April 1, 2016
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The University of Iowa track and field team competed in its first full day of events at the 72nd-annual Pepsi Florida Relays hosted by the University of Florida on Friday. No team scores are being kept.
“We’re excited to get off to a good start here leading into tomorrow,” UI director of track and field Joey Woody said. “Overall, we had some great marks and I was really pleased with a few of the events. There’s a chance of rain tomorrow, but hopefully if things go well, we can continue to run some fast times and do some big things.”
Mallett (10th) opened his season in the 110-meter hurdles as the fourth collegiate-athlete to cross the finish in 13.65. The defending Big Ten champion would currently hold the top time in the conference and the fifth-fastest nationally. Thomas clocked a career-best 13.67 in the 100-meter hurdles, updating her sixth-place ranking on Iowa’s all-time list.
“Aaron and Jahisha both ran great hurdle races today,” Woody said. “Aaron probably didn’t have as fresh of legs as a lot of the other athletes in the race based on the way we’ve been training the last couple of weeks. I knew he would just come out and compete well. He went out and ran a good, technical race. We’re trying to set him up to run fast in May and June, so I was really pleased with his overall performance today.”
Larrison won his heat in a collegiate-best 51.39, his second event personal best in as many outings this season. Larrison’s time would move him to second in the Big Ten. Junior Mitch Wolff (9th/51.62) and freshman Chris Douglas (25th/53.12) rounded out the field for Iowa.
“It was definitely exciting to see all of our 400-meter hurdlers running well today, especially the way Noah was able to perform,” Woody said. “Noah’s just getting better every week. For a redshirt freshman, he’s doing some amazing things. We knew he was going to be one of those guys that would be half of a surprise for us. He’s living up to our hopes and doing some really impressive things.”
In the women’s race, Holder made her season debut in the hurdles by tying her personal-best 57.81, a mark that stands third on Iowa’s all-time list and would rank second in the Big Ten and eighth nationally. She has not run that fast in the event since the 2014 Big Ten Championships.
“MonTayla’s first five hurdles were pretty much flawless,” Woody said. “She kind of ran up on a few hurdles after that, but we’re working through her race-rhythm. We’ve made some adjustments this year to set her up to run 55 to 56 seconds by the end of the season. It’s definitely a good start and I think today will set her up really well as we get ready for our next couple of meets.”
Removing the hurdles, defending Big Ten champion and All-American junior Elexis Guster (8th/53.30) and freshman Briana Guillory (18th/54.22) competed in the women’s 400 meters for the first time this season. Guillory’s career-best time ranks ninth in program history. The pair would slot second and fourth, respectively, in the conference standings.
Brissett (26th/10.43) tied his 100-meter personal best from the Baldy Castillo Invitational on March 19, while Kwaza (11th/11.46) posted what would be the second-best conference time in the women’s 100 meters. Harrington (4th) sprinted to a season-best 20.66 in the invite section of the 200 meters, which would lead the conference and land seventh in the country.
In the men’s 800 meters, freshman Pavlo Hutsalyuk (21st) put up career-best outdoor performance when he crossed the finish in 1:49.94. He joins Iowa’s all-time list in ninth place and would stand fourth in the Big Ten.
Iowa returns to the Percy Beard Track complex Saturday at 10 a.m. (CT). The SEC Network + will provide live streaming of the day’s events beginning at 1:30 p.m.