By JACK ROSSI
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The University of Iowa track and field team completed the Florida Relays on Saturday in Gainesville, Florida.
Iowa added to their growing number of school records in 2017 and a number of athletes entered Iowa’s all-time top 10 during the weekend.
“We had really good performances today and finished it off with a great 4×400 meter race,” UI director of track and field Joey Woody said.
The men’s 800 meter relay team of junior O’Shea Wilson, senior Brendan Thompson, freshman Collin Hofacker, and senior Jared Ganschow finished eighth, but set a school record in the process, erasing the previous record set last season with a time of 1:23.02.
“This was a good relay for us. It was fun to have Brendan and Jared on their with O’Shea,” Woody said. “It was also a good way for Collin to open things up to get ready for the 4×4. We weren’t expecting to run a school-record but we felt good about our team and ran well.”
The women’s 400 meter relay had a day to remember during the final day of competition. Junior Jahisha Thomas, sophomore Briana Guillory, senior Alexis Hernandez and junior Brittany Brown improved to fifth all-time in Iowa history. The group recorded a time of 44.53 in the event but the coaches can see them running faster in the future.
“We feel like they are a team that is capable of running under 44 seconds,” Woody said. “We didn’t have the best handoffs but I think we are a much faster team when we put things together.”
The Iowa throwers continued to impress and today was the men who took the spotlight.
Sophomore Reno Tuufuli finished second in the discus throw. He notched a mark of 58.08m (190-07). Tuufuli followed that performance with another strong showing in the shot put with a personal best toss of 18.71m to improve to fifth all-time in Iowa history.
The Hawkeyes capped the Florida Relays off with one of the nation’s top efforts in the 1,600 meter relay. Freshman Emmanuel Ogwo, sophomore Mar’yea Harris, Hofacker, and junior Carter Lilly notched a time of 3:03.78 to place third all-time and rank in the top 5 in the NCAA. They finished third in the race.
The Hawkeyes return to the track next weekend for the Jim Click Shootout. The meet runs from April 6-8 in Tuscon, Arizona.