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Karissa Schweizer-Dowling-Mizzou battles Molly Huddle in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium 
©Jim Kirby 2018

Wherever the Meet, Results Are the Same For Karissa Schweizer by Jim Kirby

Karissa Schweizer-Dowling-Mizzou greats her fans in  in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium  ©Jim Kirby 2018

Karissa Schweizer-Dowling-Mizzou greats her fans in in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium
©Jim Kirby 2018

Heusden-Zolder, Belgium may be a long way from the Dowling Catholic High School track where Karissa Schweizer first experienced success, and it may be further still from familiar “Audrey J. Walton Track” on the Mizzou campus, yet the results are still the same. Running internationally for the first time this July, Schweizer won her first overseas race in Kortrijk, Belgium, setting another personal best in the 1500m of 4:06.77 in the process. Only a week later she faced a much tougher international challenge that featured some familiar American names.

Feature photo: Karissa Schweizer-Dowling-Mizzou battles Molly Huddle in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium ©Jim Kirby 2018

 

On a beautiful Belgium summer evening, Schweizer walked from the staging area onto the track for the women’s 5K event. She walked along with the rest of the field which included some of the best in the world, such as fellow Iowan and Olympian Shelby Houlihan and Olympian Molly Huddle and Olympic medalist Shalane Flanagan, who was on hand to pace Houlihan in her attempt to break the American 5K record.

Schweizer had an interesting new uniform on this evening as well. No longer wearing the familiar black and yellow of Mizzou, she now wore the uniform of The Bowerman Track Club, her new professional team, joining track giants like Flanagan and Houlihan. The subtle sign of different colors marked a new chapter in Schweizer’s career, ending months of anticipation and some nerves in deciding which pro team she’d run for.

 

“Excited to finally announce that I have signed with Nike and the Bowerman Track Club! Can’t wait to see what the future holds.” Schweizer talked about it after the race and added, “I’m really excited to start training with the Bowerman team. They have a really good framework going and I can’t wait to be a part of it!”

Kathy Schweizer, Karissa's mother watches race in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium  ©Jim Kirby 2018

Kathy Schweizer, Karissa’s mother watches race in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium
©Jim Kirby 2018

A large, enthusiastic crowd settled in for the women’s 5K, excited to see the international field and were not disappointed. Toeing the line, Schweizer, now an experienced veteran of big races, wore a calm yet focused stare, awaiting the gun. Karissa’s mother, Kathy, stood nervously along the fence. Even though she too had become a veteran of her daughter’s big races, there’s always a little anxiety at times like these for all mothers, no matter how many big races they watch their daughters run. Holding her phone tight to her ear, Kathy would nervously give a play by play of her daughter’s race to friends, family and former teammates via a conference call.

From the start, the race unfolded predictably as Houlihan and her pacers broke from the field in the first 200 meters, while Schweizer settled into the middle of the chase pack, staying just off the rail and out of trouble. Several laps in, a smaller chase group formed including Schweizer, Huddle and Emily Sisson, former NCAA National Champion. Up front, Houlihan was competing against the clock; meanwhile a second more competitive race battled on behind her.

With one lap remaining, Houlihan was on pace to break the record, while the battle for second was heating up and would be between Huddle and Schweizer. With 200 meters to go, Houlihan headlong into her famous finishing kick as Huddle and Schweizer were busy showing off ferocious kicks of their own.
As the crowd rose to its feet, they roared their approval for finishing efforts they were witnessing: Houlihan’s record breaking performance and the battle between Huddle and Schweizer finishing second and third respectively. After the race, Schweizer was quite pleased and proud of her third-place finish, setting yet another big personal 5K best in 15:02.44 and breaking another Missouri school record.

A satisfied Schweizer reflected on her race and European tour, not forgetting her college coach, Mizzou’s Marc Burns, who helped her get to this elite level. “I was very happy with the race. It’s been a stressful week with everything going on and I was glad I was able to clear my mind & have a good race! The whole goal for going to Europe was the set myself up for a fast 5k and Coach Burns put me in the best position for that.”

It appears no matter where Karissa Schweizer races, and for whatever team she runs, the results are the same and success will certainly follow.

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.

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

Thursday, June 21 USA Track & Field Championship Preview

Karissa Schweizer-Dowling-Mizzou, Shelby Houlihan-SC East-ASU and Jenny Simpson-Webster City ©Mike Brynes 2017

Karissa Schweizer-Dowling-Mizzou, Shelby Houlihan-SC East-ASU and Jenny Simpson-Webster City
©Mike Brynes 2017

REIGNING OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST, 6 AMERICAN RECORD HOLDERS TO HIGHLIGHT FIRST-DAY ACTION

 

How’s this for an opening act on Day One of the U.S. Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Drake Stadium fans will be graced by the presence of four medalists from the 2016 Olympics and seven current American record holders.

Feature photo: Shelby Houlihan-SC East-Arizona St©Latinos Corriendo-2018

 

 

Finals are scheduled in six events, featuring a trio of current American record holders vying for titles in field events.

 

Preliminary qualifying rounds will be held in nine running events on the blue oval with Matthew Centrowitz, reigning Olympic gold medalist in the 1,500, headlining the men’s entries.

 

There are also four women’s American record holders on the track led by Molly Huddle, who is favored in the first running final – the women’s 10,000 scheduled at 7 p.m.

 

Emma Coburn(women’s steeplechase), Jenny Simpson(2 mile) and Ajee’ Wilson(800) are expected to lead the qualifying rounds in their respective races.

 

Centrowitz, who also won the 1500 at the 2016 World Indoor Championships, returns to Drake Stadium where he won his first U.S. Outdoor title in 2013. Since then he’s also won national outdoor titles in 2015 and 2016. Centrowitz became the first American to win the gold medal in the Olympics since Mel Sheppard in 1908.

 

Native Iowans Simpson(Webster City, Iowa) and Shelby Houlihan(Sioux City, Iowa) renew their rivalry in the first round of the women’s 1500 qualifying. Houlihan, who ran in the 5000 at the 2016 Olympics, won the women’s 1,500 at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Ore., May 26 running in a then world-leading3 minutes 59.06 seconds, while upsetting Simpson who placed third-3:59.37.

 

Simpson has won seven career U.S. Outdoor national titles including the last four straight years in the 1,500.A three-time Olympian, Simpson became the first U.S. woman ever to earn a medal at the Olympics when she placed third in the 1500 at the 2016 Games in Rio DeJaneiro, Brazil. She won the gold medal at the 2011 World Outdoor Championships, while earning a silver medal in 2013.

 

Coburn, who will be seeking her seventh straight U.S. national title in the steeplechase dating back to 2011, set the American mark in the women’s steeplechase each of the last two years en route to becoming the first American woman to win the steeplechase at both the World Championships and Olympics At the 2017 World Championships in London, Coburn lowered here steeplechase mark to 9:-2.59, breaking her own American record of 9:07.63 set at the 2016 Olympics. She ranks No. 5 on the 2018 world list at 9:08.13.

 

Wilson, who won a silver medal in the 800 at the 2018 World Indoor Championships, ranks No. 2 on the 2018 world outdoor 800 list at 1:56.86 en route to a second—place finish at the Prefontaine Classic. May 26. Wilson has won six career U.S. national titles in the 800, including outdoor crowns in 2014 and 2017. She set the current American record of 1:55.61 at the 2017 Diamond League meet in Monaco.

 

First-round qualifying in both the men’s 800 and 1,500 feature all six runners who represented Team USA at the 2016 Olympics.

 

The men’s 1500 also includes Robby Andrewsand Ben Blankenship, who both competed at the 2016 Olympics, as well asLeo Manzanowho earned a silver medal in the 1500 at the 2012 London Olympics. Blankenship was fifth in the 1500 at the 2018 World Indoor Championships.

 

Clayton Murphy, who captured a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics,  joins fellow Olympic teammates Boris Berianand Charles Jockin the 800. But the trio will face strong challenges from Isaiah Harris(Penn State) whose time of 1:44.76 to win the NCAA Outdoor meet ranks No. 9 in the world as well as two-time USA Indoor champ Erik Sowinski.

 

The first round of the men’s 100 at 6:10 p.m. features four sprinters ranked among the top six on the 2018  world outdoor list along with current American record holder Tyson Gay(9.69).  Mike Rodgersand Isiah Young, rank No. 2  in the world at 9.92, while Ronnie Baker andNoah Lyles, are No. 5 on the world list at 9.93. Baker won the 60 at the 2018 World Indoor Championships. Lyles won the gold medal in the 100 at the 2016 World Junior Championships and he has run a world leading 19.69 in the 200 this season.

 

Aleia Hobbs, who won thee NCAA titles for LSU this past season, will lead the women’s sprinters in the 100 prelims. Hobbs won the 100 at the NCAA Outdoor meet after earlier anchoring the women’s 4×100 relay to a title. In March she tied the NCAA Indoor collegiate 60 record.

 

American record holders Kara Wingerand Keturah Orjiare favored in the women’s javelin and triple jump respectively.

 

Winger, a three-time Olympian will compete at 5 p.m., set the existing U.S. record of 218-8 in the 2010 USA Championships at Drake Stadium. She will be seeking her eighth national title in the event capturing championships in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2017.

 

Orji, who set the American record of 48-3 ¼ in the triple jump at the 2016 Summer Olympics, will jump at 5:15 p.m. She closed out her collegiate career at Georgia by winning her fourth straight NCAA Outdoor triple jump title June 9. She also became just the third woman in NCAA Division I history to claim outdoor titles in the long jump and triple jump in the same season. Orji is ranked No. 5 in the world in 2018 in the triple jump, soaring 47-11 ¾.

 

Huddletook advantage of Almaz Ayana’s world-record pace to run an American record of 30:13.17 en route to a sixth-place finish in the 10,000 at the 2016 Olympics. The former 10-time NCAA All-American is aiming for her fourth straight national title in the 10,000. She was 11thin the 5,000 at the 2012 London Olympics and won both the 5,000 and 10,000 titles at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials.

 

The women’s discuss final at 2 p.m., features 2016 Olympians Whitney Ashleyand Kelsey Cardalong with 2012 Olympian Gia Lewis-Smallwood. Recent Arizona State graduate Maggie Ewenmade history by becoming just the fifth woman in NCAA Division I history to pick up outdoor titles in the shot put and discus in the same season, including being the first to do so since 2000. She captured the shot put title (62-10¾) just two days before winning the discus on her final throw (198-5). Ewen had already picked up the indoor shot put national title while setting collegiate records during the outdoor season in the hammer throw and the shot put.

 

Finals also will be held in the men’s 10,000-meter run (7:40 p.m.) featuring 2016 Olympian Shadrack Kipchirchir,—the top ranked American who owns the ninth fastest time in the world this season at 27:39.65 at the Payton Jordan Invitational in Stanford, Calif., May 3. Kipchirchir was ninth in the 10,000 at the 2017 World Outdoor Championships.

 

Look for 2016 Olympian Zachery Ziemek as the decathlon begins its opening day of competition.

 

The men’s 20k race walk will conclude Thursday’s opening session starting at 8:40 p.m.

Shelby Houlihan-SC East-Arizona St
©Latinos Corriendo-2018

Thursday, June 21 USA Track & Field Championship Preview-Mike Mahon

Karissa Schweizer-Dowling-Mizzou, Shelby Houlihan-SC East-ASU and Jenny Simpson-Webster City ©Mike Brynes 2017

Karissa Schweizer-Dowling-Mizzou, Shelby Houlihan-SC East-ASU and Jenny Simpson-Webster City
©Mike Brynes 2017

REIGNING OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST, 6 AMERICAN RECORD HOLDERS TO HIGHLIGHT FIRST-DAY ACTION

 

How’s this for an opening act on Day One of the U.S. Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Drake Stadium fans will be graced by the presence of four medalists from the 2016 Olympics and seven current American record holders.

Feature photo: Shelby Houlihan-SC East-Arizona St©Latinos Corriendo-2018

 

 

Finals are scheduled in six events, featuring a trio of current American record holders vying for titles in field events.

 

Preliminary qualifying rounds will be held in nine running events on the blue oval with Matthew Centrowitz, reigning Olympic gold medalist in the 1,500, headlining the men’s entries.

 

There are also four women’s American record holders on the track led by Molly Huddle, who is favored in the first running final – the women’s 10,000 scheduled at 7 p.m.

 

Emma Coburn(women’s steeplechase), Jenny Simpson(2 mile) and Ajee’ Wilson(800) are expected to lead the qualifying rounds in their respective races.

 

Centrowitz, who also won the 1500 at the 2016 World Indoor Championships, returns to Drake Stadium where he won his first U.S. Outdoor title in 2013. Since then he’s also won national outdoor titles in 2015 and 2016. Centrowitz became the first American to win the gold medal in the Olympics since Mel Sheppard in 1908.

 

Native Iowans Simpson(Webster City, Iowa) and Shelby Houlihan(Sioux City, Iowa) renew their rivalry in the first round of the women’s 1500 qualifying. Houlihan, who ran in the 5000 at the 2016 Olympics, won the women’s 1,500 at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Ore., May 26 running in a then world-leading3 minutes 59.06 seconds, while upsetting Simpson who placed third-3:59.37.

 

Simpson has won seven career U.S. Outdoor national titles including the last four straight years in the 1,500.A three-time Olympian, Simpson became the first U.S. woman ever to earn a medal at the Olympics when she placed third in the 1500 at the 2016 Games in Rio DeJaneiro, Brazil. She won the gold medal at the 2011 World Outdoor Championships, while earning a silver medal in 2013.

 

Coburn, who will be seeking her seventh straight U.S. national title in the steeplechase dating back to 2011, set the American mark in the women’s steeplechase each of the last two years en route to becoming the first American woman to win the steeplechase at both the World Championships and Olympics At the 2017 World Championships in London, Coburn lowered here steeplechase mark to 9:-2.59, breaking her own American record of 9:07.63 set at the 2016 Olympics. She ranks No. 5 on the 2018 world list at 9:08.13.

 

Wilson, who won a silver medal in the 800 at the 2018 World Indoor Championships, ranks No. 2 on the 2018 world outdoor 800 list at 1:56.86 en route to a second—place finish at the Prefontaine Classic. May 26. Wilson has won six career U.S. national titles in the 800, including outdoor crowns in 2014 and 2017. She set the current American record of 1:55.61 at the 2017 Diamond League meet in Monaco.

 

First-round qualifying in both the men’s 800 and 1,500 feature all six runners who represented Team USA at the 2016 Olympics.

 

The men’s 1500 also includes Robby Andrewsand Ben Blankenship, who both competed at the 2016 Olympics, as well asLeo Manzanowho earned a silver medal in the 1500 at the 2012 London Olympics. Blankenship was fifth in the 1500 at the 2018 World Indoor Championships.

 

Clayton Murphy, who captured a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics,  joins fellow Olympic teammates Boris Berianand Charles Jockin the 800. But the trio will face strong challenges from Isaiah Harris(Penn State) whose time of 1:44.76 to win the NCAA Outdoor meet ranks No. 9 in the world as well as two-time USA Indoor champ Erik Sowinski.

 

The first round of the men’s 100 at 6:10 p.m. features four sprinters ranked among the top six on the 2018  world outdoor list along with current American record holder Tyson Gay(9.69).  Mike Rodgersand Isiah Young, rank No. 2  in the world at 9.92, while Ronnie Baker andNoah Lyles, are No. 5 on the world list at 9.93. Baker won the 60 at the 2018 World Indoor Championships. Lyles won the gold medal in the 100 at the 2016 World Junior Championships and he has run a world leading 19.69 in the 200 this season.

 

Aleia Hobbs, who won thee NCAA titles for LSU this past season, will lead the women’s sprinters in the 100 prelims. Hobbs won the 100 at the NCAA Outdoor meet after earlier anchoring the women’s 4×100 relay to a title. In March she tied the NCAA Indoor collegiate 60 record.

 

American record holders Kara Wingerand Keturah Orjiare favored in the women’s javelin and triple jump respectively.

 

Winger, a three-time Olympian will compete at 5 p.m., set the existing U.S. record of 218-8 in the 2010 USA Championships at Drake Stadium. She will be seeking her eighth national title in the event capturing championships in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2017.

 

Orji, who set the American record of 48-3 ¼ in the triple jump at the 2016 Summer Olympics, will jump at 5:15 p.m. She closed out her collegiate career at Georgia by winning her fourth straight NCAA Outdoor triple jump title June 9. She also became just the third woman in NCAA Division I history to claim outdoor titles in the long jump and triple jump in the same season. Orji is ranked No. 5 in the world in 2018 in the triple jump, soaring 47-11 ¾.

 

Huddletook advantage of Almaz Ayana’s world-record pace to run an American record of 30:13.17 en route to a sixth-place finish in the 10,000 at the 2016 Olympics. The former 10-time NCAA All-American is aiming for her fourth straight national title in the 10,000. She was 11thin the 5,000 at the 2012 London Olympics and won both the 5,000 and 10,000 titles at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials.

 

The women’s discuss final at 2 p.m., features 2016 Olympians Whitney Ashleyand Kelsey Cardalong with 2012 Olympian Gia Lewis-Smallwood. Recent Arizona State graduate Maggie Ewenmade history by becoming just the fifth woman in NCAA Division I history to pick up outdoor titles in the shot put and discus in the same season, including being the first to do so since 2000. She captured the shot put title (62-10¾) just two days before winning the discus on her final throw (198-5). Ewen had already picked up the indoor shot put national title while setting collegiate records during the outdoor season in the hammer throw and the shot put.

 

Finals also will be held in the men’s 10,000-meter run (7:40 p.m.) featuring 2016 Olympian Shadrack Kipchirchir,—the top ranked American who owns the ninth fastest time in the world this season at 27:39.65 at the Payton Jordan Invitational in Stanford, Calif., May 3. Kipchirchir was ninth in the 10,000 at the 2017 World Outdoor Championships.

 

Look for 2016 Olympian Zachery Ziemek as the decathlon begins its opening day of competition.

 

The men’s 20k race walk will conclude Thursday’s opening session starting at 8:40 p.m.

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)