By JACK ROSSI
EUGENE, Ore. — The University of Iowa women’s track and field team reached its highest finish in program history with a 13th place finish on the final day of the 2018 NCAA Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon.
Iowa tallied 19 points, the most points in program history, with the help of senior Jahisha Thomas and sophomore Laulauga Tausaga earning first team All-America honors for the second time this week.
The Hawkeyes previous best finish was 20th place in 2006 and 1985.
THOMAS GOES OUT ON TOP
Two days after Thomas finished third in the long jump, she returned to place sixth in the triple jump despite battling through rain and hail.
“That was definitely one for the books,” Thomas said. “That rain was something serious, but we all competed in the same conditions. My first jump was a bad jump, but I knew I had something there and then I had a solid jump on my second attempt and that turned out to be my best one. I felt the potential in my body.”
Thomas is Iowa’s only first team All-American in the triple jump.
It’s not the end for Thomas, she will get to wear the Iowa uniform one last time in three weeks.
“I still have the British trials in about three weeks so I get to wear the uniform one last time,” she said.
TAUSAGA PLACES 4TH IN THE DISCUS
After a surprise fourth place finish in the shot put on Thursday, Tausaga provided a repeat performance in the discus. She recorded a best mark of 183-11 to become a first team All-American in the event for the second consecutive year.
“I came into the discus and I proved that I can throw with the best girls in the country again, but there is a lot of work to be done but I am happy where I am standing,” Tausaga said.
Tausaga only had two legal throws, but made them count even as the weather seemed to shift every 15 minutes.
“It has more of a mental factor,” Tausaga said. “Personally, when I see rain I start to panic, but I held through and I got to sixth and then bumped up to fourth. I got lucky with being able to finish fourth.”
A group of Hawkeyes will head to Des Moines, Iowa, for the USATF Championships June 21-24.