Love, Walker Sprint to Top of Iowa Record Books

LUBBOCK, Texas – Two University of Iowa sprinters shattered school records at the Jarvis Scott Open on Friday evening.

Within a five minute span, junior Lia Love and senior Kalen Walker set respective program bests in the semifinals of the 60-meter dash. Love, a native of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, cruised to a 7.24 finish, placing third to qualify for the finals. Moments later, Walker bettered his school record from 6.58 to 6.52.

But before the ink dried on Walker’s all-time update, he sprinted 6.51 in the finals to set Iowa’s program record for the fifth time this season.

“I know these guys are fast,” Walker said. “I knew the track was fast, too, so I was especially amped for that. The training has been going well and I felt very prepared today. My confidence is where it needs to be. The first round was smooth and I was looking forward to racing against some of those guys.”

“With Kalen, we knew it was there, it was just a matter of time,” Iowa Director of Track and Field Joey Woody said. “The execution was where it needed to be, but just as important was being side-by-side with great competition. He drove out well and had a tremendous start in the final. He is ready for championship season.”

“There is so much respect between us,” Walker added. “I have known the guys from Texas Tech for a long time. It’s an area where I have grown. I have a lot more respect for my competitors because I know what it takes.”

As a whole, the sprint squad performed at a high level. On the women’s side, sophomore Holly Duax joined Love in the finals and now owns the fourth-fastest time in program history (7.38). Sophomore Julia Pattison broke through and set a personal-best 7.65 in the first round of the 60-meter dash.

“For Lia to come back and set a school record in the preliminaries after the weekend she had in New Mexico shows where she is at,” Woody noted. “Holly was incredible today with her massive PR and climb up the record books on a big stage. We’ve never been to this facility before and I am glad we have been going up against some strong competition.”

Senior Joe Stein and freshman Miles Granjean matched their respective career bests of 6.77 and 6.78 in the opening round of the 60-meter sprint.

The Hawkeyes’ hurdle unit continued to show why it is one of the strongest in the country with finals appearances from women’s school-record holder Paige Magee and men’s veterans Grant Conway and Gratt Reed. Magee was the event champion, crossing the line in 8.03. Conway posted a lifetime best of 7.67 in the finals to move to third all-time at Iowa. Reed’s best time of the day was a 7.74 and he would ultimately place fifth.

The Hawkeyes mid-distance and jumps groups were in Fayetteville, Arkansas, on Friday and were led by several 400-meter runners. Freshman Josh Pugh (46.92) and senior Connor Belken (46.98) notched personal records, while senior Nylah Perry led the women’s group with a new best 54.26.

In Chicago, sophomore Walker Whalen tossed a 19.30-meter (63’ 4”) career best in the men’s weight throw.

“Our sprints program has demanded respect across the country. We actually own the longest running record in the NCAA with our 4×100 relay qualifying to the final round of Nationals. But a lot of people recognize that and how we develop our athletes to be competitive at this level. We have sent a big message this weekend. Our team is not going to be afraid. To do what we did today on the road shows where we are at and where we are headed. I am very excited about our team this weekend.”

The Hawkeyes continue competition Saturday at the Jarvis Scott Open, the Tyson Invitational, and the Windy City Invite.

Jarvis Scott Open
Women’s 60mH (qualifying)
5. Natalie Harris – 8.58, Q
8. Katie Petersen – 8.67, q
11. Miya Brines – 8.71, Q
19. Ellie Rickertsen – 8.84
38. Ali Frandsen – 9.11

Women’s 60mH (prelims)
3. Paige Magee – 8.13
12. Natalie Harris – 8.58
18. Katie Petersen – 8.73
19. Miya Brines – 8.73

Women’s 60mH (finals)
1. Paige Magee – 8.03

Men’s 60mH (qualifying)
3. Kalil Johnson – 7.92, PR
7. Kai Graves-Blanks – 7.99
34. Sal Capaldo – 8.44

Men’s 60mH (prelims)
4. Grant Conway – 7.69
6. Gratt Reed – 7.74
10. Kalil Johnson – 7.90, PR
20. Kai Graves-Blanks – 8.09

Men’s 60mH (finals)
3. Grant Conway – 7.67, PR + 3rd at Iowa
5. Gratt Reed – 7.84

Women’s 60m (qualifying)
3. Holly Duax – 7.46
29. Julia Pattison – 7.65, PR

Women’s 60m (prelims)
1. Lia Love – 7.24, school record
8. Holly Duax – 7.38, PR + 4th at Iowa

Women’s 60m (finals)
7. Holly Duax – 7.45
8. Lia Love – 7.83

Men’s 60m (qualifying)
11. Joe Stein – 6.77, =PR
13. Miles Granjean – 6.78, =PR

Men’s 60m (prelims)
1. Kalen Walker – 6.52, school record
17. Joe Stein – 6.78
18. Miles Granjean – 6.78

Men’s 60m (finals)
3. Kalen Walker – 6.51, school record

Tyson Invite
Women’s 60m (qualifying)
36. Alex Edison – 7.72

Women’s 60mH (qualifying)
10. Annie Wirth – 8.79

Women’s 60mH (prelims)
8. Tionna Tobias – 8.20

Women’s 60mH (finals)
7. Tionna Tobias – 8.20

Women’s 400m
13. Nylah Perry – 54.26, PR
15. Audrey Biermann – 54.45
21. Tesa Roberts – 55.15
24. Ali Dorn – 55.20
25. Gabby Cortez – 55.29
27. Olicia Lucas – 55.38
29. Mariel Bruxvoort – 55.53
31. Jaiden Itson – 55.77
49. Laney Fitzpatrick – 57.47

Men’s 400m
17. Josh Pugh – 46.92, PR
18. Connor Belken – 46.98, PR
40. James Fingalsen – 48.21
44. Tyrese Miller – 48.25
48. Jaylin Holmes – 48.49
54. Evan Schuster – 49.02

Women’s Long Jump
6. Maud Zeffou-Poaty – 5.99m (19’ 8”)
16. Kayla Hutchins – 5.73m (18’ 9.75”)

Women’s Long Jump Invitational
6. Tionna Tobias – 6.25m (20’ 6.25”)

Men’s Long Jump
11. DeAndre Stapleton Jr. – 7.04m (23’ 1.25”)

Windy City Invite
Men’s 5,000m
2. Will Ryan – 14:16.60

Women’s Mile
6. Amber Aesoph – 4:44.31

Men’s Weight Throw
3. Sean Smith – 21.16m (69’ 5.25”)
5. Austin Busch – 20.82m (68’ 3.75”)
12. Walker Whalen – 19.30m (63’ 4”), PR
13. Jordan Johnson – 19.28m (63’ 3.25”)

Women’s Weight Throw
8. Jamie Kofron – 20.01m (65’ 7.75”)
10. Alivia Bauer – 19.69m (64’ 7.25”)