9 Track Hawks qualify for NCAA Championships

Nine Hawkeye athletes and one relay team qualified to compete at the 2019 NCAA Indoor Championships.


Ben Allan Smith

Iowa’s Briana Guillory participates in the Women’s 600m Run during the annual Black and Gold Intrasquad Meet at the UI Recreation Building on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017. Guillory finished first with a time of 1:30:01. The Hawkeyes will host the next meet on January 13.

Robert Read, Sports Reporter

Nine Iowa track and field athletes and one relay team have qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships in Birmingham, Alabama.

Qualification meant meeting NCAA criteria, which state that the student-athletes with the 16 fastest times in their individual competition (distances in the throws) will be invited to participate. The top-12 relay teams are also invited.

Laulauga Tausaga leads the way for the Hawkeyes, competing in two events at the NCAAs. She ranks third nationally in the weight throw (23.26 meters) and the shot put (17.89).

The women’s team will also send a Big Ten champion to compete in Tria Simmons. She was crowned conference champion in the pentathlon and will keep the momentum going at NCAAs. Simmons is fourth in the country in the event with 4,220 points.

Jenny Kimbro will join Simmons in the pentathlon; she finished second at the conference meet right behind Simmons. Kimbro is 13th nationally in the event with 4,123 points.

Kimbro and Simmons have pushed each other continually throughout the season, which should make nationals a sight to see for Iowa track fans.

Brianna Guillory, the final qualifier for the women, will compete in the 400, an event in which she ranks 14th nationally (52.65).

The men’s team will send two representatives to Birmingham to compete in the 60-meter hurdles. Big Ten champion Jaylan McConico ranks 11th nationally in the event (7.73). Chris Douglas is tied for 15th (7.75), a time he put up at the Big Tens.

RELATED: Iowa women take third, men finish fourth at Big Ten Indoor Championships

A pair of Hawkeyes will run the 400. Mar’Yea Harris (46.02) and Wayne Lawrence(46.14) rank 10th and 13th, respectively, in the country.

Rounding out the field of individual competitors is Karayme Bartley, who will compete in the 200. Bartley boasts a time of 20.67 in the event, a school record he put up at the Big Tens. Bartley, who finished second at the meet, ranks ninth nationally.

The men’s 1,600-meter relay team will also compete for the Hawkeyes; at the Big Tens, it won the title. The group’s fastest time this year was 3:04.76, a school record and seventh-fastest nationally.

Harris, who ran anchor on the relay and was able to come from behind and bring home the title at the conference championships, has looked forward to nationals all season long, and he has clear goals.

“I’ve had big goals all season long,” Harris said. “As a team, we wanted to get as many people to nationals as possible, especially some of the younger athletes just so they can experience what it is like. I want to be a champion, we all want to be champions. It’s just about working to that point and achieving that success.”

The NCAAs will take place March 8-9.