Feb. 6, 2016
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The University of Iowa track and field team capped off a productive weekend at the Meyo Invitational with 13 career bests on Saturday. No team scores were tallied.
A collegiate-best 53.47 in the women’s 400 meters guided junior Elexis Guster to a fourth-place finish in a 67-person field. The Atlanta native reset her rankings on Iowa’s all-time list (4th), as well as on the Big Ten (1st) and national (11th) leaderboard.
“Elexis is having a great indoor season,” UI director of track and field Joey Woody said. “When you’re setting personal bests every single week, that is a good sign of big things to come later in the season. She’s definitely looking to do big things at the conference meet in a couple of weeks as well as trying to get to the national meet.”
After climbing to fourth all-time in the men’s mile on Jan. 23, sophomore Michael Melchert did the same in the 3,000 meters on Saturday. His personal-best 8:08.57 was good for 12th place overall.
“It gives us some options when we get to the Big Ten Championships,” Woody said of Melchert’s two personal bests this season. “He has good speed, so those (longer) distances — where a lot of times they’re sit-and-kick races — could end up being a good fit for him; not only in the 3k but also looking at the 5k as well.”
In the field for Iowa, redshirt freshman Reno Tuufuli tacked on another fourth-place finish for the Hawkeyes in the men’s shot put when he recorded a personal-best 57-1 (17.40m).
Returning to the track, Lake Kwaza made it through to the 60-meter finals where she finished fifth in 7.43. The senior advanced after posting 7.46 in the semi-final round.
“That’s what’s good about this meet in particular,” Woody said. “It gives them the opportunity to run a lot of rounds, which sets them up well to run rounds at the Big Ten Championships.”
After registering a personal-best 8.51 on Friday, the weekend ended for sophomore Jahisha Thomas (9th/8.62) in the semi-finals of the women’s 60-meter hurdles.
“Jahisha got out a lot better today, but she ended up clipping a couple of hurdles and almost went down,” Woody said. “Her race is very rhythmic, so it’s just getting more and more comfortable with the speed in-between the hurdles. This is only her second weekend competing in the event and she’s a lot faster than she’s ever been.”
Iowa closed out the meet on a high note as the women’s 1,600-meter relay of senior MonTayla Holder, Guillory, junior Alexis Hernandez, and Guster recorded the second-fastest time in school history (3:36.99) for the win over Purdue (3:37.89).
“Mar’yea didn’t run any faster in the open 400, but he anchored our 4×400 in a 45.6,” Woody said. “That’s a pretty amazing split to catch us back up. Even though we didn’t win, we did improve on our time and I do feel that we have a lot of up-sides in that relay. I still think we can run 3:07, which will give us a shot to not only win the Big Ten Championships but to qualify for the national meet.”
The Hawkeyes split competitors for the Iowa State Classic in Ames, Iowa, and the Tyson Classic in Fayetteville, Arkansas, from Feb. 12-13.
Day’s Collegiate Bests:
Men’s high jump:
Fr. Peter Andreano — 6-9 ½ (2.07m)
Men’s shot put:
So. Reno Tuufuli — 57-1 (17.40m)
Women’s triple jump:
Fr. Tria Seawater-Simmons — 38-2 ¾, 11.65m
Women’s 400 meters:
Jr. Elexis Guster — 53.47
Women’s 800 meters:
Jr. Jordyn Sindt — 2:14.33
Men’s 800 meters:
Fr. Pavlo Hutsalyuk — 1:52.11
Jr. Brook Price — 4:15.16
Women’s 1,600-meter relay:
Holder, Guillory, Hernandez, Guster — 3:36.99
Men’s 1,600-meter relay:
Wolff, Thompson, Frye, Harris — 3:10.04