Aaron Mallett-Iowa
©Jim Kirby

Hawks Sparkle at Musco

Aaron Mallett-Iowa ©Jim Kirby

Aaron Mallett-Iowa
©Jim Kirby

The University of Iowa track and field team captured seven titles and recorded 12 personal bests at the 16th annual Musco Twilight on Saturday at the Francis X. Cretzmeyer track.
Jahisha Thomas opened the day for the Hawkeyes with a first-place finish in the women’s long jump. The freshman recorded a collegiate-best leap of 20-02.25 (6.15m), a mark that ranks fourth all-time at Iowa and would tie for first in the Big Ten.

Courtesy Hawkeye Athletics

“It definitely felt like my best jump of the season,” Thomas said. “That was the mark, and that’s what I need to be doing. I definitely feel like it can get better because I’m there now. I know I can get to where I need to be.”

Also competing in the women’s long jump was junior Kassidy Ellis, who recorded a personal best 19-06 (5.95m) to finish fifth, respectively. That mark ties for seventh in school history and would land sixth in the Big Ten.

Iowa nabbed the top two spots in the men’s triple jump. Junior Klyvens Delaunay (51-11.25, 15.83m) took the title, while senior Babatunde Amosu (50-10.75, 15.51m) finished runner-up, respectively. Delaunay’s mark would top conference rankings, while Amosu’s would stand fifth, respectively.

“We moved some athletes into the top of the Big Ten,” said UI director of track and field Joey Woody. “The triple jumpers really showed up today. Klyvens had a great meet. I was really happy to see him back and doing some great things.”

Sophomores Vinnie Saucer, Jr. and Aaron Mallett, junior James Harrington, and senior Keith Brown made noise in the men’s 400-meter relay when the quartet clocked the fourth-fastest time in school history at 39.66 to take the title. That time would also stand second in the Big Ten and 16th nationally.

Mallett captured his second title of the day in the 110-meter hurdles en route to setting a new meet record in 13.69. He went on to claim third in the 400-meter hurdles in a personal best 51.41. Junior Mitch Wolff took second in the event with a collegiate best 51.26. Their times would stand sixth and seventh in the conference.

“It’s always good to win head-to-head, especially at home,” Mallett said. “It was my second best time ever, so I’m happy with that. For the 4×1, we’ve been having some troubles throughout the season, but we put together a good time and we won.”

Brittany Brown added another first-place finish on the day for Iowa in the women’s 100 meters. The sophomore crossed the finish in a career best 11.47, which moves her to third on Iowa’s all-time list and would stand second in the Big Ten behind junior Lake Kwaza (11.40). Saucer notched a second-place finish in the men’s contest with a career best 10.41. That time would tie for first in the Big Ten and ninth in school history.

Kwaza took the women’s 200-meter title in 23.60, while Saucer finished third in the men’s race with a career best 21.02.

“It felt good,” Brown said. “I have been working on getting out better and that’s what I’m doing. I got out and I finished strong. It was a good race.”

Senior Ben Witt cracked Iowa’s all-time list in the men’s 1,500 meters when he clocked the ninth-fastest time in program history at 3:49.45 to finish second. Sophomore Alana Jones took the silver in the women’s race when she crossed the 1,500-meter mark in a collegiate best 4:30.56.

In the women’s 800 meters, sophomore Katharina Trost climbed to fourth on Iowa’s all-time list when she closed in a collegiate best 2:07.09 to finish second overall. That time would rank seventh in the Big Ten.

The Hawkeyes received a pair of second-place finishes from senior Annemie Smith (196-05.25, 59.87m) in the women’s hammer throw and senior Gabe Hull in the men’s discus (184-06, 56.23m). Freshman Reno Tuufuli threw 182-9.5 (55.71m) on his final attempt to set a personal best and qualify for the U.S. Junior Nationals.

Junior MonTayla Holder led Iowa in the women’s 400 meters when she clocked a personal best 54.83 for third place, while senior Brennan Davey finished fourth in the men’s race with a season best 47.72.

Iowa closed the meet on a high note when the 1,600-meter relay of freshmen Carter Lilly and Nicholas Aly, Davey, and sophomore Jared Ganschow edged out Minnesota (3:10.88) for the win in 3:10.66.

“I’m most impressed with how we competed against other teams in the Big Ten,” Woody said. “We won some critical head-to-head competitions. I am excited to see our athletes come out at the Big Ten Championships and compete like they did today.”

The Big Ten Championships are held from May 15-17 in East Lansing, Michigan.