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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association named University of Iowa junior Laulauga Tausaga (LAU-long-a Tuh-saga) the National Athlete of the Week on Tuesday.
Tausaga is the first athlete from Iowa and the second female in the history of the Big Ten Conference to earn the honor during the indoor season.
“This is an awesome accomplishment for Laulauga and great for our entire program,” Iowa Director of Track and Field Joey Woody said. “She exemplifies everything we want in our student-athletes. She’s tough, focused, and one of the fiercest competitors I’ve ever been around. This represents where our program is headed on the national level.”
Tausaga was recognized for her performances at the Frank Sevigne Invitational over the weekend. In the weight throw competition, she threw a school record 23.26 meters (76-03 3/4) to win the event, a mark that leads the NCAA this season.
The Spring Valley, California, native also won the shot put competition, throwing 16.25 meters (53-03 3/4). The two wins earned her Most Valuable Female Performer of the meet.
“It is just what she’s does,” Iowa throws coach Eric Werskey said. “She commits to what we are doing. From a year ago to now, she has matured so much. She continues to out perform every goal that I have for her. Now, we are reevaluating what is possible.”
The Hawkeyes return to action this weekend at the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and the Iowa State Classic in Ames, Iowa, on Friday and Saturday.