Iowa track’s Reno Tuufuli throws out the competition at Musco

Iowa track’s Reno Tuufuli won two events and got an impressive personal best at the Musco Twilight Invitational, and come this postseason, he has some unfinished business.


Joseph Cress

Iowa sophomore Reno Tuufuli attempts a throw during the Border Battle indoor track meet in the UI Recreation Building with Iowa, Missouri and Illinois competing on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017. The Hawkeye women defeated Missouri and Illinois, 105-33 and 96-51 respectively, while the men defeated Missouri, 107-27 and fell to Illinois, 85-74.

Robert Read, Sports Reporter

The 20th-annual Musco Twilight Invitational was a huge event for every Hawkeye involved. In particular, it was a memorable event for the track and field seniors who took part in a ceremony in front of the home bleachers as recognition for their contributions to the program.

Well, at least most of them took part in the ceremony. Reno Tuufuli had his name announced along with the other seniors, but he was too busy warming up for the discus to wave to the crowd.

Tuufuli’s time for waving came later, after he won two events in his last Musco.

To begin his day, Tuufuli put up a massive mark of 62.54 meters in the discus, a personal best for him that currently ranks third in the NCAA.

“I thought my performance in the discus was especially good,” Tuufuli said. “That was the first time I hit a personal record in about a year and a half, so that was a really good feeling. I had a some really big fouls, and then I was finally able to pull through on my last throw.”

Tuufuli wasn’t the only one pleased with his performance.

After Tuufuli launched his winning throw in the discus, throwing coach Eric Werskey could be seen jumping up and down with his arms in the air.

Needless to say, he was excited.

“I was really happy for him,” Werskey said. “Reno also had a huge throw. It was a great performance for him, and it came in a really big meet, his last Musco Twilight.”

Tuufuli wrapped up the meet with his second win of the day, in the shot put. A mark of 17.90 meters was enough to take first place.

Bringing home two gold medals on Senior Recognition Day is quite an accomplishment, and it adds to the legacy Tuufuli has created as a Hawkeye. 

RELATED: Iowa track wins 10 events at the Musco Twilight Invitational 

“Reno has had an impressive career in his time here,” Iowa Director of Track and Field Joey Woody said. “He’s a guy who has been to the national meet numerous times, and we hope he’ll qualify again this year in the shot put and the discus. He came here to be national champion, so I know that’s his big goal. He definitely has that ability, he’s shown that in practice and in some of his competitions.”

The goal of becoming a national champion is still attainable for Tuufuli, but he will have the opportunity to check something different off the bucket list before that happens: becoming a Big Ten champion.

Tuufuli’s best career finish at the conference meet is second, which he placed at the 2018 Big Ten Indoor Championships in the shot put.

This season, Tuufuli will have the home crowd behind him as he goes after the first-place finish at the outdoor Big Tens at Cretzmeyer.

“It’s going to be really, really fun to be able to compete here at home,” Tuufuli said. “With the crowd behind us, it will take us to an even higher level. We are adding more stands, and I have a bunch of my family coming down. It will be really exciting; I’m sure I’ll be really pumped up with adrenaline because of the atmosphere.”