Hawkeyes Add 28 Women to 2021-22 Roster

IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa track and field program announced Thursday that 28 women comprise the 2021 incoming recruiting class. The incoming class represents ten states and two foreign countries, including 12 athletes from the state of Iowa.

“I’m extremely excited about this year’s recruiting class, our staff did a tremendous job of adding some great talent and depth to each event group,” Iowa Director of Track and Field Joey Woody said. “We have a large number of immediate-impact athletes in each event area, and I can’t wait to get started with these young, talented athletes.”



“Lia Love, Mytika Mayberry, and Fionna Buresh will create much needed depth in the short sprints,” associate head coach Clive Roberts said. “I’m excited to get to work with these young ladies.”

“I am excited to be working with the women long sprinters heading into the 2021-22 season,” assistant coach Jason Wakenight said. “I think we have some great incoming pieces, including Waunakee teammates Chloe Larsen and Sarah Bova. This pair finished second and third place in the state of Wisconsin, making them one of the best one-two punches in the Midwest. Both will be important building blocks for a very young long sprints group.”

Sarah Bova

Waunakee High School

Waunakee, Wisconsin

17’7 (Long Jump)

25.45 (200M)

57.02 (400M)

Fiona Buresh

Decorah High School

Decorah, Iowa

12.48 (100M)

26.22 (200M)

Chloe Larsen

Waunakee High School

Waunakee, Wisconsin

56.91 (400M)

Lia Love

Jordan Senior High School

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

11.63 (100M)

24.58 (200M)

Mytika Mayberry

Ankeny, Iowa

7.78 (60M)

12.12 (100M)

Jade McDonald

Long Beach Poly High School

Long Beach, California

13.89 (100H)

43.57 (300H)

19’9.75 (Long Jump)

40’2.5 (Triple Jump)



“Our mid-distance crew has been steadily building over the past 18-24 months and we are about to take a huge step forward,” assistant coach Jason Wakenight said. “I think Jaiden Itson is a budding superstar and brings in some terrific prep marks, including a 55.08 in the open 400-meters. We also bring in two of Iowa’s finest homegrown talents in Kathryn Vortherms and Laney Fitzpatrick. Both have huge upsides and are used to winning. I think they can develop into difference makers in the long sprints and middle-distance races.”

Laney Fitzpatrick

Davenport Assumption High School

Davenport, Iowa

57.66 (400M)

1:36.48 (600M)

2:17.65 (800M)

Jaiden Itson

Fort Bend Hightower High School

Fresno, Texas

55.08 (400M)

2:12.17 (800M)

Kathryn Vortherms

Ankeny Centennial High School

Ankeny, Iowa

2:14.27 (800M)



“This is a very talented group that will be joining our women’s track and cross country teams,” associate head coach Randy Hasenbank said.  “Lauren McMahon and Miriam Sandeen had fantastic outdoor seasons. Lauren won a state title in her first season of track and field and Miriam had a very impressive finish to her season, running some outstanding times.  I am really excited to get this group on campus.”

Madeline Block

University of Northern Iowa

Marion, Iowa

18:16.86 (5000M)

38:38.14 (10,000M)

Kaitlin Knape

Tecumseh High School

Tecumseh, Michigan

18:45.17 (5000M XC)

Lauren McMahon

Ankeny High School

Ankeny, Iowa

4:45.54 (1500M)

9:57.17 (3000M)

Sarah Murphy

Linn-Mar High School

Marion, Iowa

4:55.60 (1500M)

19:06.00 (5000M XC)

Miriam Sandeen

Eden Prairie High School

Eden Prairie, Minnesota

4:55.03 (1600M)

10:42.86 (3200M)

Lillian Schmidt

Dubuque Senior High School

Dubuque, Iowa

10:29.67 (3000M)

18:02.10 (5000M XC)

Chloe Skidmore

Linn-Mar High School

Marion, Iowa

10:32.38 (3000M)

18:44.00 (5000M XC)

Samantha Strauss

Johnston High School

Johnston, Iowa

18:48.10 (5000M XC)



“We are excited for the incoming women to contribute to the already established women’s throws group,” assistant coach Ray Robinson said. “Nicole Berry brings a lot of experience and had success at the Division II Championship level. Berry is an immediate-impact transfer and we are lucky to have her. Lizzy Korczak is another immediate-impact athlete, having elite championship-level experience with Great Britain in the javelin. She will greatly bolster the squad.”

Nicole Berry

Tiffin University

Pitsburg, Ohio

52’2 (Shot Put)

150’3 (Discus)

Elizabeth Korczak

Brighton College

Hassocks, England

165’3 (Javelin Throw)



“The women’s high jump group reloaded in a big way and added substantial depth after a successful 2021 season. The women’s high jump group adds four elite women from around the Midwest including Jade Hunter, Ella Meeuwsen, Kiersten Fisher, and Anne Guest,” assistant coach Paige Bohannon said. “I can’t wait to see how these women train alongside and push one another. After having an abbreviated 2021 season, it will be great to get them into our training regimen to see what they are able to do at the Big Ten level.”

“The 2020-21 recruiting year was unlike any other. With all the uncertainty, I believe we have added some fantastic athletes and even more importantly, some quality individuals,” associate head coach Clive Roberts said.  “Jade Mcdonald, De’Anna Robinson, and Yazmein Barr will add some great pop to our women’s horizontal jumps group.”

“This is the most talented group of multis women we’ve ever signed,” Bohannon said. “Tahlee McVee joins us as the Australian Junior Heptathlon Champion. Showing her strength in the jumps and throws, McVee brings great multi experience to this young group.  Ellie Johnson joins us with an extremely strong work ethic, which is evident as a Wisconsin state champion in the 100 hurdles, along with a strong showing in the long jump. Rounding out the group is Miya Brines, who joins us as one of the nation’s top hurdle talents and a strong performer in both the long and high jump. We could not be more excited for how this group came together and know they will be a force within the conference.”

Yazmein Barr

Rutgers University

Teaneck, New Jersey

39’3.25(Triple Jump)

Miya Brines

Loveland High School

Loveland, Ohio

14.39 (100H)

25.26 (200M)

18’3.25 (Long Jump)

5’6.5 (High Jump)

Kiersten Fisher

Southeast Valley High School

Farnhamville, Iowa

5’6 (High Jump)

18’1.5 (Long Jump)

Anne Guest

Ottumwa High School

Ottumwa, Iowa

5’5 (High Jump)

Jade Hunter

United Township High School

East Moline, Illinois

5’6 (High Jump)

Ellie Johnson

Kettle Moraine High School

Oconomowoc, Wisconsin

14.21 (100H)

26.39 (200M)

Tahlee McVee

John Septimus Roe Anglican Community School

Perth, Australia

14.11 (100H)

25.34 (200M)

18’11.25 (Long Jump)

5328 (Heptathlon)

Ella Meeuwsen

Bay Port High School

Green Bay, Wisconsin

5’6 (High Jump)

De’Anna Robinson

Euless Trinity High School

Euless, Texas

19’6.25 (Long Jump)

38’4.5 (Triple Jump)

Coach Woody on the Women’s Event Groups…

“The women’s sprints and horizontal jumps generated a ton of fire power with the addition of Lia Love, Yazmein Barr (transfer from Rutgers), and De’Anna Robinson. All three will be immediate contributors to our team and have the ability to score right away at the Big Ten Championships. In addition to those three, Jade McDonald is one of the most diverse athletes of this recruiting class. She has the potential to be a top performer in the 100-meter hurdles, as well as both horizontal jumps.”

“We were very fortunate to add Nicole Berry and Elizabeth Korczak in the throwing events. Korczak is one of the top javelin athletes in the world under 20, and Berry is a proven, veteran performer who is excited to compete at the Division I level in the best throws conference in the NCAA. Both will be immediate-impact athletes for our women’s team.”

“The women’s high jump and multi-event area is one of our biggest and youngest event groups in this year’s recruiting class, but these are all very talented athletes who will be major contributors to our team’s success over the next few years. One of the top recruits in this year’s class is Tahlee McVee from Australia. She is one of the top heptathletes in the world under 20 and will be a contributor in the open events as well. In addition to the women’s hurdles and jumping events, Miya Brines, and Ellie Johnson are tremendously talented athletes who I think will develop into exceptional heptathletes in our program.” 

“The women’s distance group continues to build into a strong contingent in the Big Ten. We are extremely excited about the additions of in-state talents Lauren McMahon and Lillian Schmidt. Lauren competed in her first year of cross country and track last season and developed into one of the state’s best distance runners. Lillian has had a very successful high school career, and she will be an immediate contributor in our program. Miriam Sandeen is another super-talented athlete who will be a great addition to our women’s cross country and track teams. She had a huge breakout senior year and became one of the best distance runners in the state of Minnesota.”

“The women’s long sprints and mid-distance group continues to build into one of the best event groups in the Big Ten. Staying close to home in Iowa, we were very fortunate to add some quality depth to this group with the signing of Kathryn Vortherms, and Laney Fitpatrick. Both women are super talented and have a huge upside in the mid-distance events. In the long sprints, we were very fortunate to add the top-two senior 400-meter runners from the state of Wisconsin in Chloe Larson and Sarah Bova. Both athletes have had huge improvements over the last two seasons, and we are very excited to see them continue to develop in our long sprint group. In addition to Larson and Bova, Jaiden Itson is one of the top 400- and 800-meter athletes in the 2021 class and is someone we believe can contribute at a high level in both events, and especially the 600-meter indoors. We believe all three of these girls can be a factor in our 1600-meter relay by the time we get into championship season.”