Track and Field Notebook: Meet the Qualifiers

June 3, 2016

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa track and field team travels to Eugene, Oregon, to compete at the 2016 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships from June 8-11. The championships are at Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon and are set to begin Wednesday at 6:32 p.m. (CT) and conclude Saturday at 7:51 p.m.

Fourteen individuals qualified for a school-record 13 events at the 2016 NCAA Championships. The Hawkeyes are competing in 10 individual events — eight running, two field — and three relays. The 14 individuals ties the school record set in 2011, when eight men and six women competed at the NCAA Championships final site.

NCAA Track & Field

The qualifiers include:

QUALIFIERS/EVENT/SCHEDULE (CT)

Christian Brissett, Fr. (Wyncote, Penn.)
4×1 — Wednesday, 6:32 (s); Friday, 7:32 (f)

Brissett ran the second leg of the 400-meter relay to earn the ninth-fastest qualifying time in the West Regional (39.93). The freshman is making his first NCAA semifinal appearance, while his relay is making its four consecutive appearance. Iowa placed 12th in 2015, and sixth in 2014. The 2016 400-meter relay enters the championships with a season-best time of 39.44, ranking third all-time.

Briana Guillory, Fr. (Antioch, Calif.)
200 meters — Thursday, 8:32 p.m. (s); Saturday, 6:32 p.m. (f)
4×1 — Thursday, 6:32 p.m. (s), Saturday, 5:32 p.m. (f)
4×4 — Thursday, 9:48 p.m. (s), Saturday, 7:51 p.m. (f)

Guillory is making her first NCAA semifinal appearance. She was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year, winning the 200 meters in 22.95, the second fastest time in school history, and running the second leg of the championship record- and the then-school-record-setting 1,600-meter relay (3:31.22). The relay improved on that time at the NCAA West Regional (3:30.97). She ran the third leg on the school-record setting 400-meter relay (44.04).

Elexis Guster, Jr. (Atlanta)
400 meters — Thursday, 8:32 p.m. (s); Saturday, 6:32 p.m. (f)
4×1 — Thursday, 6:32 p.m. (s), Saturday, 5:32 p.m. (f)
4×4 — Thursday, 9:48 p.m. (s), Saturday, 7:51 p.m. (f)

Guster is returning to the NCAA final site in the 400 meters after a 17th place finish in (53.70) in 2015. She is a two-time Big Ten champion in the event, placing first in 2014 and 2015, and runner-up in 2016. Her PR is 51.85, which is second all-time in program history.

She is also competing in the 400-meter relay for the second time. Elexis Guster, Lake Kwaza, MonTayla Holder, and Brittany Brown placed 16th in 2014 to earn second-team All-America honors. Iowa’s 1,600-meter relay is making a finals appearance for the first time since 2011.

James Harrington, Sr. (Cedar Falls, Iowa)
200 meters — Wednesday, 8:44 p.m. (s), Friday, 9:07 p.m. (f)
4×1 — Wednesday, 6:32 (s); Friday, 7:32 (f)

Harrington is making his third straight appearance at the NCAA final site as a member of the 400-meter relay. He earned first-team All-America honors with a sixth-place finish in 2014, and second-team honors with a 12th-place finish in 2015. He runs the third leg of the 2016 relay and enters the semifinals with a season-best of 39.44, third all-time in school history.

Harrington is making his first career appearance in the 200 meters. He won his heat at the West Regional (20.72) to earn an automatic berth. His personal best of 20.50 ranks third in school history.

Mar’yea Harris, Fr. (Auburn, Wash.)
400 meters — Wednesday, 8 p.m. (s), 8:32 p.m. (f)

Harris is making his first NCAA semifinals appearance, and he is the first Hawkeye to qualify for the NCAA Championships’ final site in the 400 meters since Steven Willey in 2010. Harris’ PR of 45.76 ranks fourth in program history. He advanced to Eugene by winning his quarterfinal heat at the West Regional (46.16).

Alexis Hernandez, Jr. (San Diego)
4×1 — Thursday, 6:32 p.m. (s), Saturday, 5:32 p.m. (f)
4×4 — Thursday, 9:48 p.m. (s), Saturday, 7:51 p.m. (f)

Hernandez is making her first appearance at the NCAA final site. She ran the lead leg on the Big Ten Championship 1,600-meter relay that broke the then-school and conference championships record (3:31:32). The relay improved on that time at the NCAA West Regional (3:30.97). She ran the anchor leg of the 400-meter relay at the Baldy Castillo in the 2016 season-opener, breaking the school record in 44.04.

MonTayla Holder, Sr. (Indianapolis)
400m hurdles — Thursday, 6:32 p.m. (s), Saturday, 5:32 p.m. (f)
4×4 — Thursday, 8:57 p.m. (s), Saturday, 6:57 p.m. (f)

Holder returns to Eugene in the 400-meter hurdles for the first time since making her debut as a sophomore in 2014, when she placed 23rd to earn All-American honorable mention. She missed qualifiying as a junior by one spot (13th place) at the NCAA West Regional, but advances this year with the fifth-fastest time in the quarterfinals (57.12).

She ran the third leg of the Big Ten Championship and a then-school-record 1,600 meter relay (3:31.22). The relay improved on that time at the NCAA West Regional (3:30.97).

Lake Kwaza, Sr. (Sycamore, Ill.)
4×1 — Thursday, 6:32 p.m. (s), Saturday, 5:32 p.m. (f)

Kwaza returns to the NCAA Championships as a member of the 400-meter relay for the first time since 2014, when Elexis Guster, Kwaza, MonTayla Holder, and Brittany Brown placed 16th to earn second team All-America honors. Kwaza ran the lead leg on Iowa’s school record-setting 400-meter relay at the 2016 season opener (44.04). She is No. 2 in the 100 meters on the school’s all-time list (11.40).

Carter Lilly, Soph. (Sioux City, Iowa)
800 meters — Wednesday, 8:14 p.m. (s), 8:32 p.m. (f)

Lilly ran the West Regionals seventh-fastest 800 meters (1:48.55) to advance to the NCAA semifinals for the first time in his career. He is the first Hawkeye to advance the final site in the 800 meters since Erik Sowinski placed runner-up in 2012. Lilly’s all-time best of 1:47.32 ranks second in school history to Sowinski (1:45.90).

Aaron Mallett, Jr. (St. Louis)
110m hurdles — Wednesday, 7:32 p.m. (s); Friday, 8:12 p.m. (f)
4×1 — Wednesday, 6:32 (s); Friday, 7:32 (f)

Mallett is making his second appearance at the NCAA final site. He placed fifth last season in 13.40, setting a school record and earning fisrt-team All-America honors. Mallett is a two-time defending Big Ten champion in the event, and a three-time All-American. He placed third in the 60-meter hurdles as the 2016 NCAA Indoor Championships, and sixth at the 2015 NCAA Indoor Championships.

He is on the men’s 400-meter relay that enters the championships with a season-best time of 39.44, third all-time.

Vinnie Saucer, Jr., Jr. (Valencia, California)
4×1 — Wednesday, 6:32 (s); Friday, 8:47 (f)

Saucer ran the lead leg of the 400-meter relay to earn the ninth-fastest qualifying time in the West Regional (39.93). The junior is making his second NCAA semifinal appearance. The Hawkeyes placed 12th with Saucer on the lead leg in 2015. The 2016 400-meter relay that enters the championships with a season-best time of 39.44, third all-time

Jahisha Thomas, Soph. (London, United Kingdom)
Long Jump — Thursday, 8 p.m. (f)

Thomas locked up her first NCAA championship berth in the women’s long jump when she matched her personal-best 20-3 (6.17m) on her final jump of the NCAA West Regional. That mark stands fourth on Iowa’s all-time list. The last Hawkeye women’s long jumper to advance to the finan site was Zinnia Miller, a first-team All-American in 2014.

Reno Tuufuli, RS Fr. (Las Vegas)
Discus — Friday, 7:05 p.m.

Tuufuli, the Big Ten runner-up, put up his best mark of the day at the West Regional on his final throw (184-6, 56.24m) to earn the ninth qualifying spot from the West Region. His all-time best mark (199-2, 60.71) ranks fourth in school history.

Mitch Wolff, Jr. (Plainfield, Ill.)
400m hurdles — Wednesday, 8:30 p.m. (s); Friday, 6:57 p.m. (f)

Wolff is making his second consecutive appearance at the NCAA Championships. He placed 16h in 2015 to earn second-team All-America honors. His appearance marks the seventh time in eight years Iowa is represented in the 400-meter hurdles at the NCAA Championships. All-American Ray Varner qualified for the final site from 2009-10, and All-American Ethan Holmes represented Iowa from 2011-13.

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