Jan. 23, 2016
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AMES, Iowa — Nine event titles were not enough to lift the University of Iowa men’s and women’s track and field teams over Iowa State at the annual Big 4 Duals on Saturday.
Being a dual competition, the men’s team topped Drake (95-61) and Northern Iowa (82-73), but fell to Iowa State (85-78). The Hawkeye women handled Drake (79-66), tied Northern Iowa (76-76), but came up short to the Cyclones (91-68).
“I was proud of the overall efforts of the team,” UI director of track and field Joey Woody said. “Overall, this was a great meet for us. The message I sent to them today was to go out and compete like a champion. I thought we did a great job of that by winning a lot of events and putting up some impressive marks.”
The Hawkeye milers had a strong showing for both the men and women with personal bests from sophomores Michael Melchert (3rd/4:05.37) and Madison Waymire (5th/4:58.60). Melchert’s time puts him fourth on Iowa’s all-time list and would rank 12th nationally.
“Michael had an impressive performance, especially for a guy who is not training for the mile but more for the longer races,” Woody said. “He is a guy I see out every morning on a run. You have to be consistent and continue to put in that kind of work and great things will happen. That was a great mark for our program.”
In the third meet of the season, junior Aaron Mallett posted the second-fastest time of his collegiate career in the men’s 60-meter hurdles. Mallett has improved in every race this season, shaving 0.02 seconds off his previous season best to claim the event title in 7.80. His personal best of 7.78 came at the 2015 Big Ten Championships.
“It has been fun to see him progress this year and remain consistent,” Woody said. “There are great things on the horizon and it will be fun to see what happens when he goes head-to-head against the tough competition we have coming up.”
Senior Lake Kwaza narrowly missed tying her own school record (7.41), which she set at the 2014 Big Four Duals along with junior Brittany Brown, in the women’s 60 meters. The Sycamore, Illinois, native raced to second place in 7.42 behind Iowa State’s Kate Hall (7.30). Kwaza’s time would tie for second in the Big Ten.
The Hawkeye women added points after securing the top four spots in both the 200 and 400 meters. Kwaza (24.22) crossed the 200-meter line in first, followed by freshman Taylor Chapman (2nd/24.84), senior MonTayla Holder (3rd/25.23), and sophomore Lydia Harold (4th/25.46).
Junior Elexis Guster (54.21) would climb to the top of the Big Ten standings in the 400 meters. She led a pack of freshman Briana Guillory (2nd/55.35), Holder (3rd/56.02), and junior Alexis Hernandez (4th/56.62).
“Elexis ran a dominate 400-meter race,” Woody said. “She has been training hard and does not have fresh legs but is still able to put up those great performances.”
Iowa delivered another dominating performance with a 1-2-3 sweep in the men’s 600 yards. Senior Will Teubel (1:09.59) was the event winner, while sophomore Carter Lilly (2nd/1:09.67) stayed on his heels. Junior Mitch Wolff (1:11.08) snagged the third position.
The Hawkeyes handled the 1,600-meter relays to close the meet. Iowa’s ‘B’ team of Wolff, freshman DeJuan Frye, sophomore Ryan Dorman, and freshman Mar’yea Harris edged out the ‘A’ squad (3:13.34) of junior Brendan Thompson, Mallett, Lilly, Teubel for the win in a season-best 3:12.40.
The women’s quartet of Holder, Guster, Guillory, and junior Mahnee Watts captured the top spot in 3:41.10, a season best that would hold them at third in the conference.
Next up for the Hawkeyes is the Razorback Invitational in Fayetteville, Arkansas, from Jan. 29-30.
Additional Event Winners:
Men’s 800 meters:
Fr. Pavlo Hutsalyuk (1:53.23)
Men’s pole vault:
Fr. Andy Jatis (15.07, 4.75m)
Women’s high jump:
Sr. Khanishah Williams (5-08.75, 1.75m)
Freshman Christian Brissett made the Iowa all-time list in the men’s 60 meters following a second-place finish in 6.78. That time ties for seventh in program history.
Watts improved her collegiate best to 1:22.72 in the women’s 600 yards. She continues to stand fifth on Iowa’s top-ten performers list.