By JACK ROSSI
EUGENE, Ore. – The University of Iowa completed the second day of the NCAA track and field outdoor championships on Thursday on the campus of the University of Oregon.
Juniors Jahisha Thomas and Brittany Brown competed in the long jump and 200 meters, respectively, while junior Will Dougherty concluded the decathlon.
After waiting all week to run, Brown became the third Hawkeye to qualify for finals this weekend as she went 22.55 in the 200 meters automatically qualify and run with the second fastest time overall.
“Last night I had a dream that I went into the final, so it kind of felt like it already happened,” Brown said. “It was a good race and I fought to the end of the race and I got what I wanted.”
“She looked great today,” Woody said. “We’ve been working a lot on her start and she did what we’ve been working on. As long as she executes then I think she can run 22-low and give her a shot to win this thing.”
Thomas was making her second appearance at the NCAA Championships. She finished 16th overall with a final mark of 5.04 meters to be named second team All-American for the second straight year.
“She’s been here and done that before,” UI director of track and field Joey Woody said. “Our expectation is that she is a top eight competitor. If you look at the marks that made finals, she is able to do that.”
Thomas scratched on her final attempt on what was most likely a new lifetime best jump that would have gotten her into finals.
“She’s got the ability and she has the tools,” Woody said. “We will continue to look at some things and continue to help her get to that level.”
After not finishing the decathlon in 2016 due to injury, Dougherty completed his first career NCAA decathlon in 17th place, tallying 7,199 points. He earned honorable mention All-American status.
“He came in ranked 24th and finished 17th and is a few points away from being a second team All-American,” Woody said. “I am really proud of what he has accomplished this year even more than last year. He has made huge improvements and is now one of the guys in the Big Ten and the country.”
The men’s finals are tomorrow with four individuals and a relay set to complete their season and fight for an NCAA title. The first event, the men’s discus throw begins at 7:05 p.m. (CT) and will air live on ESPN at 7:30 p.m.