Joey Woody & the Iowa Hawkeyes
©Darren Miller Hawkeyesports.com 2017

Hawks Welcome New Recruiting Class to Campus

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

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

The University of Iowa track and field program announced Friday that 28 student- athletes encompass the 2019 incoming recruiting class.

Courtesy Hawkeyesports.com. Feature photo: Joey Woody & the Iowa Hawkeyes©Darren Miller Hawkeyesports.com 2017

“I am extremely excited about our signing class,” said director of track and field Joey Woody. “Our staff did a tremendous job scouring the globe to find the best athletes that fit our program.  We are filling some holes left by our recent graduates, and we continue to add quality depth to our overall program.”

The incoming recruiting class is composed of 15 women and 13 men. The 28 individuals represent six countries and 11 states. They join a roster that graduated four All-Americans in 2019.

“I’m proud that we are one of the few teams in the country that has a comprehensive track and field and cross country program, and these recent signees are another example of our commitment to have great athletes in all event areas,” Woody said.  “Both men’s and women’s teams continue to compete for Big Ten championships and top NCAA finishes. There are some remarkable athletes in this class that will be immediate and impactful contributors to our program.”

MEN

Alex Birkett – 1:49.08 (800M) 3:50.27 (1500M)
Cumbria, England
Kendal TC
“Alex is one of the best mid-distance recruits on the planet. I believe he has the ability to be one of the greatest runners to ever wear the black and gold. We have a stellar group of athletes returning in our men’s mid-distance group so he’s going to be tested early and often, but he has all the tools to run with our horses from day one. I can’t wait to be his coach.”  – Coach Jason Wakenight

Jamal Britt – 13.96 (110H) 51.42 (400H) 25’0 ½ (Long Jump)
Las Vegas, Nevada
College of the Sequoias
“Jamal is an unbelievable athlete who is going to bring a lot to our team this season. He is an elite level combo hurdler with an extremely rare skillset. He has split 45.9 on a 4 x 4 and gone over 25 feet in the long jump as well. He is going to be all over the Big Ten leaderboards this spring and I can’t wait to see what he can do in our program. Adding an athlete of his caliber gives us a chance to defend our Big Ten title and make some noise at the NCAA meet. Jamal is a terrific person who helps round out this year’s recruiting class with a bang.” – Coach Joey Woody

Armando Bryson – 47.0 (400M Split) 1:52.51 (800M)
Long Beach, California
Long Beach Wilson High School
“Armando is a wonderful person and I loved recruiting him because he has such a good heart. I think he also might be one of the most underrated long sprints and mid-distance prospects in the country. He got so much better his senior season and has an unbelievable skill-set. I loved his speed and his pedigree having race against California’s best his whole career. He expects to run at an elite level and gives our team a chance to continue its rich tradition of great long sprints and mid-distance running.”
-Coach Jason Wakenight

Grant Conway – 13.46 (110H) 10.70 (100M) – 38.05 (300H)
2019 Missouri State Champ 110 Hurdles
St. James, Missouri
St. James High School
“Grant was meant to be a Hawkeye. He was a great fit from the start. He wants to be an elite hurdler and Iowa is the best place in the country to hurdle. We are loaded in both hurdle events so he’s going to have to earn his spot, but he is such a fierce competitor that it will only be a matter of time before he’s contending for the Big Ten title. He’s a blue chip recruit and a really good guy. He’s everything we look for in a person during the recruiting process. He’s going to be a serious force in the Big Ten.”
-Coach Jason Wakenight

Will Daniels – 7427 (DEC) 6’11 (HJ)
2019 NCAA Division III Outdoor National Champion in the Decathlon
Geneseo, Illinois
Central College
“Will is the reigning DIII national champion in the multi events and knows how to win. We are excited about the immediate contributions he will add to the team, as well as his experience and leadership to the multi-event group. His dedication to his sport as well as academics is the kind of character that exemplifies what it truly means to be a Hawkeye.” – Coach Paige Knodle

Julien Gillum – 52.10 (400H) 1:19.23 (600M)
2018 NJCAA 1st Team All-American in the 400 Hurdles
Baytown, Texas
Coffeyville CC
“Ju has some terrific skills and a big upside. I think he’s very raw but once his skills are refined he’s going to be a dangerous addition to our sprints and hurdles group. I love that he can run a great 600 meters and add depth to our nationally elite 4 x 400- meter relay, but his bread and butter will be the long hurdles outdoors. He’s a really good kid who is hungry to be coached. He is going to be a great Hawkeye.” -Coach Jason Wakenight

Jordan Johnson – 206’1 (Discus) 62’11 (Shot Put)
2019 Class 3A Illinois State Champion in the Discus
Quincy, Illinois
Quincy High School
“Jordan comes to Iowa as one of the top high school discus throwers in the country. Jordan’s competitiveness, rhythm, and feel are among the elite class in the discus, which will aid in his development as a Hawkeye. As he continues to mature physically, he will find himself competing at high level in the Big Ten and NCAA.” – Coach Eric Werskey

Keith Keahna – 6’8 (High Jump)
2018 Class 3A Iowa State Champion in the High Jump
Tama, Iowa
South Tama High School
“Keith brings a lot of natural ability to the table, and made a statement as one of the best jumpers in the state of Iowa when he won state in 2018. He is a local kid, born and raised a Hawkeye, and we are thrilled to have him as a part of our program. He will bring elite level depth into the emerging vertical jumps program” – Coach Paige Knodle

Tyler Lienau – 181’1 (Discus) 187’6 (Hammer)
6th in the Discus and 5th in the Hammer Throw at the NJCAA Outdoor National Championships
Jesup, Iowa
Iowa Central CC
“Tyler will be a great addition for multiple reasons. First and foremost, he is an Iowa native that has risen to the top of the Junior College national ranks. Additionally, his demeanor and attitude will cater to his successes as a Hawkeye. Tyler will give the throws group depth in areas that we have not had in several years and will be competitive within the Big Ten and NCAA right out of the gate.”
– Coach Eric Werskey

Zach Pluff – 6’10 (High Jump)
2019 Class 3A Illinois State Runner-Up in the High Jump
Freeburg, Illinois
Freeburg High School
“Zack is a true talent that we are extremely eager about adding to our vertical jumps group.  He is a fierce competitor, student of the sport, and we look forward to the impact he will make on our team competing at this level. It has been fun to see his improvement throughout his senior campaign and we are looking forward to continuing that trajectory.” – Coach Paige Knodle

Reece Smith – 4:17.82 (1600M) 9:11.33 (3200M)
2019 Iowa Class 2A State Cross Country Champ/ Iowa Class 2A 1600M/3200M Champ
Garner, Iowa
Garner Hayfield Ventura High School
“Reece had a tremendous senior year. His state meet was impressive as he just ran away from the competition. He is very confident in his abilities to race and compete at this level and Reece competes very well when it matters most. He was the best in the state of Iowa and I’m glad he’s a Hawkeye.”           -Coach Randy Hasenbank

Deandre Stapleton – 49’5 ½ (Triple Jump) 23’6 (Long Jump)
Mansfield, Texas
Mansfield Lake Ridge High School
Deandre will add tremendous depth to our jumps group.  He is a terrific addition to our program.  I believe once given the opportunity to focus on the horizontal jumps, Deandre will explode on the national scene.  The Hawkeyes have had a long history of accomplished jumpers.  It’s my belief that Deandre will add to that legacy as a national caliber talent.” –Coach Clive Roberts

Nick Trattner – 9:12.63 (3200M)
5th in the Illinois Class 3A 3200M
Naperville, Illinois
Naperville North High School
“Nick had a great senior year.  He showed a lot of talent in the 3200 in running under 9:20 several times.  Nick has a great future as a Hawkeye. We have a very good lineup, and I’m excited that Nick will have so many quality teammates to train with.” – Coach Randy Hasenbank

WOMEN

Ashlyn Albrecht – 17’10 ½ (Long Jump)
Sheldon, Iowa
Sheldon High School
University of Iowa is a blue collar school.  Hard work and dedication is what it’s about.  I believe Ashlyn embodies that ideal. I believe given some time Ashlyn will develop into someone that helps this program move forward.  I’m so excited to add Ashlyn to our horizontal jumps program.” –Coach Clive Roberts

Anaya Alexander – 53.79 (400M)
Walnut Creek, California
Long Beach State University
“Anaya started with us in the middle of our 2019 season, so she has already been part of our program and grown so much.  I’m excited to add a gifted and wonderful person as Anaya to the long sprints group.  I can’t wait to work with her and see her on the track this season.”  – Coach Clive Roberts

Serena Brown – 60.39 (198’1 DISCUS)
New Providence, Bahamas
Texas A&M University
“Serena adds quality depth to our throws group. She brings international experience as she finished fourth at 2016 World U20s and has been a two-time NCAA National Qualifier. She comes to Iowa as the Bahamas National record holder in the discus with a distance of 60.39/198’1″. With all of her successes, physical size, and competitive spirit, she will elevate our program to new heights.” – Coach Eric Werskey

Traci Brown – 7.53 (60M) 11.89 (100M)
Hilton Head, South Carolina
Iowa Western CC
“Traci brings a wealth of experience coming from the junior college level.  I believe she will step in right away and contribute for the black and gold.  I can’t wait to start working with her. Traci has grown so much over the last two years, and is in position to score big points in this conference.” – Coach Clive Roberts

Maggie Gutwein – 5:07.99 (1600M) 10:55.75 (3200M)
Monticello, Indiana
Twin Lakes High School
“Maggie was an excellent high school athlete. She competed in multiple sports throughout her career, including basketball, softball, track and cross county. Now that she is surrounded by a great group of runners, I’m excited to see where she can go at the next level. I’m excited we made her a Hawkeye.”      – Coach Randy Hasenbank

Lasarah Hargrave – 11.57 (100M) 23.59 (200M)
Tampa, Florida
Gaither High School
“On Lasarah’s official visit to Iowa the one thing that struck me about her was how easily she interacted with other athletes.  This year I made a conscious effort to recruit individuals that are relationship builders.  I believe Lasarah really fits the bill.  She is a fantastic athlete, but an even better person.  I’m excited to start this journey with her.” – Coach Clive Roberts

Dallyssa Huggins – 5307 (Heptathlon) 5’11 ¼ (High Jump)
Markham, Ontario
University of Maryland
“Dallyssa is an extremely gifted athlete who loves to compete. With impressive personal bests we are excited about the additions she will bring to the strong women’s multi-event and vertical jumps programs. She has already made an impressive impact in the Big Ten Conference, and we look forward to the contributions she will make to the women’s team this season.” – Coach Paige Knodle

Jaime Kofron – 46’3 ¼ (Shot Put) – 147’7 ¾ (Discus)
Tipton, Iowa
Tipton High School
“Jamie is a local girl that has Hawkeye roots with a passion to be successful at the next level.  Jamie emerged as one of the top combo throwers in the Midwest during her senior campaign and shows a lot of promise to compete within the Big Ten. Her work ethic both in the classroom and the field will push our group to another level.” – Coach Eric Werskey

Leah Kralovetz – 4:56.84 (1600M) 10:35.63 (3200M)
Denmark, Wisconsin
Denmark High School
“Leah is a very talented and driven young competitor.  She was the best young runner out of the state of Wisconsin and has already shown flashes of brilliance in her young career. I am excited for her future as a Hawkeye, and she has shown the ability to make an immediate impact both in cross country and on the track.” – Coach Randy Hasenbank

Kat Moody – 47’0 ¾ (Shot Put) – 134’5 (Discus)
Clive, Iowa
Waukee High School
“Kat emerged as one of the top shot putters in the country early in her high school career. She was slated to be one of the top shotput girls in the country as a senior, but suffered a knee injury that prevented her from taking full advantage of her senior season. However, she showed true Hawkeye grit and became an Iowa state champion and New Balance Outdoor national finalist to cap off her senior season. Her drive, grit, and competitiveness are all qualities that will continue to aid in her success at the University of Iowa.”  – Coach Eric Werskey

Davicia Patterson – 52.57 (400M)
Belfast, Ireland
Beechmount TC
“What a great addition to our program.  Davicia comes a long way to join our track and field family.  She is a young lady that knows what she wants and has gone out and gotten it.  As we ascend the national ladder, individuals such as Davicia will be an integral part of our rise to the top.  I can’t wait to start working with this fantastic young lady.”  Coach Clive Roberts

Elyse Prescott – 10:36.74 (Steeple) 16:53.02 (5000) 4:31.63 (1500M)
Urbandale, Iowa
University of Minnesota
“Elyse is a tremendous addition to our team. Not only is she a terrific runner, she has competed at a high level in the Big Ten.  Her experience in Big Ten competitions and leadership qualities are very important to the team.” – Coach Randy Hasenbank

Ianna Roach – 48’2 ¾ (Shot Put)
Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago
Bishops Anstey
“Ianna comes to the University of Iowa via Trinidad and Tobago. Ianna has shown great competitive spirit as she emerged as one of the top young Caribbean shot put girls the past couple years and medaled at the CARIFTA Games. Ianna’s rhythm and feel for the shot put shows a lot of promise in the Big Ten and NCAA.” – Coach Eric Werskey

Gabby Skopec – 17:18.90 (3-Miles) 18:07.33 (5000M)
Coralville, Iowa
University of Northern Iowa
“Gabby will add valuable experience and depth to our squad. I think she can make and immediate impact as well.  She was a standout in high school, loves the University of Iowa, and I am excited to see what she can do in a Hawkeye uniform.” – Coach Randy Hasenbank

Tionna Tobias – 13.99 (100H) 19’11.5 (Long Jump)
Atco, New Jersey
Winslow Township High School
In the recruiting process you are always looking for versatile athletes.  I think we have found one in Tionna.  She is not only a national caliber long jumper, but highly ranked nationally in the 100-meter hurdles. Over the past year, I’ve really enjoy my interactions with Tionna and her family.  I know she will be a great asset to this program. I believe Tionna will come in and make our community and track family even more desirable.” – Coach Clive Roberts