Iowa track qualifies 13 for NCAA Outdoor Championships

Thirty-three Hawkeyes took the track in the first round of NCAAs, and 13 will move on to compete at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

Iowa%27s+Laulauga+Tausaga+winds+up+to+throw+during+the+women%27s+shot+put+at+the+2019+Drake+Relays+in+Des+Moines%2C+IA%2C+on+Friday%2C+April+26%2C+2019.+Tausaga+earned+2nd+with+a+distance+of+16.36m.+
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Iowa track qualifies 13 for NCAA Outdoor Championships

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.

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.

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.

Shivansh Ahuja

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

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The postseason success for Iowa track and field keeps rolling in. After the men won the Big Ten Outdoor Championships and the women finished third, the team traveled to Sacramento, California, for the NCAA West Preliminary.

The Hawkeyes sent 33 qualifiers to California to compete in the prelims, and 13 are championship bound.

Laulauga Tausaga became the first NCAA finals qualifier for Iowa after launching a 62.69 meter throw in the discus. As if qualifying for the championship round was not enough, the throw was also good for the school record, her personal record, and a regional championship.

“I was kind of shaking the rust off because the last two weeks I was struggling to get my rhythm back after Big Tens,” Tausaga said in a release. “I went in and just threw — you can’t think about all these little steps because that’s what slows you down and messes up rhythm.”

Tausaga won a Big Ten Championship in the event the last time she competed, and she will now try to pair that with a national championship.

Mar’Yea Harris and Chris Douglas — both of whom were also Big Ten champions — will also take their talent to Austin, Texas, for the NCAA meet.

Harris advanced in the 400 meters, and Douglas will compete in the 400-meter hurdles.

Wayne Lawrence Jr. also qualified in the 400 meters, and he will compete in his first NCAA finals in his freshman season. Jaylan McConico also qualified for his first national finals with a personal best time in the 110-meter hurdles (13.62).

The Iowa men will also send Karayme Bartley and Antonio Woodard to the NCAAs to compete in the 200 meters, Nathan Mylenek in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, and Jay Hunt in the high jump.

Hunt finished sixth at the Big Tens in the high jump, and he is now trying to wrap his head around heading to Austin.

“It’s crazy,” Hunt said in a release. “I was just happy to make regionals a couple weeks ago, and now I’m going to nationals. It’s wild. I figured everything out at the right time, I guess.”

The men will also send both the 400-meter and 1,600-meter relays to the finals. Bartley, Woodard, and Lawrence will compete in both relay events; Harris will anchor the 4×400, and Collin Hofacker will run the the 4×100.

This will mark the seventh-consecutive year that the Iowa men will send a 1,600-meter relay team to the NCAA finals. The unit also won the the Big Ten Outdoor Championship just two weeks ago.

On the women’s side, Nia Britt, Jenny Kimbro, and Tria Simmons will round out the NCAA qualifiers for the Hawkeyes. Britt will compete in the shot put, abd Kimbro and Simmons will put their multitude of talents to the test.

The stage is set for all 13 Hawkeyes to put on a show.

“It was a fantastic weekend for us,” Iowa Director of Track and Field Joey Woody said in a release. “They came in with their minds set, and we got a lot of qualifiers. We battled well, and we’ve got people in events all across the board.”

The NCAA Outdoor Championships will take place June 5-8.

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