Men’s track heads south, west


Iowa thrower Reno Tuufuli warms up at practice with shot put in the Recreation Building on Monday, March 28, 2016. Tuufuli placed fifth in shot put in the indoor Big Ten Championships this year. (The Daily Iowan/Margaret Kispert)

The Hawkeye men’s track team will split up for two meets this weekend. One group will head to Des Moines for the Jim Duncan Invitational, today through Saturday, and the other will travel to Texas for the Texas Invitational on Saturday.

The Hawkeyes had a first-place finish in at the Jim Click Shootout in Tucson, Arizona; they toppled No. 19 Oklahoma State and No. 24 TCU in a 150-point effort.

“It was definitely a great weekend for us,” said Iowa Director of Track and Field Joey Woody. “We made some huge progress.”

One of those Hawks making huge strides, DeJuan Frye, gave fans a breakout performance.

The freshman won the 400 meters and participated in the winning 400-meter relay. His 400 time of 46.58 is fourth in the conference, 16th in the nation, and seventh on Iowa’s top-10 list.

“I got out, and I stayed out,” Frye said.

Woody noted that this was key in his race; earlier, Frye kicked it toward the end rather than starting off strong.

Frye’s relay (including Christian Brissett, Aaron Mallett, and James Harrington) sits atop the conference, is eighth in the nation, and ranks fourth in team history.

Harrington shone as well, making him another Hawkeye to watch for in Texas.

The senior won the 100 meters, finishing in 10.44 seconds.

Also at the Click, Iowa’s 400-hurdlers dazzled observers.

Mitch Wolff and Noah Larrison placed first and second in the event while running some of the best times seen by the Hawkeyes.

Wolff’s top finish came in at 50.96 seconds, ninth in school history.

The key to success is to minimize the distractions.

“The best thing to think about is nothing,” Wolff said. “I tell myself to just relax and push.”

In the field events, thrower Reno Tuufuli continued having success, and he enters this weekend as one of the top Hawkeyes to watch.

As a redshirt freshman who only competed in a handful of indoor meets this season, he has made the most of his opportunities.

After placing in Iowa top 10 in the discus, he moved up in the school records in the shot put.

The Las Vegas native threw for 18.34 meters in the winning effort, which ranks eighth in the record books.

“Coach Dubs is doing a great job coaching him up,” Woody said. “Being a redshirt freshman, it sometimes is hard to transition into competing at this level, but he’s used to competing at a high level. He doesn’t get too caught up in what he’s already done, he’s just trying to get better every week.”

Competition in Des Moines starts at 3:30 p.m. today with the field events and will continue throughSaturday.

Those athletes traveling to Texas will compete on Saturday, starting at 11 a.m. in the Myers Stadium.

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