By JACK ROSSI
IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa track and field team concluded its three meet indoor homestand with the Black & Gold Premier where two Hawkeyes reset their own school records.
Sophomore Laulauga Tausaga broke the record in the shot put for the second straight week. She surpassed Gail Smith’s record from 1985 at the Larry Wieczorek Invitational and followed up with another record-breaking performance with a mark of 16.01 meters (52 feet, 6.5 inches). Tausaga won the event and now ranks seventh in the Big Ten.
“I have a sense of urgency because I want to make sure I can score at Big Tens and have the ability to score team points,” Tausaga said. “If I can score for my team then it means I am meeting my personal goals as well.”
In the women’s triple jump, senior Jahisha Thomas opened her 2018 season with a mark of 13.11 meters (43 feet) on her way to breaking her own record in the event set last year. Thomas now leads the Big Ten and ranks eighth in the country.
“I wanted to stay consistent and listen to my coaches,” Thomas said. “I didn’t want to rush things because I was just getting back into it, but I want to stay healthy, stay focused, and know what I need to do.”
QUOTING COACH WOODY
“I feel great about today. This meet was a little more of a low-key meet compared to last week, but I liked the way our athletes came back and have great performances. To have Jahisha (Thomas) back competing is big. Her performance today should get her to the national meet. For Lagi (Tausaga) to come back and have another personal best is always good too. That time for Chris (Douglas) is right on the border of being a time to get into the national championships in the hurdles. Overall, this is the type of meet we need to build depth. We know that Brittany (Brown) and Briana (Guillory) are ready to put up big performances, but to have some of those younger athletes get another competition under their belt is important.”
WOMEN’S 400 METER PREMIER
Four Hawkeyes — Sommer Sharpe (55.90), Sarah Plock (56.16), Kylie Welch (57.23), and Kylie Morken (57.25) — set personal bests in the 400-meter premier. Sharpe ranks 18th in the Big Ten.
Junior Chris Douglas clocked in at a personal best 7.76 in the 60-meter hurdles to move into sole possession of the best time in the conference and eighth in the country. In addition, Douglas won the event, defeating former Hawkeye Aaron Mallett.
Sophomore Antonio Woodard went 21.20 in the 200 meters for a personal best of his own. He is now second in the Big Ten and 18th in Division I.
The Hawkeyes hit the road for the first time in 2018, traveling to the Meyo Invitational, hosted by Notre Dame Feb. 2-3.