June 28, 2015
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EUGENE, Oregon— University of Iowa freshman Reno Tuufuli earned a spot on the United States junior national team following a second-place finish in the discus at the 2015 USATF Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
Tuufuli will represent Team USA at the Pan Am Junior Championships in Edmonton, Canada, on July 31-Aug. 2. He earned the roster spot by throwing a personal-best 59.06m (193-9) on his sixth and final attempt.
“My first throw was conservative,” said Tuufuli. “I was really nervous that I wouldn’t make the finals. I wanted to make sure I would get in finals. On my sixth throw I knew it was now or never if I wanted to make the team, so I took a deep breath, gave myself a little confidence boost, relaxed, and by the grace of God I moved into second place.”
Former UI All-American Erik Sowinski placed second in the senior 800 meters to earn a spot on the IAAF World Championships team. Sowinski ran 1:44.84 and will represent Team USA at the World Championships on Aug. 22-30 in Beijing, China.
Six other Hawkeyes competed at the junior and senior United States World Team qualifier. Freshman Noah Larrison earned junior national All-America honors with a seventh-place finish in the 400-meter hurdles (54.06). Freshman Kayla Hochhalter placed 10th in the junior women’s javelin with a mark of 42.88m (140-8).
Sophomore All-American Aaron Mallett placed 12th in the senior men’s 110-meter hurdles (13.62). Mallett advanced to the semifinals with a first round time of 13.59.
“Having such a long and successful season coming into this meet allowed me to be sharper than a lot of the athletes,” said Mallett. “You can’t get caught up in all this talent. You have to go into this meet with the idea that you’re just as good as anyone else. I just wanted to compete and have fun.”
Sophomore Elexis Guster placed 18th in the senior 400 meters (53.15).
Former UI All-American Troy Doris placed 15th in the senior triple jump (14.51m, 47-7 ?), and former UI All-American Bethany Praska placed 22nd in the senior 800 meters (2:05.41).