Track & Field Notebook: Larry Wieczorek Invitational

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa track and field team hosts the third annual Larry Wieczorek Invitational on Friday and Saturday. The teams competing include Arizona, Baylor, Illinois, Iowa State, Minnesota, Missouri, Purdue, and Wisconsin. The meet begins Friday at 2 p.m. (CT) with the men’s weight throw at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex and men’s pole vault at the UI Rec Building. Running events start at 5:30 p.m. (CT) with the 3,000 meters. A full schedule of events is located at Admission is free.

Fans can follow the meet on the live results page on Results will also be posted on the team’s official twitter account @iowaxc_tf and a live video stream of the meet is available on BTN2Go and FloTrack.

The Larry Wieczorek Invitational is named after former Hawkeye track and field coach Larry Wiezcorek. Wieczorek’s time at Iowa spanned 50 years as both a student-athlete and coach. As an athlete, Wiezcorek was a six-time Big Ten champion and four-time All-American in cross country. He then transitioned into coaching and spent 30 years with the UI track and field program, leading 79 individual Big Ten Champions and 53 All-Americans.

Among the competition this weekened, there are two Olympians, Devon Allen and Georganne Moline. Allen is competing in the 60-meter hurdles Olympic Development and Moline is competing in the 600-Meter Premier. 

For the women, junior Laulauga Tausaga competes against 2018 Big Ten  weight throw champion and record holder Kaitlyn Long (24.37m, 79-11 1/2) on Friday.   Tausaga is ranked 12th in the weight throw with the 20.67 meter throw from last weekend’s Hawkeye Invitational. 

The men’s Larry Wieczorek Mile features juniors Nathan Mylenek (Iowa), Carlos Villarreal (Arizona), and Jon Davis (Illinois). Davis is ranked fourth nationally this season in the 800 meters (1:52.31).

The University of Iowa men’s and women’s track and field teams are ranked in the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) preseason poll. The men are ranked 26th in the nation and the women are ranked 37th. Participating men’s teams from No. 16 Wisconsin, No. 20 Illinois, and No. 21 Arizona, and women’s teams from No.15 Baylor and No. 34 Wisconsin are also ranked.

Junior Jaylan McConico made his way into the 60-meter hurdles after the Hawkeye Invitational last weekend. His 7.73-second race ranks third in the nation.

Six Hawkeyes on the roster account for four indoor school records: 
Nathan Mylenek, Collin Hofacker, Carter Lilly, and Michael Melchert: distance medley relay (9:33.90)
Reno Tuufuli: shot put (19.28m)
Laulauga Tausaga: shot put (16.51m) and weight throw (20.67m)

UI Rec Building Record holder:
Antonio Woodard: 300 meters (32.89)

The Hawkeyes finished the 2018 indoor season with 14 All-America honors, the most in program history. Returning this season is first team All-American Briana Guillory (400 meters), and second team All-Americans Mar’yea Harris (400 meters, 1,600-meter relay), Chris Douglas (60-meter hurdles), Collin Hofacker (1,600-meter relay), and DeJuan Frye (1,600-meter relay). Guillory also earned second team honors in the 1,600-meter relay.

2018 Iowa All-Americans
First Team — Jahisha Thomas (LJ, TJ), Briana Guillory (400 meters)
Second Team — Mar’yea Harris (400 meters, 1,600-meter relay), Chris Douglas (60-meter hurdles), Collin Hofacker (1,600-meter relay), DeJuan Frye (1,600-meter relay), Bradford Garron (1,600-meter relay), Sheridan Champe (1,600-meter relay), Brittany Brown (200 meters, 1,600-meter relay), Sarah Plock (1,600-meter relay), Briana Guillory (1,600-meter relay)

Senior Briana Guillory won gold in the 1,600-meter relay for Team USA at the 2018 North America, Central America, and Caribbean Championships in Toronto, Canada. Guillory ran the first leg, while Jasmine Blocker of Tulane University, Kiana Horton of Baylor University and Courtney Okolo of the University of Texas finished the race in 3:26.08.

Guillory’s 2018 NACAC 1,600-meter relay teammate Kiana Horton from Baylor is competing this weekend in the 200-Meter Premier.

At the 2018 Indoor Big Ten Championships, Nathan Mylenek, Chris Thompson, Carter Lilly, and Michael Melchert impressed with a come-from-behind win as Melchert passed five teams in the home stretch to earn the Hawkeyes’ first ever conference title in the event.

Senior Briana Guillory earned her first Big Ten Indoor title at the 2018 conference championships in the 400 meters (52.08). 

The Hawkeyes return 13 athletes who ranked in the Big Ten top five in 2018. Briana Guillory and Mar’yea Harris placed in the top five in multiple events.
Briana Guillory: 400 meters (1st), 200 meters (2nd), 1,600-meter relay (3rd)
Carter Lilly: distance medley relay (1st)
Michael Melchert: distance medley relay (1st)
Nathan Mylenek: distance medley relay (1st)
Chris Thompson: distance medley relay (1st)
Mar’yea Harris: 400 meters (2nd), 1,600-meter relay (3rd)
Reno Tuufuli: shot put (2nd)
Dejuan Frye: 1,600-meter relay (3rd)
Collin Hofacker: 1,600-meter relay (3rd)
Chris Douglas: 60-meter hurdles (4th)
Jenny Kimbro: pentathlon (4th)
Tria Simmons: pentathlon (5th)
Tysen VanDraska: 800 meters (5th)

Iowa returns four athletes that finished the 2018 indoor season inside the country’s top 10. Briana Guillory finished 2018 fifth in the country in the 400 meters (52.08), and Collin Hofacker, DeJuan Frye, and Mar’yea Harris were 10th in the 1,600-meter relay (3:05.33).

Iowa returns three NCAA top 10 athletes from the outdoor season. Laulauga Tausaga ranked seventh in discus (59.86m),  Mar’yea Harris ranked eighth in the 400 meters (44.98), and Reno Tuufuli ranked ninth in discus (60.87m).

The men have 17 current athletes in Iowa’s indoor all-time top 10 (46 times), led by school-record holders Mar’yea Harris, (400-meters, 1,600-meter relay), Carter Lilly (800-meters, Distance medley relay), Reno Tuufuli (shot put) DeJuan Frye (1,600-meter relay), Collin Hofacker (1,600-meter relay, distance medley relay), Nathan Mylenek (distance medley relay), and Michael Melchert (distance medley relay). 

The women have 11 athletes in the top 10 (19 times). Laulauga Tausaga holds the school records in the shot put (16.51m) and weight throws (20.03m). 

The Hawkeyes host their final home meet of the indoor season with the Black & Gold Premier on Jan. 25-26. Teams competing include Boston College, Drake, Eastern Illinois, Loyola, Marquette, and South Florida.