T&F Notebook: NCAA Indoor Championships

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — University of Iowa track and field is sending a program-record 11 entries to the NCAA Indoor Championships in Birmingham, Alabama, on March 11-12. The NCAA Indoor Championships begin Friday morning at 10 a.m. (CT) and resume on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. (CT).


Fans can follow the meet on the live results page at hawkeyesports.com/tracklive. Results will also be posted on the team’s official twitter account @iowaxc_tf. A live stream will be available both days on ESPN3.


The Hawkeye men are sending the second-most entries (10) of any team in the country to the NCAA Indoor Championships, behind only Arkansas (11). Three Hawkeyes qualified in the 400 meters (Jenoah McKiver, Chadrick Richards, Wayne Lawrence, Jr.) and two qualified in the 60-meter hurdles (Grant Conway, Gratt Reed). Additionally, Kalen Walker qualified in the 60 meters, Austin West qualified in the heptathlon, Tyler Lienau qualified in the weight throw and Nik Curtiss qualified in the shot put. The 4×400-meter relay team of Richards, Julien Gillum, Lawrence, Jr., and McKiver also qualified with the second-fastest time in the NCAA this season. For the women, the 4×400-meter quartet of Mariel Bruxvoort, Payton Wensel, Tesa Roberts and Mallory King punched its ticket.


The Hawkeyes have earned Big Ten accolades on three occasions this season:

LaSarah Hargrove (So.)                 B1G Women’s Track Athlete of the Week (Dec. 15)

Jenoah McKiver (Fr.)               B1G Men’s Track Athlete of the Week (Feb.2, Feb.  9)


Ten school records have gone down this indoor season for the Hawkeyes:

60 meters — 6.61 — Kalen Walker

60 meters — 7.25 — LaSarah Hargrove

400 meters — 45.39 — Jenoah McKiver

600 meters — 1:15.36 — Jenoah McKiver

800 meters — 2:04.56 — Mallory King

4×400 Relay — 3:02.40 — Richards, Gillum, Lawrence, Jr., McKiver

4×400 Relay — 3:32.38 — Bruxvoort, Roberts, Wensel, King

Weight Throw — 22.20m / 72-10 — Tyler Lienau

Shot Put — 19.57 / 64-2.5 — Nik Curtiss

Heptathlon — 5,832 pts. — Austin West


Iowa Director of Track and Field Joey Woody earned his third-consecutive Big Ten Coach of the Year honor on March 2 after leading the Hawkeye men to their second-consecutive Big Ten Indoor Championship. A season ago, Woody became the first coach in program history to sweep the indoor and outdoor coach of the year awards. Iowa completed a Big Ten Championship sweep on the men’s side for the first time since 1963 — its outdoor title marking two-in-a-row. The Hawkeyes have now gone back-to-back indoors as well and will look to repeat that feat this spring.


Standout sprinter Jenoah McKiver has broken three school records this season. At the Meyo Invite, McKiver ran the seventh-fastest 600 meters in NCAA history (all conditions) and improved his school record (1:15.36). McKiver’s hot streak continued as he won the 400 meters at the Tyson Invitational with yet another school record (45.39). The freshman also ran the anchor leg of the school-record setting 4×400-meter relay (3:02.40). McKiver currently ranks fifth nationally in the quarter-mile while Iowa’s time ranks second in the NCAA. McKiver earned back-to-back Men’s Big Ten Track Athlete of the Week honors (Feb. 2, Feb. 9) for his performances. At the Big Ten Championships, McKiver won two gold medals (600 meters, 4×400-meter relay) to lead the Hawkeyes to back-to-back indoor titles. McKiver will compete at the NCAA Championships in the 400 meters and the 4×400-meter relay.


The Hawkeye men and women know how to run a quarter mile. Both Hawkeye 4×400-meter relays qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships. The men’s squad of Chadrick Richards, Julien Gillum, Wayne Lawrence, Jr. and Jenoah McKiver ran a conference-leading time of 3:02.40 in the 4×400-meter final at the Tyson Invitational on Feb. 11. The relay team consisting of two freshmen (Richards and McKiver) and two juniors (Gillum and Lawrence Jr.) broke the school record and currently rank second-fastest in the NCAA. The Hawkeyes also became the fifth-fastest program ever in the event indoors. The group bested the previous school record by 2.36 seconds. Additionally, McKiver, Richards and Lawrence, Jr. all qualified in the open 400 meters. On the women’s side, the quartet of junior Mariel Bruxvoort, freshman Tesa Roberts, and seniors Payton Wensel and Mallory King passed the baton in a Big Ten-leading time of 3:32.38 at the Tyson Invite – eighth in the NCAA – to break the Iowa record.


A year ago, Kalen Walker was running for Indian Hills Junior College. This year, Walker is an NCAA qualifier in the 60 meters. Walker exploded onto the scene in his Hawkeye debut at the Jimmy Grant Invitational, tying the 60-meter school record (6.69) in the prelims. Walker improved his all-time best mark at the Larry Wieczorek Invitational, becoming the lone school-record holder in the 60 meters (6.67), running that time in both the prelims and final. Walker bested top-level SEC competition at the Tyson Invitational, winning the 60 meters and improving his school record (6.61) once again. Walker finished third at the Big Ten Championships last time out and his time ranks 14th nationally.


The Hawkeye hurdlers have risen to expectations this year. Sophomores Grant Conway (7.72) and Gratt Reed (7.72) each qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships on March 11-12 after they each put down personal-best times at the Big Ten Championships. Conway finished as Big Ten runner-up and Reed took bronze.


The Hawkeye men will be represented at the NCAA Indoor Championships in both throwing events. Seniors Tyler Lienau (weight throw) and Nik Curtiss (shot put) each qualified for the national meet. Lienau (22.20m / 72’10”) and Curtiss (19.57m / 64’2.5”) are the school-record holders in their respective events.


Sophomore Austin West improved on his third-place finish a season ago and finished runner-up in the heptathlon at the Big Ten Championships on Feb. 26. West broke the Iowa heptathlon record earlier this season (5,832 points) and is seeded ninth overall to qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships.


The Hawkeyes switch gears to outdoor season and head to Tempe, Arizona, on March 18-19 for the Baldy Castillo Invitational hosted by Arizona State.