Hawkeyes, Illini, Tigers Battle in Season Opener

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IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Iowa track and field team clashed with Missouri and Illinois in the annual Border Battle meet Saturday inside the UI Recreation building.

The Hawkeye women swept, defeating Missouri and Illinois by scores of 105-33 and 96-51, respectively. The men went 1-1 on the day, defeating Missouri 107-27 and falling to Illinois, 85-74. The team set 13 personal bests and five meet records.


“I was happy to see everybody come out and compete,” UI director of track and field Joey Woody said. “When you leave for winter break, it can be tough to keep things going, but most of our athletes did a good job of staying fit over break.”

In the first meet of his junior year, William Dougherty recorded personal bests in three events: Pole vault (4.45m), high jump (1.88m), and the 60-meter hurdles (8.43). After looking at his performance, the decathlete was feeling good about his first action of 2017.

“Being able to take a step back, I am pretty happy with my performance,” Dougherty said. “In the moment you are always looking to get that next bar, especially when you are attempting PRs in high jump and pole vault. You always want to keep going, but after it’s all said and done, I am happy.”

Senior Avery Meyers moved up Iowa’s all-time throw list to seventh place, throwing a personal best and meet record 18.33m. Meyers led the men’s shot put to a 1-2 finish with sophomore Reno Tuufuli.

“I was excited to open up,” Meyers said. “Training had been going well and I left last season with a little more to be desired. To come out and execute stuff we had been working on the past two years was relieving. I am excited to move forward.”

In the women’s triple jump, sophomore Tria Seawater-Simmons set a meet record and personal best on her first jump, jumping 12.38m to take the triple jump title. That distance ranks second all-time in Iowa history.

“I thought I scratched,” Seawater-Simmons said. “After my first jump, my distances declined. It was the adrenaline after the 60-meters. You just feel much faster.”

Sophomore Mar’yea Harris broke a personal best and a meet record. His personal best came in the 600-meters. He captured the event title with a time of 1:20.43. Harris was a part of a 4×400 meter relay team that notched a time of 3:12.31, a meet record.

“I felt good,” Harris said. “I believe that sometimes over break, you can’t get enough training in. I feel like I am a little out of shape, but I did what my coaches wanted me to do and I can’t say I am too upset with that.”

“We competed at a high level,” Woody said. “We still have a long way to go and just looking at how our team sets up in the Big Ten, we will be pretty good. It’s a matter of putting it all together.”

The Hawkeyes continue a string of home meets with the Hawkeye Challenge next Saturday at 9:30 a.m. (CT) inside the UI Recreation building.

Weight Throw: Leah Colbert – Meet record and personal best
Women’s Long Jump: Jahisha Thomas – Meet record and personal best
Men’s 60-Meter Hurdles: Aaron Mallett – Facility record
Women’s Pole Vault: Amy Smith – Personal best
Women’s 60-Meter Hurdles: Heaven Chandler – Personal best
Women’s Mile: Tess Wilberding – Personal best
Men’s Pole Vault: Andy Jatis – Personal best
Women’s 600 Meters: Alexis Hernandez – Personal best