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Tria Simmons does it all for Hawkeye track

Tria Simmons brings versatility to the table for Iowa track and field and will represent the team at NCAAs.

From+left%3A+Iowa%27s+Tria+Seawater-Simmons%2C+Minnesota+State%27s+Alexis+Smith%2C+and+Iowa%27s+Jenny+Kimbro+compete+in+the+women%27s+100+meter+hurdles+during+the+19th+annual+Musco+Twilight+meet+at+the+Francis+X.+Cretzmeyer+Track+in+Iowa+City+on+Thursday%2C+April+12.+Kimbro+finished+first+with+the+time+of+13.77.+
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Tria Simmons does it all for Hawkeye track

From left: Iowa's Tria Seawater-Simmons, Minnesota State's Alexis Smith, and Iowa's Jenny Kimbro compete in the women's 100 meter hurdles during the 19th annual Musco Twilight meet at the Francis X. Cretzmeyer Track in Iowa City on Thursday, April 12. Kimbro finished first with the time of 13.77.

From left: Iowa's Tria Seawater-Simmons, Minnesota State's Alexis Smith, and Iowa's Jenny Kimbro compete in the women's 100 meter hurdles during the 19th annual Musco Twilight meet at the Francis X. Cretzmeyer Track in Iowa City on Thursday, April 12. Kimbro finished first with the time of 13.77.

Ben Allan Smith

From left: Iowa's Tria Seawater-Simmons, Minnesota State's Alexis Smith, and Iowa's Jenny Kimbro compete in the women's 100 meter hurdles during the 19th annual Musco Twilight meet at the Francis X. Cretzmeyer Track in Iowa City on Thursday, April 12. Kimbro finished first with the time of 13.77.

Ben Allan Smith

Ben Allan Smith

From left: Iowa's Tria Seawater-Simmons, Minnesota State's Alexis Smith, and Iowa's Jenny Kimbro compete in the women's 100 meter hurdles during the 19th annual Musco Twilight meet at the Francis X. Cretzmeyer Track in Iowa City on Thursday, April 12. Kimbro finished first with the time of 13.77.

Robert Read, Sports Reporter

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The life of a multi-event athlete is a busy one. Different skills are required to master the five events in a pentathlon, all of equal importance in determining who is the best of the best.

At the 2019 Big Ten Indoor Championships, Hawkeye Tria Simmons claimed that title.

Senior Simmons opened up the conference meet by competing in the pentathlon against the other top athletes in the Big Ten.

In her first event, Simmons got out to a quick start by setting a personal record in the 60-meter hurdles (8.40 seconds) on her way to second place. Simmons remained in second place after the second event, the high jump, where she put up a mark of 1.68 meters.

Second place is an admirable position to be in, especially at an event such as the Big Tens, but Simmons knew she could fly higher.

“Coming off of high jump knowing I didn’t do my best, I knew I needed to do something better to increase my score and stay toward the top of the leaderboard,” Simmons said. “So I just went into the shot put and threw the best that I could.”

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She did just that. A second personal best of the day (11.58 meters) elevated Simmons to first, a position she refused to give up.

From there, she leapt 5.86 meters in the long jump and ran 2:19.79 in the 800. She finished first in the 800, which is even more impressive considering her disdain for the event.

“The 800 is definitely my least favorite event,” she said and laughed. “It takes a lot of mental preparation to get ready for it. I’m just glad it’s the last event of the pentathlon, because afterwards, I’m really sore and glad to be done.”

While she might not have been overjoyed doing it, the time Simmons put up in the 800 secured her first place.

Putting it mildly, she was overjoyed to be the Big Ten champion.

RELATED: Relay team lifts Hawkeye track and field

“I’m just excited that I won,” she said. “As a team, we had big expectations, but I wasn’t going in thinking I was definitely going to win or anything like that. I was just trying to do my best to provide some points for this team. But it feels great to be champion.”

The pentathlon was not the end of the weekend for Simmons. She came back the following day to close the Big Tens in the women’s 1,600-meter relay.

The relay team — Jenny Kimbro, Simmons, Aly Weum, and Briana Guillory — took first at the event (3:37.58). The time is tied for eighth-fastest in school history.

The Hawkeye women finished third at Big Tens with 80 points, their best finish since 2004.

Simmons put her best effort forward at Big Tens, and the results were enviable. To close the indoor season, she will head to Birmingham, Alabama, for the NCAA indoor meet.

“I’m going up against a lot of athletes who are really talented,” Simmons said. “The best of the best will be at the meet. The best thing I can do is just try my best and don’t even have expectations. I’ll put my best effort forward, and whatever happens, happens.”

Simmons will try to pair her Big Ten title in the pentathlon with a national championship at NCAAs on Friday and Saturday.

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About the Writer
Robert Read, Sports Reporter

Email: [email protected]

Robert Read is a sports reporter currently covering the men's track and field team at The Daily Iowan. He is a freshman...

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