Turcotte was eighth.

Chase Van Sant took eighth in the triple jump with a leap of 44 feet, 8.75 inches.
Final men’s standings:

  1. UNI, 170
  2. Illinois State, 169
  3. Indiana State, 143
  4. Southern Illinois, 125
  5. Drake, 74
  6. Bradley, 57
  7. Loyola, 53
  8. Valparaiso, 22
  9. Evansville, 4

The women’s team finished fourth overall.
Brette Correy was the top individual finisher for UNI with her second-place in the 800-meter run in 2:08.22. Lyndsie Schinkel was third.

Three discus throwers made finals with two earning points for the Panthers. Sarah Pate led the team with her throw of 157 feet, 2 inches to take third. Hope Koerperich was seventh.

Tiffany Christensen earned All-MVC honors with a third-place finish in the 1,500-meter run. She finished in 4:31.01.

The 4×100 relay team of Jasmine Blue, Maddie Bell, Maddie Irmen, Chyna Watson-Reid took fifth with a time of 46.49. Bell returned to finish eighth in the 400-meter run in 56.61 and eighth in the 200-meter dash in 24.56

Kassidy Sharp took eighth in the triple jump.

McKayla Cole finished sixth in the 5,000-meter run. Ashley Norem finished just out of scoring range in ninth.

The 4×400 relay team of took fifth place overall with runners Blue, Irmen, Correy and Watson-Reid.

Final women’s team standings:

  1. Illinois State, 191.5
  2. Southern Illinois, 160
  3. Indiana State, 160
  4. UNI, 113.5
  5. Missouri State, 106
  6. Loyola, 41
  7. Drake, 23
  8. Bradley, 17
  9. Valparaiso, 5

A select set of Panthers will compete in the NCAA Outdoor Preliminaries set in Sacramento, Calif., May 24-26.

W. Javelin – 1. Anna Bentley; 6. Brooke Lorenz
W. Hammer Throw – 2. Sarah Pate; 4. Alanna Nietert; 6. Maddy O’Brien; 8. Allison Griffin
W. Pole Vault – 3. Lauren Beauchamp; 7. Sam Fisher
W. 10,000 – 3. McKayla Cole; 7. Gabby Champion
M. Hammer Throw – 4. Isaac Holtz; 5. Kyler Yodts
M. Javelin – 3. Darius King; 8. Cade Kirkpatrick

W. High Jump – 1. Kassidy Sharp; 3. Maria Gonzalez; 7. Chaley Rath
Heptathlon – 4. Brooke Lorenz; 7. Lauren Frederick 8. Erica Loussaert

M. Shot Put – 2. Keegan Tritle; 3. Isaac Holtz; 5. Kyler Yodts; 6. Tom Yezek; 7. Darius King
Decathlon – 2. Austin Heitland
M. Long Jump – 3. Chase Van Sant; 7. Bryce Newcomb; 8. Cade Kirkpatrick
M. High Jump – 4. Xavior Williams; 7. Cameron Cantrall
M. Steeplechase – 7. Ben Ahlrichs; 8. Alex Jackson

Karissa Schweizer-Dowling Mizzou
©Jim Kirby 2018

Schweizer Adds Another SEC Crown

Karissa Schweizer-Dowling Mizzou ©Jim Kirby 2018

Karissa Schweizer-Dowling Mizzou
©Jim Kirby 2018

Mizzou Track & Field senior Karissa Schweizer (Urbandale, Iowa) and redshirt junior Gabi Jacobs(Bloomington, Ill.) each captured conference titles on the final day of competition at the SEC Outdoor Track & Field Championships Sunday in Knoxville, Tenn. Each repeated as SEC Champions for the second year in-a-row, as Schweizer won the 5000m run and Jacobs the discus.

Courtesy Mizzou Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Karissa Schweizer-Dowling Mizzou©Jim Kirby 2018


With Schweizer’s win in the 5000m run, Mizzou swept the 5K and 10K SEC titles in back-to-back seasons, after redshirt junior Jamie Kempfer (Festus, Mo.) won the 2017 SEC 10K and redshirt senior Megan Cunningham (Euerka, Mo.) won this year’s 10K on Friday. Mizzou is the first team to sweep the women’s 5K/10K in consecutive seasons since Arkansas did so in 2014 and 2015.

In addition to Schweizer and Jacobs’ conference titles, Mizzou had seven other top-eight finishes on the day, including a runner-up finish in the 1500m run from Schweizer and a fifth-place finish in the 800m run from freshman Chris Conrad(O’Fallon, Ill.).


In the team’s race, the Mizzou women finished 10th with 53 points, while the men’s team finished 13th with 13 points. The Mizzou’s women’s 53-point total is the second-most points they have scored at an SEC Outdoor meet, only trailing the 62 points scored at the 2014 meet.




Mizzou Head Coach Brett Halter

On his thoughts on the meet…

“I thought we had an extraordinary meet and I think we hit all of our targets. The challenge of track & field is to be able to come in and deliver what you’re capable of delivering, and our athletes did that and more. They really showed up. The effort and integrity of this group was remarkable. Our staff is really proud of everything our team accomplished. Points are extremely hard to come by at this meet, and we had a lot of athletes get on the board. Obviously, Karissa, Gabi and Megan showed up in a big way becoming SEC Champions.

Mizzou senior Karissa Schweizer (Interview with SEC Network after race)

On the weather being a factor in the race…

“It was very difficult. Just being able to double back really gives me a lot of confidence going into nationals and preparing to double there.”

On what goes into the decision on which events to run at NCAAs…

“(We will) base it off conference performance and my training right now. Obviously I like the 1500 a lot, and it is a lot less laps.”


Mizzou will now move to the NCAA West Preliminary meet, which will be held May 24-26 in Sacramento, Calif., with the NCAA field being announced later this week. The top-48 accepted entries in individual events, and the top-24 in relay events will qualify for the regional meet. The top-24 accepted entries in multi-events will advance straight to the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Eugene, Ore.

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


800m Run, Men – 5. Chris Conrad, 1:48.68 (4 points)
800m Run, Women – 8. Valeska Halamicek, 2:15.94 (1 point)
1500m Run, Men – 16. Zach Cook, 3:55.76 // 18. Marc Dubrick, 4:02.57
1500m Run, Women – 2. Karissa Schweizer, 4:19.98 (8 points) // 6. Valeska Halamicek, 4:27.11 (3 points)
5000m Run, Women – 1. Karissa Schweizer, 15:58.14 (10 points) // 22. Jordyn Kleve, 17:23.36
400m Hurdles, Men – 6. Jerrad Mason 51.28 (3 points)


High Jump, Men – 11. Landon Cuskelly, 2.16m (7-1)
High Jump, Women – 6. Valeria Kostiuk, 1.75m (5-8.75) (3 points) // 8. Karissa Roman, 1.70m (5-7) (1 point)
Discus, Men – 18. Will Fife, 49.96m (163-11), 49.96m (163-11)
Discus, Women – 1. Gabi Jacobs, 55.92m (183-5) (10 points)

Jasmine Staebler-Clayton Ridge-ISU
©Darren Miller/

Cylones Braced For Big Weekend at Conference

Elijah Young-DM Lincoln-ISU ©Luke Lu-Cyclones Athletics

Elijah Young-DM Lincoln-ISU
©Luke Lu-Cyclones Athletics

The championship season begins for the Iowa State track and field program this weekend when the Cyclones compete at the 2018 Big 12 Outdoor Track and Field Championships, hosted by Baylor at Clyde Hart Stadium in Waco.



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

Competition begins on Friday, with ISU’s first events coming in the field at 1 p.m. Friday night will see the 10,000m runs taking place that night, starting at 8:15 p.m. Friday competition begins in the field at 3 p.m., with running prelims starting at 4 p.m. Saturday competition starts in the field at 2:30 p.m., with running finals getting underway at 5 p.m.

ISU’s headliner this weekend will be Jhoanmy Luque, with the senior looking to add to her five Big 12 Championships with two more in the long jump on Saturday and the triple jump on Sunday. Luque has won the last two Big 12 Indoor titles in the long jump, but will be looking to claim her first outdoor long jump crown on Saturday. She will be the No. 1 seed in the event and is ranked 13th in Division I this year with her 20-11 1/4 (6.38m) at the Drake Relays two weeks ago.

Luque took the outdoor triple jump crown last season on the final jump with her best all-conditions effort of her career at 45-3 1/2(w). Combined with her two indoor triple jump titles, Luque will look for her fourth conference triple jump title. She will also be the No. 1 seed in this, ranking No. 5 in the country with her 44-11 (13.69m) from the Drake Relays as her best mark of the year.

Another contender will be Jasmine Staebler, who is ranked No. 2 in the league in the 800-meter run. Staebler, a three-time All-American, is searching for her first individual conference title.

On the men’s side, ISU has the top-two seeds in the 5,000 in Edwin Kurgat (13:41.94) and Dan Curts(13:45.69). Both are also entered in other events, Kurgat in the 10,000 on Friday and Curts in the 1,500. The men’s 800 will once again be an event to watch, as ISU has the No. 3 and 4 seeds in Roshon Roomes(1:47.60), Jaymes Dennison (1:47.96).

In the field, Jalen Ford will be back for what should be a world-class high jump contest on Saturday. Ford is the No. 4 seed, with the top three seeds being the No. 1-2 high jumpers in the NCAA this year, and the two-time defending Big 12 Champion.

Iowa State Entries (as of May 10, 8 AM)
800m Run: Jaymes Dennison, Frank Hayes, Roshon Roomes
1,500m Run: Zach Black, Dan Curts, Festus Lagat
5,000m Run: Zach Black, Dan Curts, Edwin Kurgat, Festus Lagat, Stanley Langat, John Nownes, Nathan Rodriguez
10,000m Run: Edwin Kurgat, Stanley Langat, Nathan Rodriguez
110m Hurdles: Logan Schneider, Elijah Young
400m Hurdles: Eric Fogltanz
4x100m Relay
4x400m Relay
High Jump: Cody Durbin, Jalen Ford
Shot Put: Zach Timm
Hammer Throw: Chris Celona, Brett Peters, Vlad Pavlenko
Javelin Throw: Blake Hughes

800m Run: Maggie Davis, Evelyne Guay, Laurel Hoogensen, Jasmine Staebler, Erinn Stenman-Fahey
1,500m Run: Karly Ackley, Larkin Chapman, Gwynne Wright
5,000m Run: Karly Ackley, Larkin Chapman, Anne Frisbie, Evelyne Guay, Cailie Logue, Kelly Naumann, Jasmine Staebler, Amanda Vestri, Gwynne Wright
10,000m Run: Anne Frisbie, Amanda Vestri
100m Hurdles: Tasha Frazier
400m Hurdles: Emma Whigham
3,000m Steeplechase: Abby Caldwell, Kelly Naumann
4x400m Relay
Long Jump:
Jhoanmy Luque
Triple Jump: Jalaiya Bartley, Jhoanmy Luque
Shot Put: Essence Henderson, Keiara Williams
Discus Throw: Essence Henderson
Hammer Throw: Tessa Krempel, Christabel Okeke
Javelin Throw: Bailey Righi

Laulauga Tausaga-Iowa
©Darren Miller/

Hawks Poised For Big Tens

Brittany Brown-Iowa ©Darren Miller

Brittany Brown-Iowa
©Darren Miller

The University of Iowa track and field team opens the 2018 postseason at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships in Bloomington, Indiana, Friday through Sunday.

Courtesy Hawkeye Athletics, click here! Photo: Laulauga Tausaga-Iowa©Darren Miller/ 

Fans can follow results at Notable results from each meet will be posted on the team’s official twitter account @iowaxc_tf. All live results links will be posted on the team’s schedule page at

FloTrack will provide a live stream of the Big Ten Outdoor Championships (subscription required).

The Hawkeyes return five All-Big Ten performers from 2017, including Big Ten Champions Brittany Brown and Laulauga Tausaga.

  •     Brown was a Big Ten Champion in the 200 meters for the second consecutive year, running a wind-aided 22.30 in 2017. Brown was also named second-team All-Big Ten in the 100 meters after her 11.35 effort in the 100 meters.
  •     Tausaga won the first Big Ten discus championship in Iowa history with a facility-record setting throw of 180-feet, 5-inches (55 meters).
  •     Junior Mar’yea Harris was a second-team All-Big Ten performer with a runner-up finish in the 400 meters (45.71).
  •     Senior O’Shea Wilson is the only returner from Iowa’s second place 400-meter relay (39.75).
  •     Junior Reno Tuufuli earned a second place finish in the discus with a throw of 200-feet, 9-inches.

The Hawkeyes lead the Big Ten in seven events and one relay.

Senior O’Shea Wilson is set to compete in his fifth and final Big Ten Outdoor Championships. Wilson bursted onto the scene with a Big Ten Championship in the 400-meter relay in 2014.  In 2017, Wilson earned second-team All-Big Ten honors with a second place finish in the 400-meter relay.

Junior Briana Guillory returns to the Big Ten Championships looking for her third Big Ten Outdoor title. The 2016 Big Ten Freshman of the Year won the 200 meters (22.95) and ran on Iowa’s 1,600-meter relay. During the 2018 indoor season, Guillory won the 400 meter Big Ten title and finished runner-up in the 200 meters. The Antioch, California, native then went on to place fifth in the country in the 400 meters at the NCAA Indoor Championships.

The University of Iowa men’s track and field team captured its second consecutive Hy-Vee Cup at the 109th Drake Relays on April 28. Iowa tallied 32 total points, including a win in the 1,600-meter relay.
The Hy-Vee Cup is a competition over five relays — the 3,200-meter relay, sprint medley relay, distance medley relay, 400-meter relay, and 1,600-meter relay.
Iowa set the fourth-fastest time in program history in the 3,200-meter relay (7:28.33, 2nd place), the fifth-fastest time in the sprint medley relay (3:18.11, 2nd place), and the fifth-fastest time in the distance medley relay (9:50.70, 3rd place).

Iowa left the Drake Relays with Championship flags in four events  – the men’s shot put, women’s shot put, women’s 400-meter hurdles, and 1,600-meter relay
Junior Reno Tuufuli captured his second Drake Relays championship after winning the discus in 2017. Tuufuli threw a season best mark of 60-feet, 8.5-inches (18.50 meters). Tuufuli is the third Hawkeye to win a Drake Relays shot put title in school history (Kemeny, 2004, Gambol, 1987).
Sophomore Laulauga Tausaga broke her own school record in the women’s shot put with a 64-foot, 11.25-inch throw in her final attempt. Tausaga grabs Iowa’s first white flag in the women’s shot put in Drake Relays history.
Senior Sommer Sharpe won her first Drake Relays title in the 400-meter hurdles. Sharpe ran 59.73 for the team’s third event title.
The men’s 1,600-meter relay of DeJuan Frye, Collin Hofacker, Chris Thompson, and Mar’yea Harris won Iowa’s second-straight 4×400 title. The Hawkeyes’ title in the 1,600-meter relay was their 11th win in Drake Relays history and their 3:05.05 is the fastest time recorded in Des Moines.


  • The men have crowned 132 Big Ten Outdoor Champions in their 106 year history.
  • The women have won 32 Big Ten Outdoor Championships since 1982.
  • Iowa’s most Big Ten Championships have come in the javelin throw with 11 titles. (Last by Matt Byers, 2012).
  • Since Joey Woody took over the program in 2015, the women have won five Big Ten titles. Iowa won nine from from 2005-2014.
  • Iowa has won multiple Big Ten titles every year since 2009.
  • The men have won the 400-meter relay in three of the past six years.

Iowa has three athletes represented in the NCAA top 10.

  • Sophomore Laulauga Tausaga: Discus (5th; 196-feet, 5-inches)
  • Senior Jahisha Thomas: Long Jump (9th; 21-feet, 1.5-inches)
  • Senior Will Dougherty: Decathlon (10th; 7,673 points)

The Hawkeye women’s triple jump group is ranked No. 1 by USTFCCCA with a team average of 40-feet, 4.75-inches. The team is led by Jahisha Thomas who holds the 12th best jump in the NCAA at 43-feet, 8.5-inches followed by Tria Simmons at 39-feet, 10.75-inches.

The top 48 athletes in each event and top 24 relays and multi-event athletes qualify for the NCAA West Preliminary round in Sacramento, California, May 24-26.

Elijah Young-DM Lincoln-ISU
©Luke Lu-Cyclones Athletics

Cyclones Set For Drake

Larkin Chapman-Muscatine-ISU ©Darren 2018

Larkin Chapman-Muscatine-ISU
©Darren 2018

The shortest trip of the outdoor season awaits the Iowa State track and field teams this weekend, as the Cyclones head to Des Moines for the 2018 Drake Relays. Competition for the Cyclones begins with the Distance Carnival on Thursday, starting at 4:30 p.m., with competition following all day Friday and Saturday.

Courtesy Cyclone Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Elijah Young-DM Lincoln-ISU©Luke Lu-Cyclones Athletics 2017

Tickets for all sessions are still available through the Drake Ticket Office, here.

Live video will be provided by USATF.TV, a subscription-based service. For more info, click here. NBC Sports Network will have live coverage from the meet on Saturday from 2-4 p.m. Live results will come via Prime Time Timing, here.

On the track, with many of the Cyclone runners having already achieved times that will qualify them for the NCAA West Prelims next month, the focus will be on the relays. The Cyclone middle distance and distance squads will be looking to collect Drake Relays flags in the 4x800s and distance medley relays, while the ISU men will look to build on last weekend’s 3:07.57 in the 4×400-meter relay.

Individually, the Cyclone women will see Karly Ackley and Anne Frisbie in the women’s 5,000 on Thursday night, a field that includes multiple-time NCAA champion Karissa Schweitzer from Missouri. The Cyclone hurdlers will be the ones to watch on the men’s side, with Logan Schneider having a strong season, and Elijah Young running in his hometown of Des Moines.

In the field, Jhoanmy Luque will be back to defend her titles in the university/college long jump and triple jump. The Cyclones will also bring strong squads in the field events, with Vlad Pavlenko and Chris Celonain the men’s hammer throw, and Essence Henderson entered in the women’s discus and shot put.

Iowa State Entries (as of Apr. 22)
800m Run: Zach Black
1,500m Run: Zach Black, Greyson Dolezal
5,000m Run: Greyson Dolezal, John Nownes
110m Hurdles: Logan Schneider, Elijah Young
4x400m Relay: One Team
4x800m Relay: One Team
Sprint Medley Relay: One Team
Distance Medley Relay: One Team
High Jump: Cody Durbin
Hammer Throw: Chris Celona, Vlad Pavlenko
Javelin: Blake Hughes

800m Run: Larkin Chapman
5,000m Run: Karly Ackley, Anne Frisbie, Adriana Kammerer
100m Hurdles: Tasha Frazier
400m Hurdles: Emma Whigham
3,000m Steeplechase: Abby Caldwell
4x800m Relay: One Team
4×1,600m Relay: One Team
Distance Medley Relay: One Team
Long Jump: Tasha Frazier, Jhoanmy Luque
Triple Jump: Jalaiya Bartley, Jhoanmy Luque
Shot Put: Essence Henderson, Keiara Williams
Discus: Essence Henderson
Hammer Throw: Tessa Krempel

Jasmine Blue-CR Jeff., Maddie Bell-Hudson, Maddie Irmen-Assumption and Lyndsie Schinkel-Ankeny
©Jim Kirby 2017

Panthers Set For Drake

Lindsey Kite-Jesup-UNI ©Mike Brynes 2017

Lindsey Kite-Jesup-UNI
©Mike Brynes 2017

After a very successful start to the 2018 outdoor season, the University of Northern Iowa track and field program will face a big test this week as the Panthers make the short trip to Des Moines for the Drake Relays on April 25-28.

Courtesy Panthers Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Jasmine Blue-CR Jeff., Maddie Bell-Hudson, Maddie Irmen-Assumption and Lyndsie Schinkel-Ankeny©Jim Kirby 2017 

The event will be held at the Blue Oval in Des Moines, with the first day of action starting on Wednesday, April 25 and wrapping up on Saturday, April 28. Drake, Iowa, Iowa State, Nebraska and Ohio State will be just a few of the big names to join the Panthers for competition at the Drake Relays this week.

UNI will send 26 student-athletes on the men’s side and 25 on the women’s side this week, with the first events starting at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

The Panthers head to Drake after another successful weekend on the track, UNI won a total of 12 events at the Tom Botts Invite to close out action in Missouri. Senior Sarah Pate claimed MVC Track Athlete of the Week honors after breaking her own school record in the hammer throw, earning a mark of 207-02 in the event to take first overall.

Live results and heat sheets for the Drake can be found here. A live stream is available through USATF.TV, which requires a subscription.

Following this week’s action in Des Moines, the Panthers will compete at the Wisconsin Twilight on Friday, May 4 in Madison. The Panthers will compete at the MVC Outdoor Championships in Terre Haute, Indiana on May 11-13.  

Get all the latest information on the team by following @UNITrackFieldXC on Twitter and @UNITrackandField on Facebook. General athletic news can also be found at @UNIAthletics on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Laulauga Tausaga-Iowa
©Darren Miller/

Hawks’ Laulauga Tausaga by Darren Miller For

Laulauga Tausaga-Iowa ©Darren Miller/

Laulauga Tausaga-Iowa
©Darren Miller/

There better be seaweed and Spam handy when University of Iowa sophomore Laulauga Tausaga celebrates holidays or victories in a throws ring.

Courtesy, click here! Feature photo:  Laulauga Tausaga-Iowa©Darren Miller/    The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide. 

A frequent custom when Tausaga was 7-years-old in Hawaii was to pop into 7-Eleven and grab musubi, a tasty delicacy made of rice, seaweed, and Spam. When she moved to Spring Valley, California, Tausaga quickly realized she was no longer on the island. No convenience store in the area stocked musubi.

“My heart was broken when I couldn’t find it,” she said.

Gold medals, Big Ten championships, and All-America honors aren’t the only things Tausaga has intorduced to Iowa City. When former Iowa throws coach Andrew Dubs announced “Throwsgiving,” a late November social gathering for the Hawkeyes’ throws unit, Tausaga’s potluck contribution was the childhood favorite.

“I had Spam, I had seaweed, and I had rice,” Tausaga said. “I put it together and everybody called them Spam bars.”

Soon, teammates were asking for the recipe.

Throwers across the country would be wise to pay attention to Tausaga’s recipe for success. She already holds school records in the indoor shot put (54-feet, 2-inches), weight throw (65-8 ¾), outdoor shot put (53-6 ¼), and discus (196-4) midway through her second outdoor season. She won the Big Ten Conference discus title as a freshman and became a first-team All-American by placing seventh in the discus at the NCAA Championships on June 10, 2017, in Eugene, Oregon.

“The philosophy I go by is, there is always going to be someone better than you,” Tausaga said. “Celebrate the victories you do have, but understand that right after that, we have to go back to work. You have the highs, then you have to go back to fixing the lows.

“There are girls who have more talent than you or work much harder than you, so they produce higher marks. You need to understand that you have to count the small victories and make sure you are building for the next one.”

Tausaga was a three-sport athlete at Mount Miguel High School in LaPresa, California. Technically, she played four sports if you add her senior season of water polo, an activity she said she would “never be coming back to.”

“It was a great experience to try something new, but thank God I only had one more year of high school,” Tausaga said.

Not a fan of running, Tausaga originally balked — twice actually — when a basketball coach suggested she try track and field. The track part didn’t pan out, but she thrived in the field.

“There was minimal running, you could eat whatever you wanted, there was no weigh-in to be a certain weight,” Tausaga said. “There was a little weight room, but nothing major.”

And as a freshman in high school, she reached 40 feet in the shot put.

“I was like, ‘Maybe I can get used to this,'” Tausaga said.

Her efforts consistently improved. As a sophomore in 2014, Tausaga was 13th in the shot put at the California Interscholastic Federation State Championships. As a junior in 2015, she was third, one spot behind current Hawkeye teammate Nia Britt. As a senior in 2016, Tausauga was runner-up.

One of the reasons Iowa first reached out to Tausauga in the recruiting process was because of the connection between her and Britt.

“She was my rival, one of the people I wanted to beat, but it didn’t happen (in high school),” Tausauga said. “Now we’re best of friends.”

Partly because the Iowa track and field coaches wouldn’t take no, no, or no for an answer.

“I came on the visit and it was amazing,” Tausaga said. “I went home and the next week I told my mom I wanted to commit to the University of Iowa. She was like, really? Are you OK with being that far away from home? I said I feel at home there, I like the people, I like the coach. I said I’m going to go.”

Tausauga continued to perform well after a flawless transition when Eric Werskey replaced Dubs as throws coach in August 2017. In Tausauga, Werskey saw a physical specimen who was committed to moving forward.

“Lagi is very gifted and I believe she can contend for a national title,” Werskey said. “We have remained very consistent; even on our off days it is still better than a lot of other people in the country. That sets her up for a positive postseason. We just have to get through the rounds. Once we get on the day I trust she will do very well.”

Heading into the Drake Relays on April 26-28, Tausauga is ranked first in the Big Ten in discus, fourth in shot put, and 15th in hammer throw.

“I want to get over 60 meters in the discus; make sure I can contend for the top spot in the country,” Tausaga said. “I want to make sure I’m able to make a final at the national meet and see if I can produce the same things I have at outdoor Big Ten — get another title, help get team points.”

Life as a Hawkeye is going well for Tausaga, aside from the occasional — OK, frequent — mispronunciation of her name. She has been called everything from Lora, Lana, Layna, Liliga, and Luluga.

“It’s simple. It rhymes, you can’t go wrong,” Tausaga said. “My mom gave me a nickname, but people couldn’t even say Lagi, so it became Lani, which I detest.”

Phonetically, her Samoan nickname, Lagi, is pronounced Long-ee.

“Sounds like there is an N in it, but there isn’t,” she said.

It is easier to refer to her by monikers such as school record-holder, Big Ten champion, or All-American. And she is carrying on more than Iowa’s strong tradition in the throwing events. In fact, Tausaga wouldn’t let Werskey discontinue Throwsgiving last November.

“Just because the coach left doesn’t mean the legend can’t go on,” Tausaga said.

Did she rely on her go-to dish of musubi as a sophomore?

“I made mashed potatoes this time,” she said.

The seaweed and Spam is being saved for a postseason victory party.

Shelby Houlihan-SC EAST - ASU and Karissa Schweizer-Dowling-Mizzou
©Jim Kirby 2017

Mizzou’s Schweizer Comes Back Home For the Drake Relays

Karissa Schweizer-Dowling-Missouri ©Jim Kirby

Karissa Schweizer-Dowling-Missouri
©Jim Kirby

Karissa Schweizer, a senior on the University of Missouri track & field team, is returning to the Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee with hopes of etching her name into the Drake Relays record book.

Courtesy Drake Relays, click here! Feature photo: Shelby Houlihan-SC EAST – ASU and Karissa Schweizer-Dowling-Mizzou©Jim Kirby 2017


The Urbandale, Iowa, native and Dowling Catholic graduate will compete in the University/College Division 5,000 meters Friday, April 26, at 7:53 p.m. The current record of 15:31.18 was set by Cathy Branta-Easker of Wisconsin in 1985, 11 years before Schweizer was born.  Schweizer owns a personal best of 15:18.69 in the event, set last summer at the USA Track & Field Championship.


“The Drake Relays holds a special place in my heart and it means the world for me to be able to come back to race in my hometown,” Schweizer said. “If I were able to set a record at this year’s Relays, it would be the cherry on top to a long career of running on the Blue Oval!”


Schweizer has won five total NCAA Championships at Missouri including indoor titles in the 3,000 and 5,000 meters this season. The budding star competed in the elite invitational section of the 1,500 meters at the 2017 Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee and finished eighth in a race that featured 11 professional runners and six Olympians.


“For generations, the Drake Relays has helped cultivate and provide a showcase for the best talent in the state of Iowa,” said Blake Boldon, the Franklin P. Johnson Director of the Drake Relays. “Karissa is one of those talented athletes that our fans have watched grow up before their eyes on the Blue Oval. She’s made history at Missouri and we’re honored that her final race as a collegian at Drake Stadium has the potential to be a record-setting performance. Fans that have supported Karissa and anyone who enjoys watching Iowans make history won’t want to miss Thursday night at the Drake Relays.”


All-session, multi-session and single-session tickets are currently on sale via the Drake Athletic Ticket Office and

Maddie Irman-Assumption-UNI
©Mike Brynes 2017

Panthers Win 9 in Terra Haute

Jordan Pingel-Pella-UNI ©Mike Brynes 2017

Jordan Pingel-Pella-UNI
©Mike Brynes 2017

The University of Northern Iowa track and field program won nine events on Saturday, as the men took first at the Gibson Invitational to open the outdoor season on a high note.

Courtesy Panthers Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Maddie Irman-Assumption-UNI©Mike Brynes 2017


Overall, UNI won 11 events on the weekend to dominate the field in Terre Haute. The men won the Gibson Invitational with 229.50 points, while the women placed third with 145 points.

Individually, Martavian Borseth (triple jump), Thomas Yezek (discuss throw), Kyler Yodts (shot put), Isaiah Trousil (100, 200), Evan Long (400), Jacob Smith (400 hurdles) and Maddie Bell (200) all took first in their respective events on Saturday, while the team of Sven Van Den Bergh, Jojo Frost, Jacob Smith and Connor Blough won the 4×400.

The most dominant performance for UNI on Saturday came in the shot put as the Panther men took spots 1-5, with Yodts taking the event with a mark of 58-08.50. The great showing in the field continued over to discuss throw as Yezek won the event, while Isaac Holtz and Darius King took second and fifth respectively. On the track, Trousil swept sprints after taking the 100 and 200-meter in Terre Haute to kick off the outdoor season. Jacob Smith also took two events, after winning the 400 hurdles and 4×400 relay.

Maddie Bell-Hudson-UNI ©Mike Byrnes

Maddie Bell-Hudson-UNI
©Mike Byrnes

On the women’s side, Maddie Bell took the lone win after capturing the 200-meter with a time of 24.46. In the field, the Panther women placed three throwers in the top-5 of the discuss throw as Hope Koerperich (second), Sarah Pate (third) and Anna Hoyman (fifth) all turned in successful days.

A select group of Panthers will head to Iowa City, Iowa on April 14 for the Musco Twilight, closing out the opening weekend of the outdoor season for UNI.

Get all the latest information on the team by following @UNITrackFieldXC on Twitter and @UNITrackandField on Facebook. General athletic news can also be found at @UNIAthletics on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

Gibson Invitational
Saturday, April 7 – Terre Haute, Indiana

Men’s Team Score

  1. UNI – 229.50
  2. Indiana State – 205
  3. Milwaukee – 50
  4. Valparaiso – 43.5
  5. Bradley – 40

Women’s Team Score

  1. Indiana State – 263
  2. Western Michigan – 160.5
  3. UNI – 145
  4. Milwaukee – 54.5
  5. Bradley – 40
  6. Valparaiso – 26
  7. IUPUI – 19

Top 5 Finishers

HJ: Cameron Cantrall (2nd, 6-08.00)
LJ: Martavian Borseth (3rd, 22-04.25)
TJ: Martavian Borseth (1st, 46-10.75)
DT: Thomas Yezek (1st, 171-09), Isaac Holtz (2nd, 168-05), Darius King (5th, 149-08)
SP: Kyler Yodts (1st, 58-08.50), Willy Blaser (2nd, 57-00.25), Isaac Holtz (3rd, 55-10.25), Darius King(4th, 55-02.25), Keegan Tritle (5th, 54-06.50)
100m: Isaiah Trousil (1st, 10.57), Tayshaun Cooper (3rd, 10.85), Matt Turcotte (5th, 10.93)
200m: Isaiah Trousil (1st, 21.49), Tayshaun Cooper (2nd, 21.70), Elijah Hicks (3rd, 22.12)
400m: Evan Long (1st, 47.98), Sven Van Den Bergh (2nd, 48.24), Corey Hertz (4th, 48.68), Connor Blough (5th, 49.42)
800m: Jordan Pingel (4th, 1:52.67)
1500m: Jordan Pingel (4th, 3:56.07)
110h: Cole Phillips (2nd, 14.55), Cade Kirkpatrick (4th, 15.10)
400h: Jacob Smith (1st, 51.84), Jojo Frost (2nd, 52.78)
3000m: Alex Jackson (3rd, 9:25.58)
4×100: Dan Blocker, Eli Hicks, Matt Turcotte, Jacob Smith (1st, 41.10), Isaiah Trousil, Connor Ham, Cole Phillips, Jojo Frost (2nd, 41.17)
4×400: Sven Van Den Bergh, Jojo Frost, Jacob Smith, Connor Blough (1st, 3:15.10), Corey Hertz, Blake Langhurst, Bryce Newcomb, Seb Gearhart (3rd, 3:20.44)

HJ: Kassidy Sharp (2nd, 5-05.00)
LJ: Brooke Lorenz (3rd, 18-00.25)
TJ: Kassidy Sharp (4th, 36-09)
DT: Hope Koerperich (2nd, 155-02), Sarah Pate (3rd, 145-06), Anna Hoyman (4th, 142-08)
100m: Maddie Bell (3rd, 12.10), Taylor Raines (4th, 12.23)
200m: Maddie Bell (1st, 24.46), Maddie Irmen (5th, 25.26)
400m: Jolissa Kriegel (4th, 59.83)
1500m: Brette Correy (3rd, 4:30.31), Tiffany Christensen (4th, 4:36.65)
4×400: Maddie Bell, Maddie Irmen, Lyndsie Schinkel, Jolissa Kriegel (2nd, 3:52.39), Lauren Frederick, Brooke Lorenz, Erica Loussaert, Chaley Rath (5th, 4:10.92)

Kiana Phelps-Kingsley-Pierson/Woodbury Central High School
©Jim Kirby

Ducks’ Phelps is Making a Statement Out West

Kiana Phelps-Kingsley Pearson with her Drake Relays Flag and Next Level Iowa water bottle..two treasured items!

Kiana Phelps-Kingsley Pearson with her Drake Relays Flag and Next Level Iowa water bottle..two treasured items!

The UO track and field programs hosted the Pepsi Invitational on Saturday, and swept the men’s and women’s team titles. The Ducks did so despite less than favorable conditions, which couldn’t dampen Cash’s spirits after she completed a 3,000-meter race.

Courtesy Ducks Athletics, click here!  Feature photo: Kiana Phelps-Kingsley-Pierson/Woodbury Central High School ©Jim Kirby

“It was good; I was really excited just to get back out there,” Cash said. “Our team just does a great job of saying, ‘We’re the Ducks. This is us, this is Oregon.’ ”

Hayward Field magic might have appeared in liquid form Saturday, but it appeared nonetheless.

Maddie Rabing and Kiana Phelps showed early Saturday afternoon they’d gotten the message. Rabing won the hammer with a throw of 194 feet, 10 inches, and Phelps took first in the discus with a mark of 156-3. Then, they went 2-3 in the shot put to squirrel away more team points for Oregon.