FAYETTEVILLE, ARK. — University of Iowa track and field junior James Carter, Jr. claimed the West Regional Championship in the long jump with a lifetime-best jump (7.93m / 26’0.25”) and 11 other Hawkeyes advanced after the first day of the NCAA West Regional at John McDonnell Field.
Carter, Jr. jumped over 26 feet for the first time in his career on his second jump to move to third on Iowa’s all-time list. Carter, Jr. opted to pass his third jump in an effort to save his legs for Friday’s triple jump where he comes in seeded 13th in the region.
“That was a big-time jump,” Iowa Director of Track and Field Joey Woody said. “He’s been dialed in all year. He’s the ultimate competitor and he knows how to get things done when his back is up against the wall. He’s in a really good place right now. That’s one ticket punched for him, and I know he’s got his mind on the triple jump next.”
Senior Nik Curtiss became the second Hawkeye to punch a ticket to the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon, finishing 10th in the shot put (19.54m / 64’1.25”). Curtiss finished as a second-team All-American in the shot put this indoor season.
“I’m super excited for him to punch his ticket to Eugene,” Woody said of Curtiss. “He made it to indoor nationals and now outdoor nationals as a Hawkeye. I’m very proud of him.”
Big Ten Champion Julien Gillum ran the sixth-best time in program history (50.40) in the 400-meter hurdles to advance to Friday as the seventh-fastest overall. The junior dropped over half of a second off his previous personal-best time.
“Julien [Gillum] is one of those guys that just knows how to compete,” Woody said. “He took it all the way to the line, and he just has a nose for the finish line. He’s in a good spot and I think he’s got a really good chance to make it through.”
Three Hawkeye high-hurdlers advanced to Friday in the 110-meter hurdle races. Sophomore Grant Conway (13.66) ran the seventh-fastest time ever at Iowa and qualified sixth-fastest. Junior Gratt Reed (13.71) and senior Josh Braverman (13.73) qualified 10th and 13th-fastest, respectively.
“Seeing Grant [Conway] get down in the 13.6 range was exciting,” Woody said. “I think they’re all in a really good spot and all have a shot to make it to Eugene. They competed well and I was very proud of them.”
In the 400 meters, freshman Everett Steward dipped below 46 seconds (45.95) for the first time in his career and posted the No. 9 time on Iowa’s all-time list, qualifying 11th-fastest.
“That guy [Steward] just keeps improving every week,” Woody said. “For these conditions, to go out and run sub-46 is a big deal. Who knows, that guy could run 45-mid to low in his next race and he’s set himself up for an opportunity to make it to Eugene as well.”
Freshman Max Murphy moved on to Friday in the 1,500 meters (3:43.48) with the 13th-fastest time.
“He gave himself a shot to come back next round and extended his season – that’s a big part of this meet, extending your season each round and getting another race,” Woody said. “He’s fit and he should be in a good spot for Friday.”
A pair of Hawkeyes advanced in the 200 meters, and both recorded personal-best times. Sophomores Khullen Jefferson (20.70) and Austin Kresley (20.72) qualified 16th and 18th-fastest, respectively. Jefferson moved to 10th all-time at Iowa. Kresley just missed advancing in the 100 meters (10.40), missing the cut by three spots and just .03 of a second.
Junior Alec Still (1:48.77) and freshman Antonio Abrego (1:49.13) each advanced in the 800 meters. Still was the 18th-fastest qualifier and Abrego was 20th-fastest.
Tomorrow it’s the Hawkeye women’s turn to compete, beginning at 10 a.m. (CT) with Big Ten Champion Amanda Howe in the hammer throw.
Men’s Long Jump
1. James Carter, Jr. – 7.93m / 26’0.25”, PR, No. 3 all-time, National Qualifier
Men’s Shot Put
10. Nik Curtiss – 19.54m / 64’1.25”, National Qualifier
28. Elijah Barnes – 17.71m / 58’1.25”
39. Dawson Ellingson – 17.12m / 56’2”
Men’s 110m Hurdles
6. Grant Conway – 13.66 Q, PR, No. 7 all-time
10. Gratt Reed – 13.71w Q
13. Josh Braverman – 13.73 Q
34. Kalil Johnson – 14.15w
23. Austin Kresley – 10.40w
16. Khullen Jefferson – 20.70 q, PR, No. 10 all-time
18. Austin Kresley – 20.72 q, PR
11. Everett Steward – 45.95 q, PR, No. 9 all-time
Men’s 400m Hurdles
7. Julien Gillum – 50.40 Q, PR, No. 6 all-time
32. Phillip Jefferson – 52.22
38. Drake Woody – 52.71
DNF – Raymonte Dow
18. Alec Still – 1:48.77 Q
20. Antonio Abrego – 1:49.13 q
30. Armando Bryson – 1:50.03
33. Spencer Gudgel – 1:50.30
13. Max Murphy – 3:43.48 q