DES MOINES, Iowa — The University of Iowa women’s 3,200-meter relay squad shattered the school record at the Drake Relays on Friday.
Freshman Grace McCabe led the Hawkeyes, followed by juniors Taylor Arco, Tia Saunders, and Mallory King, finishing in 8:31.84 and breaking the previous record by nearly 15 seconds. The previous best time (8:46.45) was set in 1987 by Sherri Suppelsa, Janet Wodek, Jeanne Kruckeberg, and Kim Schneckloth.
“What can you say about how those ladies competed,” Iowa Director of Track and Field Joey Woody said. “There were many years that we didn’t even compete that relay because we couldn’t put four legs together. Now, we finish second and break the school record by 15 seconds. It’s truly amazing.”
The men’s 3,200-meter relay including junior Tysen VanDraska, freshman Alec Still, junior Nolan Teubel, and senior Carter Lilly followed and fought for Iowa’s second-best all-time mark of 7:22.50.
“Both of the 3,200-meter relays were very impressive,” Woody said. “It was another exciting race on the men’s side. I thought they performed extremely well and almost came away with a flag.”
Junior Laulauga Tausaga added two more top finishes for the Hawkeyes. She won the discus competition, throwing 57.13 meters (187-5) and had a quick turnaround, competing in the shot put and throwing 16.36 meters (53-8 1/4) to place second.
“It was a great day for the Hawkeyes,” Woody said. “I’m extremely excited for Laulauga, winning the discus title and almost pulling out the double victory in the shot put.”
Three more Hawkeyes finished second in their respective events, including juniors Jenny Kimbro in the 400 hurdles (58.43), Antonio Woodard in the 200 meters (20.70), and Nathan Mylenek in the 1,500 meters. Mylenek’s 3:44.49 finish moves the Clarkston, Michigan, native into fourth all-time at Iowa.
“I’m proud of how Nate came back from last weekend’s phenomenal performance in the steeplechase to run the fourth fastest time ever at Iowa in the 1,500 meters. He’s had a terrific week,” Woody said.
Iowa recorded three third-place finishes from freshman James Carter in the triple jump (15.12 meters, 49-7 1/4), senior Chris Douglas in the 400-meter hurdles (51.38), and junior Karayme Bartley in the 200 meters (20.71).
The 3,200-meter relay top marks and Mylenek’s fourth all-time mark in the 1,500 meters were three of six top-10 marks set on Friday. Senior Tria Simmons ran the eighth fastest 100-meter hurdles in 13.73, sophomore Jay Hunt tied the eighth-best high jump mark (2.12 meters, 6-11 1/2), and junior Karayme Bartley ran the ninth best 200 meters in 20.71.
“That was a big personal best for Tria and will build some confidence for her in that event for the heptathlon, and Jay Hunt had an extremely good high jump competition today and came out with another personal best. He’s been very consistent this outdoor season,” Woody said.
The hurdles group was dominant on day two of the Drake Relays with five athletes qualifying for the finals on Saturday. On the women’s side, Simmons (13.73) and junior Jenny Kimbro (13.42) qualified through to the 100-meter hurdles final, and on the men’s side, senior Chris Douglas (14.14), and sophomores Josh Braverman (14.18) and Anthony Williams (13.87) made the 110-meter hurdles finals. Kimbro, Braverman, and Williams automatically qualified by winning their respective heats, and Douglas and Simmons qualified with top-eight times.
“I thought all the hurdlers competed great in the preliminaries of the 100 and 110 hurdles,” Woody said. “Anthony led the guys with a nice preliminary race and set himself up for a great final tomorrow.
Both 100-meter dash Hawkeyes to compete also qualified for the finals on day three. Junior Antonio Woodard won his heat in 10.49, running the men’s fourth fastest time, and sophomore Antonise Christian ran the women’s seventh fastest time of the day, 11.75).
The Hawkeyes’ women’s 400-meter relay squad, including Amanda Carty, Aly Weum, Antonise Christian, and Talia Buss also qualified for finals with the sixth fastest preliminary (46.41).
The Hawkeyes recorded seven additional personal bests, including:
Antonise Christian – 100 meters (11.75)
Antonise Christian – 200 meters (24.40)
Talia Buss – 200 meters (24.19)
Sydney Winger – 100 hurdles (14.14)
Addie Swanson – 400 hurdles (1:00.56)
Raymonte Dow – 400 hurdles (51.61)
Megan Schott – 1,500 meters (4:28.00)
QUOTING HEAD COACH JOEY WOODY
“We have had a great meet so far with a lot of second-place finishes, but hopefully, tomorrow we can turn those into ‘W’s’ and bring home some flags and the Hy-Vee Cup.”
FINAL LAP AT THE RELAYS
The Hawkeyes will conclude the Drake Relays on Saturday. Field events start at 9 a.m. (CT) with the hammer throw, and running events start at 11:10 1.m. (CT) with the women’s distance medley relay. A full schedule of events is linked on hawkeyesports.com/trackschedule.