Tausaga Named Frank Sevigne Invitational MVP

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LINCOLN, Nebraska — University of Iowa junior Laulaga Tausaga was named most valuable performer at the Frank Sevigne Invitational for her two wins in the weight throw and shot put on Friday and Saturday.

Tausaga earned her fourth win of the season in the shot put Saturday with a 16.25-meter throw (53-3 3/4), adding to her record setting weight throw effort Friday.

“It’s definitely a surprise,” Tausaga said. “This weekend had some ups and downs. But I’m glad I was able to fight till the finish and be rewarded for my efforts in doing so. All together it was amazing to win the award and I hope to take this week’s wins and transfer them to next week’s meet in Arkansas.” 

Iowa also competed Saturday at Notre Dame, where senior Mar’yea Harris and freshman Wayne Lawrence placed first and second in the Meyo Invitational 400 meters. Harris won in 46.02 and Lawrence followed in 46.14.

Another big performance came from freshman Jada Laye. She ran her first 200 meters of the season at the Frank Sevigne Invite. Her time of 24.61 seconds leads Iowa this season.

“Laulauga had a good a day, but she has more in the tank. We know that, but it’s good to come in and win the competition. She has big aspirations in the shot put. After yesterday, she was hyped up after winning the weight throw, and to come back and win today was impressive.”

“Between both competitions I thought we had some pretty spectacular performances. When you look at what Mar’yea did in the 400 meters today, running 46.0, that’s one of the best times in the country. He backed up what he did yesterday, which is impressive, because he wasn’t fresh. Then Wayne Lawrence was stuck in lane one, which is difficult or someone as tall as him, and he ran 46.1. On that track, it is really impressive. Overall, I was really happy with the whole 400-meter group at Notre Dame.”

“It was good to see the younger ladies, Antonise (Christian) and Jada (Laye), with some great times in the 200 meters. They’re building in the right direction.

“Jay Hunt hit a big collegiate best, and to hit that 2.10 meters is really big. Hitting that mark can score, especially if your jump is clean. It was good to see, and hopefully, it will build some confidence for the next couple weeks.

“In the multi-events today, those guys came back. Peyton Haack had a fantastic second day, especially in the pole vault. It’s good to see him put up a big personal best there. For him to be able to pick up 5,279 points in his first collegiate heptathlon was impressive. There are some great things on the horizon in the next couple weeks.”

11 Hawkeyes set 12 personal best on day two of the weekend’s competitions, including:
Antonise Christian – 60 meters (7.58), tied; 200 meters (24.68)
Addie Swanson – 200 meters (25.37)
Carly Donahue – 200 meters (25.49)
Payton Wensel – 400 meters (56.03)
Wayne Lawrence – 400 meters (46.14)
Grace McCabe – mile (4:55.59)
Anna Hostetler – mile (5:00.28)
Daniel Soto – mile (4:10.18)
Ian Eklin – mile (4:10.60)
Maria Gorham – high jump (1.65 meters, 5-5), tied best
Jay Hunt – high jump (2.10 meters),
Peyton Haack – pole vault (4.82 meters, 15-9 3/4)

The Hawkeyes return to action at the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and the Iowa State Classic in Ames, Iowa, next Friday and Saturday.