FAYETTEVILLE, ARK. — University of Iowa track and field advanced seven entries to the NCAA Championships at the NCAA West Regional Quarterfinals at John McDonnell Field on Friday. In total, the Hawkeye men are sending 10 entries to the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon, on June 8-11.
Regional long jump champion James Carter, Jr. punched his second ticket of the weekend to the NCAA Championships, this time in the triple jump (16.12m / 52’10.75”) with a wind-legal personal-best jump and No. 4 mark in Iowa history. His final jump of the day put him firmly into a qualifying spot (6th).
“He’s one of the best competitors we’ve ever had in our program,” Iowa Director of Track and Field Joey Woody said. “For him to punch his ticket in two events is awesome. People don’t realize that the long and triple jumps are very different events. You have to be a special athlete and have to understand how to change your mindset from one event to the other. He’s one of the best athletes in the country and he showed that tonight.”
Sophomore Jordan Johnson finished sixth in the discus (57.09m / 187’3”) to punch his ticket to Eugene and join senior Nik Curtiss in the men’s throws (shot put).
“The conditions were tough to throw in, and for him to compete the way he did not from the final flight and only having three throws, I thought he had a tremendous day,” Woody said. “He’s a guy who has the talent to be a First Team All-American, so for him to punch a ticket in the way that he did today, he really stepped up.”
In the 110-meter hurdles, the Hawkeyes advanced senior Josh Braverman (13.55) and junior Gratt Reed (13.75). Braverman finished fifth with a career-best time that ranks fifth all-time at Iowa.
“When we get to this meet, it’s the expectation to get guys through in that event,” Woody said. “Gratt had a spectacular middle and close to that race, he really started chomping people down those last few hurdles. For Josh to make his first national meet, I was so excited for him to punch his ticket back to his home state. He had his best performance of the season at the right time. They have their minds set to be First Team All-Americans.”
In the 400-meter hurdles, junior Julien Gillum (50.26) advanced to Eugene with a personal-best time, also fifth-fastest in program history.
“That guy does whatever it takes to be successful,” Woody said of Gillum. “He’s put his best self out there at the right time, also in the 4×400. We have huge faith in that guy. There was no doubt in my mind he was going to make it to the national meet because he’s just that kind of competitor.”
Both Hawkeye relays advanced to Eugene to extend a pair of impressive streaks. The 4×100-meter relay team (39.56) of freshman Kalil Johnson, sophomore Austin Kresley, junior Gratt Reed and sophomore Khullen Jefferson advanced to the NCAA Championships to mark the ninth-consecutive in that event.
“Nine times in a row qualifying for this meet is unheard of, I don’t know of any other team that has done that,” Woody said. “This region is tough every year, going up against the southern schools, especially Texas and California schools. We’ve had different athletes on this relay every year, so hats off to those guys.”
For the fifth-consecutive season, the Hawkeyes advanced a 4×400-meter relay team (3:03.62) to the NCAA Championships. The quartet of sophomores Austin West, Armando Bryson, Spencer Gudgel and Gillum ran the No. 8 time in program history to finish sixth and punch its ticket.
“That’s why we have such tremendous depth on our team,” Woody said. “No matter who we put in there, we expect to make the national meet in both relays. Today was a huge tribute to the type of team we are and the type of athletes we have in our program that care more about the team and the relay and the expectation than they do about themselves.”
Tomorrow, the women aim to punch their tickets to Eugene on the final day of the NCAA West Regional. Sophomore Kat Moody will get the Hawkeyes started in the discus at 1 p.m. (CT).
Decathlon – Austin West
Long Jump – James Carter, Jr.
Triple Jump – James Carter, Jr.
Shot Put – Nik Curtiss
Discus – Jordan Johnson
110m Hurdles – Josh Braverman, Gratt Reed
400m Hurdles – Julien Gillum
4x100m Relay – Kalil Johnson, Austin Kresley, Gratt Reed, Khullen Jefferson
4x400m Relay – Austin West, Armando Bryson, Spencer Gudgel, Julien Gillum
6. Jordan Johnson – 57.09m / 187’3”, National Qualifier
Men’s Triple Jump
6. James Carter, Jr. – 16.12m / 52’10.75”, PR, No. 4 all-time, National Qualifier
35. Deandre Stapleton, Jr. – 14.97m / 49’1.5”
Men’s High Jump
36. Zack Pluff – 2.05m /6’8.75”
Men’s 110m Hurdles
5. Josh Braverman – 13.55, PR, No. 5 all-time, National Qualifier
12. Gratt Reed – 13.75, National Qualifier
20. Grant Conway – 13.84
Men’s 400m Hurdles
11. Julien Gillum – 50.26, PR, No. 5 all-time, National Qualifier
18. Khullen Jefferson – 20.82
21. Austin Kresley – 20.97
15. Everett Steward – 45.94, PR, No. 9 all-time
19. Alec Still – 1:48.78
24. Antonio Abrego – 1:51.96
22. Max Murphy – 3:48.77
13. K. Johnson/Kresley/Reed/K. Jefferson – 39.56, National Qualifiers
Men’s 4x400m Relay
6. West/Bryson/Gudgel/Gillum – 3:03.62, No. 8 all-time, National Qualifiers