April 9, 2016
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TUCSON, Ariz. — The Jim Click Shootout resulted in 16 career bests, 14 event titles, nine Iowa all-time marks, and seven top-20 nationally-ranked performances for the University of Iowa track and field team Saturday. Competing without the distance crew, the Hawkeye men (150 points) claimed the team title, while the women’s squad (128 points) finished second to host University of Arizona (164 points).
“I was extremely pleased with the overall performances of the entire team,” UI director of track and field Joey Woody said. “We had great performances in the field events, on the track, and in both relays. This is probably one of the best meets we’ve ever had in the combined program. From the beginning of the meet to the end, we had great performances all across the board.”
Junior All-American Elexis Guster (1st) ran the second-best time in the nation this season in the women’s 400 meters in a collegiate-best 51.85. The defending Big Ten champion is runner-up on Iowa’s all-time list behind former NCAA titleholder Kineke Alexander (2006; 51.35).
“We challenged Elexis today to get her ready for the Big Ten Championships,” Woody said. “She ran the 4×1, the 400, the 200 — both were PRs — and then the 4×4, so it was an extremely tough day for her to do all of that in a short amount of time, especially with the performances that she had. She’s made her mark in the Big Ten, but she knows she needs to continue to improve to be a finalist at the NCAA Championships. That’s on her mind, and she’s determined to do that this year.”
In the men’s 400 meters, freshman DeJuan Frye’s collegiate-best and winning time, 46.58, ranks fourth in the conference and ties for 16th nationally. He enters Iowa’s all-time list in seventh place.
“DeJuan had an unbelievable day today,” Woody said. “He improved by almost a full second from his indoor PR. As a true freshman, that kid is really coming along and doing some great things. We put him in our ‘A’ 4×1 for the first time and ran the fastest time we’ve run all year. I think that got him going and he challenged the 400 like he’s never done before. We knew he had it in him; it was just a matter of time.”
The men’s 400-meter relay clocked the fourth-fastest time in program history, 39.53. Iowa continues to lead the Big Ten in the event and moves to eighth nationally.
The Hawkeyes’ 400-meter hurdlers made up five of the team’s career-best performances on the day and combined for three nationally-ranked marks and two leading conference times.
A collegiate-best 56.70 in the women’s 400-meter hurdles propelled senior MonTayla Holder (3rd) to seventh in the NCAA and first in the Big Ten. She continues to stand third in program history.
In the men’s 400-meter hurdles, junior All-American Mitch Wolff (1st/50.96) ran under 51 seconds for the first time in his career, while sophomore Noah Larrison (2nd) improved to 51.22. Wolff ranks ninth in school history, while the duo slots 15th and 19th in the country, and first and fourth in the Big Ten, respectively.
“I think it’s just going to keep getting better from here on out,” Woody said about the hurdles group. “Looking at our program and the history that we’ve had, we want to be one of the best 400-meter hurdle programs in the country. We’re starting to make a huge statement on both the men’s and women’s side.”
Senior Lake Kwaza had an undefeated day, winning the women’s 100 meters (11.51), 200 meters (23.17), and running first leg on the leading 400-meter relay, which consisted of Guster, freshmen Taylor Chapman and Briana Guillory (44.41). Kwaza’s personal-best 200-meter time ties for 13th nationally.
“Lake is sending a statement that she competes to win,” Woody said. “She has proven herself as a competitor and continues to build on the great indoor season that she had.”
Iowa’s winning ways carried over to the field events.
Redshirt freshman Reno Tuufuli upped his personal-best mark to 60-2 (18.34m) in the men’s shot put for the win. He ranks sixth all-time at Iowa. Tuufuli (188-2, 57.35m) added another 10 points for his first-place finish in the discus.
Freshman Tria Seawater-Simmons won the women’s triple jump in a collegiate-best 38-9 (11.81m), a mark that ranks eighth in school history.
Iowa’s additional event winners each recorded season-best performances: juniors James Harrington (M 100 meters; 10.44) and Mahnee Watts (W 800 meters; 2:08.68), senior Kevin Spejcher (M high jump; 7-0.25, 2.15m), and freshman Andy Jatis (M pole vault; 15-7, 4.75m).
The Hawkeyes return to action next weekend with the Jim Duncan Invitational in Des Moines, Iowa, and the Texas Invitational in Austin, Texas.
Collegiate Bests & Notables:
Women’s 100-meter hurdles:
So. Heaven Chandler — 14.22
Men’s 400 meters:
Fr. DeJuan Frye — 46.58 (7th all-time)
Women’s 400 meters:
Jr. Elexis Guster — 51.85 (2nd all-time)
Women’s 800 meters:
Jr. Jordyn Sindt — 2:13.73
Men’s shot put:
RS Fr. Reno Tuufuli — 60-2, 18.34m (6th all-time)
Women’s triple jump:
Fr. Tria Seawater-Simmons — 38-9, 11.81m (8th all-time)
Men’s 400-meter relay:
39.53 (4th all-time)