T&F Notebook: B1G Outdoor Championships


University of Iowa track and field begins its championship season this weekend in Minneapolis, Minnesota, at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships. The men come in ranked No. 20 in the USTFCCCA National Rating Index and sit atop the Big Ten, aiming for the third-consecutive Big Ten Outdoor title. The women enter the weekend No. 46 in the country and seventh in the Big Ten after a fourth-place finish a year ago. Action begins at noon (CT) Friday with the men’s decathlon and women’s hammer. Saturday’s action is slated to begin at 10 a.m. (CT) with more decathlon and heptathlon competition. The B1G Championships begin Sunday at 11 a.m. (CT) with men’s javelin and women’s triple jump and action concludes in the afternoon.


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 on BTN+.


The University of Iowa men’s track and field team captured the 2021 Big Ten Outdoor Championships title with a school record 127.5 points, besting runner-up Michigan by 33 points. The outdoor conference title was the second straight for the Hawkeyes. Iowa previously won the championship in Iowa City in 2019. The Hawkeyes won both the indoor and outdoor championship in the same year (2021) for the first time since 1963. The Hawkeyes defended their indoor Big Ten title on the men’s side as well on Feb. 12, and aim to complete a title sweep once again this weekend. A title on the men’s side would also mark the fifth-consecutive combined indoor/outdoor title for Hawkeyes.


The Hawkeyes crowned four individual champions at the 2021 Big Ten Outdoor Championships. Laulauga Tausaga and Dallyssa Huggins both won gold for the women, and Jaylan McConico and Jamal Britt won gold for the men. Tausaga won her fifth career Big Ten title, winning the discus with a mark of 62.09 meters. She graduated with the school record in shot put and discus. Huggins set a career best 1.79 meters to win her first career gold medal in high jump. McConico brought home the championship in the 110-meter hurdles with a career-best time of 13.23, a mark that set a school record and tied the Big Ten Championship meet record. Britt took the silver medal with a time of 13.60, and later brought home the title in the 400 hurdles with a time of 49.69.


In addition to the Big Ten Champions above, the Hawkeyes had nine runner-up finishes (Jamal Britt – 110m hurdles and long jump, Wayne Lawrence, Jr. – 400 meters, Tysen VanDraska – 800 meters, Nathan Mylenek – 3K steeplechase, McConico/Woodard/Reed/Lawrence,Jr.- 4×100-meter relay,James Carter, Jr.- triple jump,Will Daniels – decathlon, Serena Brown – women’s discus). The Hawkeyes also had six third-place finishes: Daniel Soto (10,000 meters), Carter, Jr. (long jump), Jordan Johnson (discus), Austin West (decathlon), men’s 4×400-meter relay (McKiver/Woodard/Gillum/Lietz) and Jenny Kimbro (heptathlon), all earning medals. Additional returning point scorers for the men include: Alec Still (5th) – 800 meters, Lawrence, Jr. (7th) – 200 meters, Austin Kresley (8th) – 200 meters, Jenoah McKiver (8th) – 400 meters, and Zack Pluff (8th) – high jump. Returning point scorers for the women include: Paige Magee (4th) – 100-meter hurdles, Myreanna Bebe (5th) – 100-meter hurdles, Mariel Bruxvoort (6th) – 400-meter hurdles, and LaSarah Hargrove (7th) – 200 meters.


The Iowa men won their first Drake Relays Cup championship since 2018 last weekend at the 112th running of the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa, behind a win in the sprint-medley relay (Austin Kresley, Khullen Jefferson, Julien Gillum, Alec Still). The Hawkeyes finished second in the 4×100-meter relay (Kalil Johnson, Kresley, Gratt Reed, Jefferson), and third place in the distance-medley relay, and the 4×400- and 4×800-meter relays. Additionally, the Hawkeyes won the shuttle-hurdle relay (a non Relays Cup event) with the team of Grant Conway, Josh Braverman, Johnson and Reed for the first time since 1984 and set the school record (56.74).

Junior James Carter, Jr. became the first university division men’s athlete at the Drake Relays in 16 years to complete a sweep of the horizontal jumps, winning the long jump (7.84m / 25’8.5” w) on Friday and doubling back to win the triple jump (15.79m / 51’9.75”) on Saturday – the second and third Drake Relays flags in the Hawkeye’s career.


Sophomore decathlete Austin West produced a record-setting week in the Golden State at the Mt. SAC Relays. West broke the 8,000-point plateau for the first time in his career (8,179) – breaking the Iowa school record and finishing runner-up to Arkansas indoor heptathlon national champion Ayden Owens in one of the best decathlons in NCAA history. West’s point total is No. 10 in the world this year and third in the NCAA. West’s 8,179 points ranks him as the 24th-best performer in NCAA history. West set personal-best marks in seven of the 10 events, including a personal best of 46.41 in the 400 meters – a time that before this season would have ranked tenth all-time at Iowa. West was named B1G Field Athlete of the Week on April 20 for his performance.


Sophomore sprinter Jenoah McKiver picked up right where he left off this indoor season in his outdoor debut at the Jim Click Shootout on April 9. The two-time All-American and indoor NCAA 400-meter runner-up ran a jaw-dropping 44.74 to make him the fastest quarter-miler in Iowa history undisputedly, as he now owns the indoor and outdoor 400-meter records. His time wasn’t just a school record, it was good for the NCAA lead and at the time was No. 2 in the world for 2022 (now No. 7). He doubled back and split 43.8 as the anchor on Iowa’s 4×400-meter relay that is No. 9 in the NCAA and third-fastest ever at Iowa. The national media took notice as he was named USTFCCCA National Athlete of the Week in addition to B1G Track Athlete of the Week.


Sophomore LaSarah Hargrove broke the Iowa 60-meter record this indoor season (7.25) and put down a blistering time in the 100 meters in her outdoor season debut on March 19 at the Baldy Castillo Invite. Hargrove ran a wind-aided mark of 11.13 to win the 100 meters — a mark good enough for a school record, but was just outside of the wind-legal threshold. The speedy sophomore continues to challenge to take down the record (11.28). Hargrove added to her hot start of the outdoor season with a win in the 200 meters (22.79) at the Jim Click Shootout (April 9). Her time was No. 2 all-time at Iowa and is 11th-fastest in the NCAA this season. She was named B1G Track Athlete of the Week on April 13 for her performance. Hargrove qualified seventh-fastest (11.37) in the prelims and made the 100-meter final at the Mt. SAC Relays, finishing eighth (11.38). Her 11.37 preliminary time moved her to fourth all-time at Iowa and was a wind-legal personal best.


Returning men’s outdoor long jump All-American junior James Carter, Jr. won the triple jump at the Jim Click Shootout (April 9) with the 25th-best mark in the country this year (15.84m / 51’11.75). Carter, Jr. improved his lifetime-best in the long jump at the Mt. SAC Relays (7.81m / 25’7.5”) – the fifth-furthest jump ever at Iowa and 21st in the NCAA this year. Last weekend, he became the first university division men’s athlete at the Drake Relays in 16 years to complete a sweep of the horizontal jumps, winning the long jump on Friday and doubling back to win the triple jump on Saturday – the second and third Drake Relays flags in the Hawkeye’s career.


Junior Alec Still was already one of the best 800-meter runners in program history, but at the Bryan Clay Invitational he dropped nearly a full second off his lifetime- best (1:47.50) to finish fifth in a field of 196 athletes and cement his status as one of the fastest 800-meter Hawkeyes ever. Still moved to No. 4 all-time at Iowa with his Big Ten-leading time that ranks 17th in the NCAA this year.


Iowa has four men ranked inside the NCAA top-70 in the 400 meters this season – all running sub-46.5. Sophomore Jenoah McKiver leads the country with his 44.74 ran at the Jim Click Shootout (April 9). Sophomore Khullen Jefferson posted the 11th fastest time (46.36) in school history at the Musco Twilight (April 23) – No. 62 in the NCAA. Freshman Everett Steward (46.40) and sophomore Austin West (46.41) clock in at 69th and 70th in the NCAA, respectively. They are No. 3 as a group in the USTFCCCA Event Squad Rankings.


At the Musco Twilight (April 23), senior Nik Curtiss broke the 20-meter plateau with the seventh-farthest throw in the NCAA this year (20.04m / 65’9”) to finish runner-up to All-American Darius King of UNI. Curtiss became the first Hawkeye ever to go over 20 meters in shot put. Curtiss now owns the indoor and outdoor school records, recording both in his lone season as a Hawkeye after a decorated career at Tiffin University. Curtiss made the move to Iowa with former Tiffin coach and first-year University of Iowa throws coach Ray Robinson and earned Indoor All-American honors in shot put.


Senior Erin Dowd (57.47) won the 400-meter hurdles at the Baldy Castillo Invite (March 19) in her outdoor Hawkeye debut – a mark good for fourth all-time at Iowa. Dowd improved her personal best to 57.27 with a third-place finish at the Mt. SAC Relays. Dowd’s time is third in the Big Ten and is 14th-fastest in the NCAA this season. Junior Mariel Bruxvoort, senior Payton Wensel and freshman Paige Magee have run the fifth (57.73), sixth (57.77) and eighth (58.26) fastest 400-meter hurdle times in school history this year, all ranking inside the top-35 nationally. The 400-meter hurdle event squad ranks atop the nation in the USTFCCCA Rankings. In the 100-meter hurdles, Myreanna Bebe’s season-best time (13.35) is fourth in the Big Ten and 47th in the NCAA this year.

Three men’s high-hurdlers rank inside the top-50 in the nation this season. At the Baldy Castillo Invite (March 19), Josh Braverman finished runner-up in the 110-meter hurdles (13.74) with the 28th-fastest time in the NCAA. Sophomore Grant Conway won the Jim Click Shootout (April 9) in 13.81, clocking in at No. 37 in the nation. Sophomore Gratt Reed’s season best time (13.87) is 49th-fastest this season. As a unit, the men are ranked second in the USTFCCCA event squad rankings. The 400-meter hurdle group is ranked second in the event squad rankings as well, due to five men with times under 52 seconds – with three ranked inside the NCAA top-46 this year. Drake Woody is currently 37th (51.20), Julien Gillum is 45th (51.33) and Phillip Jefferson is 46th (51.36). Nathan Farrell (51.65) and Raymonte Dow (51.86) are just outside the top-60.


Iowa’s relays put on a show at the Jim Click Shootout (April 9) with the women’s 4×100-meter relay (Har- grove, Love, Dowd, Magee) getting things started by running the second-fastest time in program history (44.06) – just two-hundredths of a second off of the school record. The men’s 4×100-meter relay (Walker, Kresley, Reed, K. Jefferson) followed by breaking the school record (39.03) – 14th-fastest in the NCAA this year. The 4×400-meter relays had similar results, as the women (Bruxvoort, Roberts, Wensel, Dowd) ran the fourth-fastest time in school history (3:35.40), improving their time at the Mt. SAC Relays (3:35.08). The men (Steward, Bryson, Gillum, McKiver) capped off the Jim Click with the third-fastest time ever at Iowa (3:02.39) – clocking in at No. 9 in the NCAA this season. The 2021 season marked the eighth consecutive postseason that the Hawkeye men qualified a 4×100 relay to the NCAA Championships, and the fourth consecutive postseason that the Hawkeye men qualified a 4×400 relay to the NCAA Championships.


School-record holder Nik Curtiss started the outdoor season with a win in shot put at the Baldy Castillo Invite (March 19) and also cracked the top-10 list in the hammer throw (58.62m / 192’4”). Additionally, teammate senior Tyler Lienau finished third (60.52m / 198’6”) in the hammer. Curtiss continued his impressive season by going over 20 meters at the Musco Twilight with the No. 7 throw in the NCAA this year (20.04m / 65’9”) to finish as runner-up to All-American Darius King of UNI. Junior Elijah Barnes was third place (18.36m / 60’3”) with a season’s best throw that ranks 49th in the NCAA. Junior Dawson Ellingson recorded a career-best throw (17.87m / 58’7.5”) and finished fourth.

The Musco Twilight was a great meet for the Hawkeye throwers all around, as junior Amanda Howe improved her school-record mark in the hammer (62.92m / 206’5”) and broke the meet record with a throw that ranks 33rd in the NCAA and second in the Big Ten. Sophomore Kat Moody won the shot put (15.64m / 51’3.75”) and was runner-up in the discus (52.62m / 172’7”) with a personal-best throw that ranks fifth all-time at Iowa. Junior Nicole Berry was fourth in the shot put and Jamie Kofron (seventh) and Ianna Roach (ninth) joined her in the top- 10. Kofron also finished third in the discus (46.29m / 151’10”). Last weekend at the Drake Relays, Moody threw a personal best — 16.10 meters (52’10”) — in the shot put to finish fourth and move into the NCAA top-50 at No. 49.