Ben Allan Smith
Over the past couple of weeks, Jenny Kimbro has set the Iowa track and field record in the heptathlon and has been a part of the first women’s team in program history to bring home the Hy-Vee Cup at the Drake Relays.
When it comes down to choosing between a personal achievement versus that of a team, Kimbro doesn’t blink — it’s about the group.
“It has definitely been an exciting couple of weeks,” she said. “There have been so many good performances out of everyone. This past weekend was super-fun to be able to celebrate winning the cup as a team with everyone together.”
That’s not to say breaking a school record and basking in that moment was lost on her.
“It’s always really exciting to get to compete in a multi-meet,” Kimbro said. “It was the first heptathlon of the season, so I was excited to see how everything would come together after indoor. There are definitely a lot of areas to improve on, but I was happy overall and can’t wait to do another in a couple weeks.”
While she may see areas to improve upon, Kimbro’s performance was good enough for the record books.
At the Bryan Clay Invitational in California, Kimbro accumulated 5,679 points in the heptathlon to break the school record. The previous mark had been set by Tammilee Kerr in 2008.
The two-day event consisted of three additional personal bests for Kimbro, including the 100-meter hurdles (13.30), 200 meters (24.31), and 800 meters (2:14.04).
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In the follow-up to her record-breaking performance in California, Kimbro picked up two second-place finishes in the hurdling events and ran first leg on the 4×400-meter relay that clinched the cup for Iowa at Drake.
“I thought Jenny Kimbro had another great weekend after breaking the school record in the heptathlon last weekend,” Iowa Director of Track and Field Joey Woody said after the women secured the Hy-Vee Cup. “She came out and narrowly missed winning two Drake flags in both hurdle events and had a great relay leg to give us another runner-up finish.”
Putting up points for the team is nothing new for Kimbro, who at the Big Ten Indoor Championships was the top scorer for the women’s squad.
Kimbro became a two-time Big Ten champion to end the indoor campaign, taking gold in the 60-meter hurdles and running lead leg on the winning relay team.
She also finished second to teammate Tria Simmons in the pentathlon, which put her point total at 20.5, leading to a third-place finish for the women, their best finish since 2004.
Simmons, who practices with Kimbro on a regular basis, sees having two of the best multi-event athletes on the same team as a unique advantage.
RELATED: Iowa women win first Hy-Vee Cup in program history
“We push each other,” Simmons said. “When we are practicing together, we compete, and that makes both of us better. At the end of the day, we just want to see the other perform well.”
Kimbro couldn’t agree more, and she hopes that competition will pay off as Iowa heads into postseason meets.
First on the list are the Big Ten Outdoor Championships, which will come to Cretzmeyer Track from May 10-12. Kimbro will try to do more of the same this time around: put up points for the team.
“I just want to contribute to the team score as much as I can,” she said. “We got third indoor, and I know everyone on the team is going to be fighting for points with the same goal in mind. I just want to do my best for everyone on the team.”