IOWA CITY, Iowa — Gone but not forgotten, as is the life of school records and the University of Iowa track and field team.
The Hawkeyes broke seven school records during the abbreviated 2020 indoor season, and on Tuesday at the UI Rec Building, those records were added to an everchanging record board.
Some names were new to the scene. Other names stayed the same, upping the ante on the mark.
“It definitely doesn’t get old,” said Laulauga Tausaga, who broke her own school record in the shot put and holds four school records overall.
“It is the same name but a different PR each time. That is completely special because it reminds me that I have to keep going and writing my name in the books again.”
Tausaga was one of six athletes who scaled the record board, replacing the names and numbers before them with their new personal bests. The others included Will Daniels (heptathlon), Jenny Kimbro (pentathlon), Tyler Lienau (weight throw), Jaylan McConico (60-meter hurdles), and Wayne Lawrence, who set marks in both the 400 and 600 meters.
Lawrence twice removed his friend and former teammate Mar’yea Harris from the top line. He reiterated he’s coming back in 2021 to take aim at the outdoor records, the ones who got away from him when the NCAA canceled the season due the pandemic. And he made sure to note it wasn’t personal, but rather a reflection of the program continuing to improve each year.
“I don’t want my records to last up there much longer,” Lawrence said. “I want the people underneath me to break my records. Of course I am going to break it before they break it. But after I graduate, I do not want those records to be there much longer. The same for Mar’yea. He always told me that he was ready for me to break his records. Sadly we didn’t get an outdoor season, so he survived another year on the board, but I think he would be very proud of me.”
Harris’s 600 record lasted one year before Lawrence passed it. Kimbro also took down a record Tria Simmons held for one year. Tausaga broke her own record, which she tends to do, and the 60-meter hurdles (Aaron Mallett) and 400 records were three years old before falling this season.
But the men’s’ weight throw? That one was collecting dust. Jim Costello held the mark for 18 years before Lienau broke the record on his final throw at the Texas Tech Shootout.
“That’s really cool that it made it that long,” said Lienau. “My goal is to keep pushing that PR and make it last another 20 years up there.”
The soft ceremony put a bit of closure on a 2020 season that never really materialized, and helped some turn the page to what could be in 2021.
“I think we’re all hungry. Some of us were at nationals when things fell through with Covid,” Tausaga said. “I think we came back because we have a goal. Especially these seniors. We’re ready to go. We’re ready to crush it. We’re ready to have more of these records break down and fall away.”
“Everybody is waiting for the season to come,” added Lawrence. “We are trying to figure out what our schedule may look like, but we’re ready for our team to come in and see these new records. It helps build that fire that is still burning. Everybody is still working. You have to work harder.”