Jan. 30, 2016
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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The indoor season heated up for the University of Iowa track and field team as it competed in the final day of the Razorback Invitational on Saturday.
In a competition that featured six top-10 teams on the men’s side and five among the women, the Hawkeyes stayed up to speed with 10 event finalists and nine career bests that were also Iowa all-time marks. The Hawkeye men tallied 24 points to finish 10th overall, while the women’s team (16 points) came in 11th.
Junior All-American Aaron Mallett delivered another exciting performance in what was a stacked 60-meter hurdle race. The St. Louis native threatened the school record (7.70) when he posted the fastest time of the day — 7.71 — in the preliminary round.
Mallett’s prelim time, a collegiate best, tops the Big Ten and ties for fourth nationally.
“We have been setting him up to be ready for this meet,” UI director of track and field Joey Woody said. “We knew he was going head-to-head with some of the best in the country.”
Despite a slow start off the blocks in the finals, Mallett recovered to claim the event title in 7.72 over Oregon’s Devon Allen (7.74). He remains undefeated this season.
“It was not a perfect race by any means,” Woody said. “He was ready to run 7.65. He stumbled off the blocks but was still able to compete for the win. He caught some of the best guys in the country over the last three hurdles. Aaron competes with the heart of a champion.”
Freshman Chris Douglas joined Mallett in the finals, registering a sixth-place finish (8.09) after running a collegiate-best 8.07 in the prelims. That time ranks ninth in school history.
Sophomore Carter Lilly made a statement in a crowded men’s 800-meter field. In addition to climbing to fifth on Iowa’s all-time list, the Sioux City, Iowa, native entered Big Ten (2nd) and national (15th) rankings following his fourth-place finish in a lifetime-best 1:49.37.
“Carter is a fighter,” Woody said. “He went to the front of the pack, just like Erik Sowinski would do. He does not care who he is racing; he just competes to win and fights every step. It is great to see that performance finally come and I think he has a lot more in the tank.”
In the men’s heptathlon, sophomore William Dougherty (9th) tacked on two more event personal bests in the pole vault (13-9 ¼, 4.20m) and 1,000 meters (2:41.19) that helped propel him to an overall collegiate-best 5,172 points — the fourth-best mark in program history.
For the women, Guster (3rd; 53.52) continues to stand fourth on Iowa’s top performers list, and moves to first in the Big Ten and 11th nationally, while Guillory (7th; 54.44) ranks seventh all-time at Iowa and fourth in the Big Ten. On the men’s side, Harris (8th; 47.10) ranks third on Iowa’s all-time list and in the Big Ten.
In the field for the Hawkeyes, junior Avery Meyers (8th) climbed two spots to eighth on Iowa’s all-time list with a collegiate-best throw (59-0 ¼, 17.99m) in the men’s shot put.
“I was happy with how the whole team competed,” Woody said. “Will and Avery both had great PRs. It was the first time Avery has thrown over 59 feet in the shot put; that was a big plus for us.”
Returning to the track, sophomore Jahisha Thomas (11th) added on another personal best this weekend in the women’s 60-meter hurdles. Her time of 8.58 stands seventh at Iowa.
The Hawkeyes closed the meet with season bests in the men’s and women’s 1,600-meter relays. The women’s quartet of senior MonTayla Holder, Guster, Guillory, and junior Alexis Hernandez clocked 3:40.24 to finish sixth overall, while the men’s squad — junior Mitch Wolff, freshman DeJuan Frye, Lilly, and Harris — took fifth in 3:10.82. That time stands second in the conference.
“We expect them to do more as the season progresses, but it was fun to see the men’s and women’s 4×4 put up big marks that give them a chance to compete for the Big Ten championship in that event,” Woody said.
Iowa returns to action with the Meyo Invitational in South Bend, Indiana, from Feb. 5-6.