T&F Notebook: Hawkeyes Return to Blue Oval

April 22, 2015

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The University of Iowa track and field team travels to Des Moines, Iowa, to compete at the Drake Relays on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Competition begins Thursday at 4 p.m. (CT) at the Jim Duncan Track and the Johnny Bright Field.


Live results will be available on the track and field schedule page on hawkeyesports.com. Follow @IowaXC_TF on Twitter for updates on the team throughout the weekend.

The Hawkeye men have claimed 52 Drake Relays titles dating back to 1923, while the women have registered 18 first-place finishes. The Hawkeye women have claimed at least one title in each of the last four years, including the 2011 sprint medley relay (Jones, Hendricks, Liverpool, Praska; 3:48.63), the 2012 6,400-meter relay (Flood, Laesch, Ranegar, Melander; 19:16.73), the 2013 discus (Majesty Tutson; 181-1; 55.19m), and the 2014 400-meter relay (Kwaza, Guster, Hernandez, Brown; 44.51).

Drake Relays Hall of Famer Joey Woody is making his first appearance at the Drake Relays as University of Iowa head coach. Woody has been on the Hawkeyes’ coaching staff since 2006, but he is in his first season as Iowa’s director of track and field. Woody was inducted into the Drake Relays Hall of Fame in 2002. He is the only athlete in Relays history to be named outstanding performer in both high school and in college. In 1992, he was named outstanding high school performer while competing for Iowa City High School. In 1994, he was named outstanding collegiate performer while competing for Northern Iowa.

The women’s 400-meter relay shattered a 10-year-old record to reach the top of the podium at the 2014 Drake Relays. The team of junior Lake Kwaza and sophomores Elexis Guster, Alexis Hernandez, and Brittany Brown clocked a time of 44.51 to beat Ohio State (44.52) by one one-hundredth of a second. It was the first Drake Relays 400-meter relay title in school history for the Hawkeye women. The previous school record of 44.63 was set in 1994 (Poole, Reid, Floyd, Hobbs). The 400-meter relay of junior MonTayla Holder, Guster, Kwaza, and Brown ran 44.93, the sixth-fastest time in school history, this season at the Mt. SAC Relays on April 18.

Junior Lake Kwaza and sophomore Brittany Brown hold two of the top five fastest times in the Big Ten in both the 100 and 200 meters. Kwaza is Iowa’s school record holder in the 100, and Brown is Iowa’s school record holder in the 200.
? 1st/Lake Kwaza/100 meters (11.40)
? 1st/Brittany Brown/200 meters (23.14)
? 3rd/Brittany Brown/100 meters (11.53)
? 4th/Lake Kwaza/200 meters (23.59)

Junior Lake Kwaza broke a 30-year-old school record following a first-place finish in the women’s 100 meters at the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, California, on April 17. The Sycamore, Illinois, native cruised to the finish in 11.40, topping the previous school record of 11.45 set by Vivien McKenzie in 1985. Kwaza’s time currently sits 13th nationally. She tallied a second career best on the day in the 200 meters when she sprinted to the finish in 23.59, a time that stands fourth on Iowa’s all-time list.

Senior Gabe Hull was the 2014 Drake Relays discus champion. He was the only college competitor to record a mark above 60 meters (197-00, 60.05m) at last year’s contest, becoming the first Hawkeye to win a Drake Relays discus title since Robert Mitchell (141-9; 43.22m) in 1928. He currently holds the second best mark in the Big Ten this season at 188-08 (57.51m), which he recorded at the Mt. SAC Relays on April 17.

Sophomore Brittany Brown defended her top ranking in the Big Ten for the third consecutive week at the Mt. SAC Relays on April 18. The Upland, California, native ran her second-fastest 200-meter time ever when she sprinted to the finish in a season best 23.14 to gather eighth place overall. She also recorded a personal-best time in the 100 meters at 11.53. That time ranks fourth in program history.

Elexis Guster moved to first in conference rankings following a sixth-place finish at the Mt. SAC Relays on April 18. The sophomore crossed the line in a season best 53.30. Iowa owns the Big Ten’s top times in the 100 meters (Kwaza, 11.40), 200 meters (Brown, 23.14), and 400 meters (Guster, 53.30).

Senior Jack Eckert tallied a total of 7,094 points to finish at the top of one of two sections at the California Invitational on April 16. He climbs to second on Iowa’s all-time list and stands third in the Big Ten.

Junior Will Teubel approached the 800-meter start line twice in California, first at the Mt. SAC Relays (13th; 1:51.20) on April 17, and then at the Beach Invitational the following day, where he posted a career best 1:48.60 to finish second overall. That time moves him to fifth on both Iowa’s all-time list and in the Big Ten rankings.

Two Hawkeyes captured school records this season. Freshman Marta Bote Gonzalez (10.23.15) broke the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase record at the Stanford Invitational on April 3. Junior Lake Kwaza broke the 100-meter dash school record at the Mt. SAC Relays (1st; 11.40) on April 17. Brittany Brown returns as the school-record holder in the women’s 200 meters. The sophomore rewrote the record book at last year’s NCAA West Preliminary when she cruised to the finish in 22.95, becoming the first Hawkeye to run under 23 seconds. Senior Annemie Smith captured the school record in the hammer throw at last year’s Arizona State Invite at 198-1 (60.38m), while senior Gabe Hull claimed the discus school record at last year’s Musco Twilight (207-1, 63.11m).

The 2015 Big Ten Outdoor Championships will be held in East Lansing, Michigan, from May 15-17. BTN will air the conference championships on Sunday, May 24 at 10 a.m. (CT). The NCAA Regionals are set for May 28-30 in Austin, Texas, while the NCAA Championships will be held in Eugene, Oregon, from June 10-13.

The track and field program is hosting an Alumni reunion Saturday, May 2 at the Musco Twilight XVI. A reception will follow at the Coralville Vine. RSVP to kathryn-see@uiowa.edu for more details.

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