Tausaga back on top at Drake Relays

Laulauga Tausaga picked up the first win for Iowa at the 110th Drake Relays.


Shivansh Ahuja

Iowa's Laulauga Tausaga winds up to throw during the women's shot put at the 2019 Drake Relays in Des Moines, IA, on Friday, April 26, 2019. Tausaga earned 2nd with a distance of 16.36m.

Robert Read, Sports Reporter

Laulauga Tausaga gave Iowa its first win of the 110th Drake Relays in the discus during Friday’s early session.

The reigning three-time Big Ten Field Athlete of the Week put up a mark of 57.13 meters to take home gold in the event. Tausaga finished second in the discus at Drake last season.

A victory always tastes sweet, but after breaking three school records in her last meet, the mark may have not met Tausaga’s expectations.

“It’s not the best throw I’ve had, but a win is a win,” Tausaga said. “It was good to be able to bring home another title at the Drake Relays.”

Tausaga will go for her second title of the day in the shot put, which will take place during the Friday night session. She won the event at Drake last season.

Coming in a few slots below Tausaga in the discus was Konstadina Spanoudakis, finishing fifth in the women’s discus with a throw of 51.46 meters.

The Hawkeyes found more success in the field events outside of the discus, however.

Jay Hunt and Carter Lilly found themselves near the top of their respective leaderboards by the time competition had concluded.

Hunt jumped a personal-best 2.12 meters in the high jump to continue his impressive season. The mark put Hunt fifth in the event and moved him up to eighth all-time in school history.

Lilly took third place in the triple jump, traveling 15.12 meters.

On the track, many of the noteworthy performances from Iowa on Friday’s first session came from the hurdling events.

In the preliminary heats of the women’s 100-meter hurdles, Iowa had three athletes competing, with two advancing to the finals, which will run tomorrow.

Jenny Kimbro posted the second-best time out of the three heats, running a time of 13.22. Tria Simmons, who finished in eighth place in the prelims with a personal best time of 13.73, will advance alongside Kimbro. Sydney Winger did not qualify for the finals despite running a new personal best of 14.14.

The men’s 110-meter high hurdles saw a deep group of Iowa athletes compete as well. Anthony Williams set the benchmark for the entire competition, winning his preliminary heat and putting up the fastest time overall with a time of 13.87.

Chris Douglas and Josh Braverman also qualified for the finals. Douglas finished seventh overall (14.14), while Braverman finished ninth overall in prelims (14.18) but won his heat to advance to finals tomorrow.

Douglas, as well as Raymonte Dow and Noah Larrison, also ran in the 400-meter hurdles. The trio finished third through fifth in the finals.

Dow finished in a personal best time of 51.61 seconds, with Douglas and Larrison sandwiching him with times of 51.38 and 52.07 seconds, respectively.

Antonio Woodard rounded out the finals qualifiers for Iowa through the first Friday session, running 10.49 in the 100-meter dash to finish first in his heat and fourth overall in the event.

Competition will continue for Hawkeye track in Des Moines at 5:15 with the women’s 200 meters.

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