Men’s track finishes second, women eighth at Big Ten Indoor Championships

Wayne Lawrence, Jaylan McConico, and Laulauga Tausaga were among the Hawkeyes who won gold at the conference meet.


Alyson Kuennen

University of Iowa freshman Wayne Lawrence Jr. competes in the 400 meter dash preliminaries during the second day of the Big Ten Track and Field Outdoor Championships at Cretzmeyer Track on Saturday, May 11, 2019. Lawrence placed ninth in the 400 meter dash preliminaries.

Lucy Liautaud, Sports Reporter

The Iowa track and field teams brought home five gold medals and placed highly in nearly every other event at the Big Ten Indoor Championships in Geneva, Ohio, over the weekend.

The men’s team placed second with 107 points, right behind Indiana, who won the conference with 120 points. Iowa’s finish is its highest at the Big Ten Indoor Championships since 1963, when the Hawkeyes took first.

The Iowa women finished in eighth place with 51 points, while Ohio State won the conference with 104.

“Obviously we wanted the trophy, but I feel really good,” Iowa Director of Track and Field Joey Woody said in a release. “We did about everything we thought we could do. We missed on a few things here and there, but I thought the guys really battled hard all weekend.”

As far as first place finishes goes, the Iowa men’s team reigned supreme. Sophomore sprinter Wayne Lawrence won three gold medals for the Hawkeyes on the second day of competition. Lawrence took first in the 200, 400, and 4×400 relay.

“Realistically, I was only planning on getting two gold medals [in the 400 and 4×400] coming into the meet,” Lawrence said in a release. “It was a blessing when I got the 200 meters medal. Coming in, I didn’t think I could end up getting three, and I just happened to get three.”

Senior hurdler Jaylan McConico got the gold in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 7.61. McConico has stayed at the top of the conference in the event since the beginning of the season.

At the conference meet, McConico again proved he’s the best in the conference.

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“[Jaylan’s] had an incredible season,” Woody said in a release. “The guy is still undefeated, and we want to keep it that way. He’s just an ultra-competitor. Another Big Ten champ in the hurdles, and we want to keep that tradition going.”

In the 4×400, the Iowa men continued its run of success in the event.

Senior sprinter DeJuan Frye, who started the 4×400 and shared in the win with senior sprinter Antonio Woodward and senior hurdler Raymund Clarke, said that placing first at the Big Ten Championships was the group’s “thing.”

“We believe we have the best 400 squad in the Big Ten,” Frye said. “So, when it comes to that race, we made the culture, ‘You better win this.’ Personally, I am happy with the way I competed. I was able to run PRs when it mattered the most.”

Senior thrower Laulauga Tausaga won another conference title over the weekend. This time, she did it in the weight throw.

Tausaga posted a mark of 22.21 on her last attempt in the event to move into first place and set the Spire Institute record. Tausaga also finished in second place in the shot put.

Seniors Austin Lietz and Jenny Kimbro also posted big marks in Ohio. The two athletes nabbed silver medals, with Kimbro in the women’s 60-meter hurdles (8.22) and Lietz in the men’s 600-meters (1:17.03) — a personal best for Lietz.

All in all, the Hawkeyes felt the team did well over the weekend.

“I think we did phenomenally as a team this weekend; there were a lot of standout performances, but overall, everyone stepped up,” Lietz said. “I’m very excited to see what the outdoor season has to hold for this team.”

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