Tausaga Wins Gold at Big Tens

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GENEVA, Ohio — The University of Iowa Track and Field team competed at the Big Ten Championships in Geneva, Ohio on Friday. The team earned one individual title and 11 personal bests.

Senior Laulauga Tausaga won her first career gold medal at a Big Ten Indoor Championships. She hit her last attempt with a mark of 22.21 meters to move her to the top spot. This mark broke the Spire Institute weight throw record. Tausaga will compete tomorrow in the shot put at 10:15 a.m. (CT).

Four athletes scored points for Iowa today. Senior Jenny Kimbro took fifth in the pentathlon with 4,092 points. Senior Nathan Mylenek finished fifth in the 3,000 meters (8:16.19). For the long jump, junior Jamal Britt placed fourth in his first conference meet (7.27m) and sophomore James Carter followed in fifth (7.26m).

The distance-medley relay of Alex Birkett, Raymund Clarke, Alec Still, and Daniel Murphy ran 9:46.39, which now ranks No. 5 in Iowa history.
“On the women’s side, the highlight was Lagi having to battle back and have a big throw on her fourth attempt. Sounds like she was battling some aches and pains through that whole competition so I’m really proud of her for putting it out there and breaking a facility record. That’s really amazing.”

“I’m really proud of Jenny Kimbro fighting through the pentathlon then having to run the 60-meter hurdles right after. She shows her toughness and I’m really happy for her. It was tough today on the women’s side. I thought the women in the 600 meters competed tremendously and set themselves up for tomorrow.”

“On the men’s side, I think we’re sitting really well right now. We have ten finalists on the track plus we have the triple jump and 4×4 tomorrow. I feel really good about the men right now. I was really proud of Nathan Mylenek. He competed really well and he did a great job of sticking his nose in there and competing all the way to the finish line. The distance-medley relay group competed really hard and I was really happy with how the performed. As far as figuring out points, I feel really good with where the men are at. We have a lot of finalists and we just have to take care of business tomorrow.”

I thought Lagi competed really well for the team today. We had a strategic plan coming into the meet and she executed it fully with exceptional competitive spirit. She’s taken on some new technical changes this year and I asked her stay patient with the changes, and she has. She’s competed well all season with the changes and taken some lumps along the way, but today was special because it was her first B1G title in the weight throw with one of the best throws of her career. I’m just really proud of how she’s trusted the process to get here and competed at a high level to walk away with a title.”
Laulauga Tausaga: weight throw (22.21m)
The women tallied six personal bests:
Anaya Alexander: 400 meters (55.10)
Dallyssa Huggins: shot put (13.77m)
Jenny Kimbro: 800 meters (2:15.76)
Tia Saunders: 600 meters (1:29.83)
Addie Swanson: 400 meters (56.00)
Payton Wensel: 600 meters (1:30.23)
The men added five personal bests:
Josh Braverman: 60-meter hurdles (7.72)
Peyton Haack: 60 meters (6.89), high jump (1.91)
Nolan Kembel: 400 meters (48.40)
Wayne Lawrence: 200 meters (21.10)
The Hawkeyes return to the Spire for Day 2 of the Big Ten Championships on Saturday. The morning begins with the men’s heptathlon and the women’s high jump at 10 a.m. (CT). The women’s 5,000 meters will start at 11:30 a.m. (CT). A full schedule of events is located at hawkeyesports.com.