Hawkeye track’s Lawrence looks forward to outdoor season

Wayne Lawrence Jr. has already found his place with the Hawkeye track and field. With two All-American honors under his belt, he’s ready to take it to the next level.


Ben Smith

From left: Iowa’s DeJuan Frye, Collin Hofacker, Mar’Yea Harris, and Chris Thompson rehydrate following their victory in the men’s 4×400 meter relay during the 2018 Drake Relays at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa on Saturday, April 28, 2018.

Robert Read, Sports Reporter

The outdoor track & field season carries of high expectations for Iowa.

The Outdoor Big Ten Championships will be held at the Cretzmeyer Track, adding to the motivation each Hawkeye has.

Throughout the indoor season, the stars for Iowa were on full display. Laulauga Tausaga and Mar’Yea Harris, as well as other big names, put up impressive marks — they were expected to.

However, another name that was constantly among the top of the leaderboards was Wayne Lawrence Jr.

Lawrence, only a freshman, has made himself at home in the Hawkeye uniform. In a deep sprinting group containing the likes of Harris, Karayme Bartley, and Antonio Woodard, Lawrence has prospered early.

In his first college postseason competition, Lawrence earned two All-American honors. He was named first-team All-American for his role in the 1,600-meter relay, which finished sixth at the indoor NCAAs.

Lawrence also enjoyed success earlier in the season in the relay. Running the third leg at the Tyson Invitational, the relay squad broke the school record in the event with a blazing 3:04.76.

Lawrence earned a second-team distinction for the 400 meters, an event in which he placed 13th at the NCAAs. This was not his first major success in the 400, however. Earlier in the season, he put up a time of 46.14, the second-fastest in school history.

The success Lawrence enjoyed during the indoor campaign was impressive considering he is so young, but it is nothing new to him.

At Meadowdale High School in Dayton, Ohio, he was a Division 2 state champion in the 200 and 400 meters.

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Even when recruiting him, assistant coach Jason Wakenight saw big things ahead for Lawrence.

“Adding Wayne to our roster is a huge game changer,” Wakenight said in a release after Lawrence committed. “For him to be added to the stable of 400 meter runners we already have will give us potentially the best group of quarter-milers in the country. He is so eager to improve and get his academic and athletics career started. From the first moment I talked to him, I could tell how much he cared about his future and his potential for greatness. Wayne is coming here to compete for a national title; he isn’t here to be anything less than spectacular, and I am thrilled that I get to be his coach and mentor.”

Lawrence’s eagerness for success has shown up so far, and it is likely his skills will continue to be on full display for the rest of his Hawkeye career.

Iowa track fans will want to keep an eye on Lawrence throughout the outdoor season, and when the rest of the Big Ten comes to Cretzmeyer on May 10-12, the conference will take notice that a young star has emerged for Iowa.

Lawrence and the rest of his teammates will open the outdoor season March 15-16 at the Baldy Castillo Invitational in Tempe, Arizona.