By JACK ROSSI
EUGENE, Ore. — The University of Iowa women’s track and field team took center stage on the second day of the 2018 NCAA Track and Field Championships with two Hawkeyes securing top-four finishes in the country.
Senior Jahisha Thomas (long jump) and sophomore Laulauga Tausaga (shot put) left Hayward Field on Thursday as first-team All-Americans in their respective events, while senior Brittany Brown and junior Briana Guillory earned second team All-America honors.
Thursday also served as the finale of the decathlon. Senior Will Dougherty finished 13th overall with 7,647 points.
After the first day of women’s events, Iowa is seventh in the country with 11 points.
FIRST TEAM ALL-AMERICANS
Senior Jahisha Thomas competed in her final long jump competition of her collegiate career and finished third in the country. Despite a couple unusual fouls for her, Thomas secured third place with a best jump of 21-feet 5.25-inches.
Thomas is Iowa’s highest placing All-American in the long jump. Zinnia Miller finished eighth in the event in 2014.
“From the beginning of the year I wanted to place indoors and go inside the top three outdoors,” Thomas said. “When I hit the third position I said to myself to hold it. I knew (my fouls) were decent jumps, but I just had to hit them and prove they were decent jumps.”
Sophomore Laulauga Tausaga’s school-record setting throw in the shot put guided her to become Iowa’s first All-American in the shot put. Tausaga broke her own record on her first attempt with a mark of 56-feet 2-inches and then bested that throw on her fifth attempt, throwing 56-feet 10.75-inches to secure her fourth place finish and first team All-America honors.
“Its definitely been a struggle,” Tausaga said. “There have been days when I liked (the shot put) and days when I hated it. I am starting to learn that if I put my mind to it and if I do exactly what coach says then things will happen like they did today. This has just been an amazing experience to not go to regionals last year in the shot put to getting fourth place.”
Senior Will Dougherty completed his final decathlon of his career with the program’s highest finish in the event at 13th place. The school record holder in the event tallied 7,647 points to fall 27 points shy of besting his previous record.
“To leave with the school record of 7,673 scored earlier this year and then not only come to the national meet, but hang in there and to place 13th a great group of guys is amazing,” Dougherty said.
FIGHT FOR IOWA
- Brittany Brown was named a second team All-American in the 200 meters following a 14th place finish in 22.89 seconds. Brown is an outdoor All-American in the 200 meters for the third time in her career and fifth in program history.
- Briana Guillory earned second team All-America honors in the 400 meters. Guillory ran to a 10th place finish in 52.36 seconds. She becomes Iowa’s eighth All-American in the event in program history.
The men conclude the 2018 season tomorrow. Junior Reno Tuufuli will compete in the discus at 7:05 p.m. (CT) and junior Mar’yea Harris competes for a national title in the 400 meters at 8:32 p.m. The meet will air on the ESPN networks. Live results are available on hawkeyesports.com/tracklive.