Track & Field Notebook: Larry Wieczorek Invitational

The Hawkeyes host the seventh-annual Larry Wieczorek Invitational at the Hawkeye Indoor Track Facility and the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex on Jan. 19-20. Competition begins at the HTRC on Friday at 11 a.m. with the weight throw and shot put. Multi-events begins at the indoor track at 11:30, while running events start at 4:30 p.m. Saturday’s competition begins with the pole vault at noon, followed by runnings events at 1 p.m. Iowa welcomes Bradley, Illinois, Illinois State, Indian Hills, Minnesota State, Mount Mercy, SIU-Edwardsville, UNI, Western Illinois and Wisconsin.

The Larry Wieczorek Invitational will be streamed on B1G+ (subscription required). Results for the entire meet can be found on the live results link on the track and field schedule page at Updates and results are posted on the team’s official ‘X’ account (iowaXC_TF).

For the first time in program history, the Hawkeyes swept Big Ten Athlete of the Week honors following the Jimmy Grant Alumni Invitational. Paige Magee, Sean Smith, Kalen Walker and Daniela Wamokpego each earned their respective award for the first time of their careers. Magee won the women’s track athlete of the week honor by breaking the program’s 60-meter hurdles record. Walker broke his own 60-meter school record twice in the season opener. The senior sprinter clocked a 6.60 in the preliminaries before speeding to the new program’s best 6.59. Wamokpego, a freshman from Meaux, France, made an instant impact with her triple jump of 13.12 meters (43′ 0.5″) to win the women’s field award. Smith set a facility record in the weight throw on his way to the men’s field honor, tossing a 21.66-meter (71′ 0.75″) mark. Magee, Walker and Wamokpego are ranked No. 1 in the NCAA in their respective events, while Smith holds the No. 3 spot amongst Division I NCAA competitors.

The Hawkeyes broke two school records at the Jimmy Grant Alumni Invitational on Dec. 9. Senior Paige Magee rose to the top of the women’s 60-meter hurdles all-time list, while senior Kalen Walker sprinted to history by breaking his own 60-meter school record twice.

This season, the Hawkeyes made 13 updates to the top-10 lists:
Women’s 60-meters: Love (2nd), Duax (5th), Magee (7th)
Women’s 60-meter hurdles: Tobias (3rd)
Men’s 800-meters: Marshall (4th)
Women’s Pentathlon: Wirth (6th), Rochford (9th)
Women’s High Jump: Wirth (6th)
Men’s Weight Throw: Smith (2nd), Busch (10th)
Women’s Weight Throw: Bauer (5th)
Women’s Long Jump: Zeffou-Poaty (4th)
Women’s Triple Jump: Wamokpego (2nd)

On the men’s side, the Hawkeyes return sprinters Damoy Allen, Khullen Jefferson, Austin Kresley and Kalen Walker. The hurdles unit looks to build on their strong reputation, led by Gratt Reed. Freshman Kai Graves-Blanks arrived on the scene with an 8.03 in the 60-meter hurdles. 2022 outdoor All-American Kalil Johnson opened with a 7.97 personal best in the 60-meter hurdles on Dec. 9.
Junior Lia Love leads the Hawkeye women’s sprints unit into the 2023-24 season. She holds five top-10 program marks, including the second-best 60-meter time (7.28). Sophomore Holly Duax joins Love at the top of the sprints group and climbed to fifth in program history with a 7.42 at the opener. Senior Paige Magee returns as a sprints and hurdles specialist. Magee ranks fourth in the NCAA following her record-breaking 60-meter hurdle performance at the Jimmy Grant Invite.

Following his facility record 1:47.83 in the 800 meters at the Jimmy Grant Invite, mid-distance runner Rivaldo Marshall was named the USTFCCCA men’s athlete of the week. It was Iowa’s first ever men’s indoor National Athlete of the Week honor. All-Big Ten transfer Zidane Brown adds talented depth to the group after placing third in the 400 meters at last year’s Big Ten Championships.
On the women’s side, 800-meter school-record holder Alli Bookin-Nosbisch takes aim at the mile school record. Bookin-Nosbisch began the season with a personal-best 4:48.08 in the mile. Returner Chloe Larsen is another key piece to the mid-distance group and started with the 600-meter title (1:30.26) on Dec. 9. The women’s 4×400 relay team of Larsen, Holly Duax, Gabby Cortez and Bookin-Nosbisch holds the 14th-fastest time in the NCAA following its 3:41.06 finish at the Hawkeye Invite.

The Hawkeyes return two of the premier multi-event specialists in the conference. Senior Tionna Tobias returns following her third-place pentathlon finish at the 2023 Big Ten Championships. Her 3,997 points ranks third all-time at Iowa. Tobias is also the reigning conference outdoor heptathlon champion. Tobias impressed at the Hawkeye Invite, setting two meet records on her way to a pair of individual titles (60-meter hurdles, long jump).Senior All-American Austin West claimed ninth in the heptathlon at the NCAA Championships in 2023, earning a personal-best 5,965 points. The Hawkeyes opened 2023 with the debut of four multi-event specialists. Annie Wirth led the women in the pentathlon, while Carlee Rochford and Isabelle Woody made their Hawkeye debuts. Sal Capaldo represented the men in the pentathlon at the Jimmy Grant Alumni Invitational.

Seniors Zack Pluff and Deandre Stapleton Jr. return to the men’s jump squad following impressive 2022-23 campaigns. Stapleton posted sixth and seventh place finishes in the long jump and triple jump, respectively, at the Big Ten Indoor Championships in 2023. Pluff placed fifth in the high jump at both the indoor and outdoor Big Ten Championships last season. On the women’s side, senior Kayla Hutchins claimed the triple jump title at the Hawkeye Invite (12.35m). Freshmen Maud Zeffou-Poaty and Daniela Wamokpego have etched their names in the record books through two meets. Zeffou-Poaty is fourth all-time following her 6.07-meter long jump at the Hawkeye Invite. Wamokpego owns the second-best triple jump mark in program history (43′ 0.5″ | 13.12m).

The distance group will lean heavily on cross country NCAA-qualifier Max Murphy during the indoor season. Murphy opened 2023 at the Sharon Colyear-Danville Opener in Boston, posting a 14:15.23 in the 5,000-meter race. He holds the Hawkeyes’ third-best mark in the 5k (13:58.57) set in 2022. Yohana Yual joins Murphy atop the distance group, focusing on the 3,000-meter event. Amber Aesoph paced the Hawkeye women in the mile at the Hawkeye Invite, setting a meet record and finishing second in 4:52.74.

Senior Quintin Lyons and sophomore Sean Smith are set to lead the men’s throws group in 2023. Lyons claimed the shot put title in the season opener, while Smith fired the programs second-best weight throw mark (71′ 0.75″ | 21.66m). Senior Alivia Bauer is leading the women’s throws group with two weight throw titles to start the indoor campaign. Jamie Kofron and Kat Moody are veterans looking to score points in the postseason. Moody holds the third-best shot put mark (54’ 7.25” | 16.64m) set at last season’s Tyson Invite. Kofron ranks 4th in the weight throw and 10th in the shot put.

The Hawkeyes host the Black & Gold Invite on Jan. 27 at the Hawkeye Indoor Track Facility.