By JACK ROSSI
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The University of Iowa track and field team completed a very successful NCAA West Preliminary, qualifying a total of 13 athletes in 14 events for the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon.
The Hawkeyes reserved six more spots at the NCAA final site on Saturday, including two relays.
HEAR FROM COACH WOODY
“I challenged our athletes to keep building on the success we had at the Big Ten Championships and I think we came out and fought hard this weekend. We have high expectations for Jahisha, Lagi, and Brittany on the women’s side, but to see somebody like Jenny Kimbro, who was ranked 44th in the region, to come out and finish in the top 15 in the 100-meter hurdles and just missing making it to nationals is just an amazing story.”
“Chris Douglas, who had a Google internship during this meet last year and was an opportunity of a lifetime, made up for it this year by stamping his ticket in two events, so this was a very exceptional weekend for him.”
“Finally, to come back and finish the meet off in the men’s 4×4 with our season best time was impressive and we ran it when it counted.”
STRENGTH IN NUMBERS
Iowa qualified four athletes in multiple events at the NCAA West Preliminary on Saturday.
Senior Jahisha Thomas clinched a spot in the triple jump on Saturday after winning the long jump on Thursday. Her 44-foot 2-inch jump broke a 10-year old record set by Renee White on her way to a second place finish in the competition.
Junior Reno Tuufuli missed qualifying for the NCAA Championships in the shot put by one spot last year, but did not leave any room for doubt this season with a personal best throw of 62-feet 10.75-inches. Tuufuli qualified for the discus for the third time in his career on Friday.
Senior Brittany Brown qualified in the 200 meters with a time of 22.93 for the second time in her career. Brown also made the cut in the 100 meters on Friday for the first time. Brown finished seventh at the NCAA Championships in the 200 meters in 2017.
Junior Chris Douglas will travel to the NCAA Championships for the first time and will be there for two events after solidifying his spot in the 110-meter hurdles on Saturday. Douglas ran a personal best 13.88 to move into sole possession of seventh in Iowa’s all-time list. Douglas will also compete in the 400-meter hurdles. He qualified on time in both events by a total .03.
The Hawkeyes qualified the men’s 400-meter relay and 1,600-meter relay to the NCAA Championships on Saturday.
Sophomores Antonio Woodard and Collin Hofacker and junior Mar’yea Harris ran on both relays.
The 400-meter relay was the first to qualify. The group of Woodard, O’Shea Wilson, Hofacker, and Harris ran 40.04 to move on to Eugene as a time qualifier. This is the sixth consecutive year Iowa will send a 400-meter relay to the NCAA Championships.
The Hawkeyes ended the night with the 1,600-meter relay of DeJuan Frye, Woodard, Hofacker, and Harris setting a season best time of 3:03.69 to automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships. That time ranks fifth in program history.
Iowa’s qualifiers compete in the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon, June 6-9.