Walker, Wamokpego Named B1G Athletes of the Week

IOWA CITY, Iowa – University of Iowa Track and Field senior Kalen Walker and freshman Daniela Wamokpego were named Big Ten Athletes of the Week, the conference announced on Wednesday.

Walker, a senior sprinter from Eddyville, Iowa, was named the men’s co-track athlete of the week following his lifetime-best 6.51 60-meter performance at the Jarvis Scott Open on Feb. 9. This is the second athlete of the week honor of Walker’s career.

It was a record-setting weekend for the Hawkeye sprinter in Lubbock, Texas, as he broke Iowa’s school record twice. In the semifinals, Walker won his heat in 6.52, bettering his own program best that was set at the Black and Gold Invite on Jan. 27. In a high-level final, Walker clocked the 6.51 to set Iowa’s program record for the fifth time this season. Walker’s top time of 6.51 is the best in the Big Ten and third nationally.

“Kalen had a great weekend at Texas Tech,” Iowa Director of Track and Field Joey Woody said. “It’s very difficult to break any school record, let alone twice in the same day. He is competing at a very high level this year and we are in a great place heading into the championship part of our season.”

Wamokpego, a freshman from Meaux, France, earned the women’s field athlete of the week honor for the second time in her career after setting Iowa’s school record with a 13.24-meter triple jump at the Tyson Invitational on Feb. 10.

“Daniela has been working hard,” jumps coach Hadrien Choukroun said. “She is adjusting well as a freshman and is beginning to realize her potential. It is good to see that she is already improving.”

The triple jump specialist put together a complete series in Fayetteville, Arkansas. After moving into the lead on her fifth jump, Wamokpego saved her best jump for last, leaping 13.24 meters (43’ 5.25”) to set Iowa’s program record. Her career-best mark is second in the Big Ten and 14th among Division I NCAA women triple jumpers.

The Hawkeyes most recently earned athlete of the week honors on Jan. 24, when Paige Magee (women’s track) and Sal Capaldo (men’s field) won their respective awards.

Iowa concludes the indoor regular season on Friday, Feb. 16, hosting the Iowa Open at the Hawkeye Indoor Track Facility. Competition begins at 11 a.m. (CT).