By JACK ROSSI
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The University of Iowa track and field team competed from coast to coast on Friday, participating in the second day of the Florida Relays and opening up the San Francisco State Distance Carnival and Stanford Invitational.
Iowa got into the thick of the Florida Relays with field, short sprints, and mid-distance events taking place while the distance team kicked off their competitions on the west coast.
In Florida, freshman Laulauga Tausaga shattered the school discus record by almost a meter. She recorded a mark of 56.10m (184-1) as she placed fourth overall in the event. That distance is also top 10 in the country.
“That was a huge throw,” Woody said. “Coach Dubs and she were pretty excited after they measured it. That was fun to see her break the school record and then she backed it up with another throw over 55 meters.”
Iowa’s throwers continued to flex their muscles on the men’s side. Avery Meyers entered Iowa’s top 10 after winning the men’s discus competition. He threw 55.65m (182 -07) to win the event and rank eighth all-time in Iowa history.
On the track, junior Jahisha Thomas placed 19th in the 100 meter hurdles. Her time of 13.46 ranks 17th in the country and moves her up to second in Iowa history behind Tiffany Johnson’s 13.20 set in 2007.
Sophomore Mar’yea Harris and freshman Collin Hofacker both placed in the top six in the 400 meters. Harris surpassed his previous best with a time of 45.73 to finish third overall while Hofacker was sixth, notching a time of 46.70.
“They actually didn’t get to the hotel until 2 a.m. because of a delayed flight so not a lot of those guys had a lot of rest,” Woody said. “To see Mar’yea come out and run 45.7 and PR in the wind was great. He didn’t let that affect him and probably could have run a lot faster.
“Collin has had a great meet,” he said. “He had a PR in the 200 meters and then came back today and ran a great 400 meter race today. He will be on the 4×400 meter relay tomorrow and we are trying to run a huge time there.”
At the San Francisco State Distance Carnival, freshman Nathan Mylenek placed fifth in the men’s 3,000 meter steeplechase with a time of 8:56.93. He is now fourth all-time after his first steeplechase. Junior Madison Waymire finished 11th in women’s race, clocking in at 10:41.91.
“Nathan ran an awesome race today in his first 3k steeplechase,” Woody said. “To go under nine minutes as a freshman is superb. That kid has impressed me all season since cross country”
Senior Tess Wilberding set a personal best by a second in the 1,500 meters with a time of 4:28.62 as one of two Hawkeyes to compete at the Stanford Invitational. Junior Marta Bote Gonzalez placed eighth in the 3,000 meter steeplechase in 10:34.93.
The Hawkeyes continue their busy weekend with the third day of the Florida Relays (10 A.M. (CT)) and second day of the Stanford Invitational (11 A.M.) and San Francisco State Distance Carnival (11:30 A.M.). The Florida Relays will be broadcast live on WatchESPN.com beginning at 1:35 p.m.
Florida Relays: http://bit.ly/2nk0UYO
Stanford Invite: http://bit.ly/2mW2F2a
Distance Carnival: http://bit.ly/2ozl29m