By JACK ROSSI
IOWA CITY, Iowa — The Hawkeyes started off the finale of their January homestand with great performances by their multi-event athletes on Friday inside the UI Recreation building.
Junior Will Dougherty, senior Heaven Chandler and freshman Jenny Kimbro competed in the heptathlon and pentathlon during the first day of the Black & Gold Premier.
For Kimbro and Chandler, it was their first multi-event competition in their careers.
“I was really nervous and I was most nervous for hurdles and the 800-meter,” Kimbro said. “It was nice to have hurdles first because that is what I am most comfortable with.”
Kimbro and Chandler made the most of their opportunities. Kimbro finished second overall with 3,715 points, ranking third in Iowa history. She set personal bests in the 60-meter hurdles (8.54 seconds) and long jump (5.88m, 19 feet 3 ½ inches).
“It’s crazy (to be third all-time),” Kimbro said. “But there are still a lot of things that I wish I could have improved on and a lot of things to work on in practice, but I am happy with the results. It was an exciting day.”
“I was really proud of the girls and the way they came out,” UI director of track and field Joey Woody said. “For Jenny Kimbro to get one of the top performances in the history of our program is pretty impressive.”
For Chandler, she cracked Iowa’s top 10 as well, placing fourth in the competition and ninth all-time with 3,411 points.
“Heaven has been a great leader of that young group,” Woody said. “We are going to make some noise in that group when we get to the Big Ten championship.”
Dougherty continued his hot streak, setting three more personal bests in the heptathlon. The Moville, Iowa, native set marks in the 60-meters (7.15 seconds), high jump (1.92m, 6 feet, 3 ½ inches), and long jump (6.80m, 22 feet 3 ¾ inches).
“It is reassuring (to get these marks),” Dougherty said. “Doing open events is a little different than putting them all together in the same day, but I am in my third year and the experience gained over those years helps me stay composed and not get too excited or too down on myself after a performance.”
Heading into day two, Dougherty sits in fourth place with 3,042 points.
“It is reassuring for what is to come later in the season,” Dougherty said. “I am excited for tomorrow to see what marks I can put up and how I stack in the Big Ten and the country.”
As the beginning of the end nears for Iowa’s streak of home meets, the team is preparing for the road and, according to Woody, we have yet to see this 2017 squad to their fullest potential.
“When hosting meets, you still have to compete, but you have to keep training, so we have been training at a high level in preparation for February where we will start to pull training back,” Woody said. “And as we start to pull the training back, we are going to start to see some big performances.”
The Hawkeyes conclude the Black & Gold Premier tomorrow at 11 a.m. (CT) inside the UI Recreation building.
Women’s high Jump
Kelli DeGeorge — PR, (1.65m, 5 feet 5 inches)
Megan Tamasovich — PR (1.60m, 5 feet 3 inches)
Men’s High Jump
Erik Miller — PR (1.95m, 6 feet 4 ¾ inches)
Mallory King — PR (26.48)
Brittany Brown — Event title (23.75)
Gage Eller — PR (22.83)
Jordyn Sindt — PR (1:38.80)
Sheridan Champe — PR (1:35.07)
Tia Saunders — PR (1:35.17)
Noah Larrison — PR (1:20.86)