Iowa women’s track and field shows improvement

The Wieczorek Invitational brought new school records, personal bests, and all-time positions.


Ben Allan Smith

Iowa’s Laulauga Tausaga competes in the womens’ shot put during the 2018 Drake Relays at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa on Friday, April 27, 2018. Tausaga finished fifth with a distance of 15.40 meters.

Sydney Becker, Sports Reporter

The Hawkeye women’s track and field team took home two gold medals, leaving the Wieczorek Invitational this past weekend with numerous personal bests and all-time ranks at Iowa.

Laulauga Tausaga hit the No. 1 school mark in shot put (16.70 meters) to take second place. She was followed by Nia Britt (16.19) and Erika Hammond (15.63) to top off the all-time marks at Iowa.

Tausaga beat out her previous school record (16.51) set at the Hawkeye Invitational. She also topped her most recent weight throw record as well (21.30 meters).

“It’s a great feeling, but there’s still more to be done,” Tausaga said. I’m trying to keep moving up in the national rankings and keep working to make the Big Ten Championships.”

Iowa Director of Track and Field Joey Woody has been justifiably pleased with the performances of his throwers.

Ben Smith
Iowa Director of Track and Field Joey Woody interviews with reporters after the annual Black and Gold Intrasquad Meet at the UI Recreation Building on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017.

“That’s a great way to open the meet,” Woody said. “Those girls, they keep firing. Every single week, they keep getting better.”

In addition to the throws, Briana Guillory won the 400 meters (52.67), and the 1,600-meter relay team of Kylie Morken, Taylor Arco, Tria Simmons, and Tia Saunders also took home the gold (3:44.66).

Eight Hawkeyes set personal bests during the weekend.

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Two of those records came in the 60-meter hurdles: Jenny Kimbro (8.29) and Sydney Winger (8.77).

Mariel Bruxvoort (1:36.17), Alexis Gay (1:35.61), Taylor Arco (1:32.60), and Aly Weum (1:33.99) all set personal bests in the 600 meters.

In the 200 meters, Addie Swanson (25.59) and Talia Buss (24.98) posted bests, as did Kelli DeGeorge (1.70 meters) and Maria Gorham (1.65 meters) in the high jump.

Konstadina Spanoudakis also recorded a personal best in the shot put (13.96 meters), as did Antonise Christian in the 60 meters (7.58), Grace McCabe in the mile (4:56.77), and Megan Schott in the 3,000 meters (9:39.02).

Kimbro also placed in the all-time records at Iowa, taking the second-place spot with her time in the 60-meter hurdles.

“Sometimes, we get caught up on just times and marks during the season, but I just love head-to-head competition,” Woody said. “Going back to what track and field is all about, every time you go head-to-head against somebody and you perform, I think it’s fun.”

The competition over the weekend included numerous Olympic athletes, including Devon Allen, who ran in the 60-meter hurdles and Georganne Moline, who ran in the 600-meter premier.

“I think being in this environment as often as we can just makes people better; you see a lot out of our own athletes, but you also learn about your team and you program,” Woody said. “Anytime that you can put them in the fire like that, the better. They learn and grow from it, and not everybody’s going to have their best performances, but we got to keep getting better. This is the best opportunity to do that.”

The Hawkeyes will return in their final home meet of the insoor season with the Black and Gold Premier on Friday and Saturday at the Rec Building.

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