April 16, 2016
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AUSTIN, Texas — Despite windy conditions with intermittent rain, the University of Iowa track and field team broke one school record and set 10 all-time marks at the Texas Invitational held inside the Mike A. Myers Stadium on Saturday. The Hawkeye men (118 points) finished third overall behind Texas (138 points) and Nebraska (124.5 points), while the women’s team (51 points) came in eighth.
Iowa closed the meet on a high note as the women’s 1,600-meter relay school record fell for the second time this season. Junior Elexis Guster, freshman Briana Guillory, senior MonTayla Holder, and junior Alexis Hernandez came away with the win in 3:32.63, knocking the previous school record of 3:33.25 (Holder, Guillory, Hernandez, Guster) set at the Pepsi Florida Relays on April 2. The relay’s time would rank 14th nationally and continue to lead the Big Ten.
“We have options,” UI director of track and field Joey Woody said on the lineup change. “It’s better not to be stuck with having only one person who can lead off. Today was a good confidence-builder for MonTayla to run on the fly and have her best split ever. She hasn’t run anything except first leg all season. I still think we can run two seconds faster, but this is definitely a good indicator of where we’re at.”
In just his second meet of the season, sophomore Carter Lilly climbed to second all-time at Iowa in the men’s 800 meters, finishing in a close second to Mississippi’s Craig Engels (1:47.17) in a collegiate-best 1:47.32. Lilly’s time would be the fifth best in the conference and the 10th in the country.
“Carter hasn’t raced since the first meet of the year, so it’s really exciting to see where he’s at right now,” Woody said. “That’s a really impressive time and it’s still pretty early in the outdoor season. He’s definitely fighting to make the national meet this year.”
In the women’s race, junior Mahnee Watts (4th) put up the fastest time she has ever run when she crossed the 800-meter mark in 2:08.28. That time moves her one spot to fifth in school history.
Freshman DeJuan Frye (46.41) and Hernandez (53.82) each logged the sixth-fastest time in program history in the men’s and women’s 400 meters, respectively, to earn runner-up finishes. Frye’s time would slot 14th in the nation and third in the Big Ten.
Iowa continued to reorder the all-time lists in the distance events.
Having competed in the 10,000 meters on April 1, sophomore Michael Melchert (3rd/3:49.03) successful changed gears to the men’s 1,500 meters, registering the ninth-best time in school history. Junior Kevin Docherty (4th/3:49.36) clocked the 10th-fastest all-time mark.
“Melchert looked like he was running at the Big Ten meet, chasing people down,” Woody said. “That change of distance is a challenge, so I think he’ll be ready to roll in his next 1,500.
“Docherty struggled a little bit this year, but it’s always good to get that guy going in the right direction. Docherty has a lot of talent. He just has to continue to build on that and believe in himself that he can compete to make the Big Ten final.”
Junior James Harrington also had a solid day on the track for Iowa with season bests in the men’s 100 meters (9th/10.42) and 200 meters (5th/20.57), while classmates Aaron Mallett (13.83) and Mitch Wolff (51.23) took home titles in the men’s 110-meter and 400-meter hurdles, respectively.
In the field for the Hawkeyes, sophomore Leah Colbert’s collegiate-best hammer throw, 178-9 (54.49m), earned fourth place and ranks fifth all-time at Iowa.
The Hawkeyes host their first and only meet of the season, the 17th-annual Musco Twilight, at the Francis X. Cretzmeyer Track on April 23.
Complete List of All-Time Marks:
Women’s 400 meters:
Jr. Alexis Hernandez — 53.82 (6th all-time)
Men’s 400 meters:
Fr. DeJuan Frye — 46.41 (6th all-time)
Women’s 800 meters:
Jr. Mahnee Watts — 2:08.28 (5th all-time)
Men’s 800 meters:
So. Carter Lilly — 1:47.32 (2nd all-time)
Women’s 1,600-meter relay:
Guster, Guillory, Holder, Hernandez — 3:32.65 (school record)
Women’s hammer throw:
So. Leah Colbert — 178-9, 54.49m (5th all-time)