By JACK ROSSI
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — The University of Iowa track and field team concluded Championship Sunday at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships with a historic day inside the Haugh Track & Field Complex.
The Hawkeyes became the first team in Big Ten history to win the women’s long jump, triple jump, discus, and shot put at the same meet.
The women scored 96 points to place third overall, marking their highest finish in program history. Their previous best finish was fourth in 1985.
On the men’s side, Iowa tallied 80 points for sixth place. They had Big Ten Champions in the 400 meters and 1,600-meter relay.
Senior Jahisha Thomas and sophomore Laulauga Tausaga leave Indiana with two gold medals apiece. Thomas became the fourth person in Big Ten history to sweep the long jump and triple jump at both the indoor and outdoor championships. She won both events on her first attempt.
“This feels like I am ready to take the next step in my athletic career,” Thomas said. “Before I was nervous and afraid, but now I know I can do it.”
Thomas even had to run the first leg of Iowa’s third place 400-meter relay in between her fifth and sixth attempts.
“It was very nerve-wracking to hear what was going on in the triple jump while in blocks,” Thomas said. “I didn’t do any handoffs with Kyara, so we were in the tent before the race trying to practice.”
After winning the shot put yesterday, Tausaga won the discus in dramatic fashion on the final throw of the competition. Tausaga heaved a 191-foot, 7-inch throw to clinch her second title of the weekend and second straight discus title.
“This was a successful weekend for me and our throws program in general,” Tausaga said. “We’ve come a long way since the Florida Relays.”
Tausaga is the first person since 2009-10 to win two straight discus titles and is the seventh person in Big Ten history to win the discus and shot put at the same meet.
Iowa is the first school in Big Ten history to sweep the women’s shot put, discus, long jump, and triple jump.
Senior Brittany Brown capped off an Iowa three-peat in the 200 meters with a razor thin victory. Brown’s 22.93 won the race by .01 as Iowa became third school to ever win three straight 200 meter championships (Penn State, 2008-10; Michigan State, 1984-87). Junior Briana Guillory won the event as a freshman in 2016.
“I had a really good start,” Brown said. “But I knew it was going to be a fight the whole way and I fought. I heard them say someone else’s name, but then my name popped up on the scoreboard.”
RUNNER-UP NO MORE
Junior Mar’yea Harris has won three straight silver medals in the 400 meters and broke that streak in a big way on Sunday. Harris reset a 25-year old school record by NCAA Champion Anthuan Maybank with a 44.98 as he out-kicked the field on the front stretch.
“It feels so good,” Harris said. “It just shows that sometimes you won’t win them all, but it will pay off eventually and the reward was big. I broke 45 seconds and I couldn’t have asked for more.”
Harris won Iowa’s sixth title in the event and first since 2010.
Harris added to his list of accolades, anchoring Iowa’s first 1,600-meter relay Big Ten Champion in 19 years. The relay of junior DeJuan Frye, sophomore Antonio Woodard, sophomore Collin Hofacker, and Harris ran 3:06.32.
In addition to Iowa’s three Big Ten championships, Iowa scored in 13 individual events and three relays. To score, an athlete must place within the top eight.
Women’s 800 Meters
Mallory King – 7th (2:10.70)
Reno Tuufuli – 2nd (199-feet, 8-inches)
Women’s Triple Jump
Tria Simmons – 8th (40-feet, 11.75-inches)
Women’s 400 Meters
Briana Guillory – 5th (51.95)
Women’s 100 Meters
Brittany Brown – 2nd (11.28)
Men’s 5,000 Meters
Nate Mylenek – 5th (14:28.98)
Men’s 4×100-Meter Relay
Woodard, Wilson, Hofacker, Harris – 4th (39.51)
Thomas, Avant, Champe, Brown – 3rd (44.52)
Konstadina Spanoudakis – 7th (172-feet, 3-inches)
Men’s 400-Meter Hurdles
Chris Douglas – 3rd (51.00)
Ray Clarke – 6th (51.92)
Austin Lietz – 7th (52.45)
Men’s 200 Meters
Antonio Woodard – 5th (20.75)
Men’s 400 Meters
DeJuan Frye – 4th (46.17)
Collin Hofacker – 7th (47.08)
Women’s 4×400-Meter Relay
Champe, Guillory, Plock, Sharpe – 3rd (3:35.94)
Select Hawkeyes will travel to the NCAA West Preliminary round May 24-26 to compete for a chance to qualify to Eugene, Oregon, for the NCAA Championships.