Iowa track and field rewrites record books at weekend events

The Hawkeyes posted six combined wins at the Spire and Hawkeye Big Ten Invitationals.


Jenna Galligan

Jamal Britt finishes his leg of the 4x400m relay premier during the second day of the Larry Wieczorek Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021 at the University of Iowa Recreation Building. Britt ran a split of 48.375, contributing to the Iowa ‘A’ team victory with a total time of 3:09.58. Due to coronavirus restrictions, the Hawkeyes could only host Big Ten teams. Iowa men took first, scoring 189, and women finished third with 104 among Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Illinois. (Jenna Galligan/The Daily Iowan)

Chris Werner, Sports Reporter

The University of Iowa Recreational Building was abuzz with action on both Friday and Saturday as Iowa track and field welcomed seven other Big Ten schools to Iowa City for the Hawkeye Big Ten Invitational.

The weekend also featured the Spire Big Ten Invitational in Geneva, Ohio, with Iowa and other Big Ten programs.

At home, the Hawkeyes posted personal records and first-place finishes on Friday and Saturday.

In the first event of the meet, Dallyssa Huggins finished atop the leaderboard in the high jump, clearing 1.73 meters on her second attempt — tying her season-best mark.

After Huggins began the day collecting a win, Iowa continued the jump to the top on day one, collecting three more golds in both the men’s and women’s 60-meter hurdles, as well as the men’s long jump.

In the women’s 60-meter hurdles, Paige Magee ran consecutive personal-bests en route to a .05 second win over the second-place finisher with an 8.29.

“Paige Magee continues to put together an incredible freshman campaign,” director of track and field Joey Woody said. “She is competing to win. That is the most important thing. If you’re doing that against the competition, we have in the Big Ten, you’re doing some really good things.”

Magee’s finals time puts her third in school history. Her prelims mark earlier in the day was good for fifth on that list.

Other Hawkeye victories were thanks to junior Jamal Britt.

Britt’s mark of 7.60 in the 60-meter hurdles tied teammate Jaylan McConico’s school record which he set last season.

Britt’s 7.60 in the hurdles is tops in the Big Ten this year and second in the nation — just .05 seconds behind Florida State’s Trey Cunningham.

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In the long jump, Britt finished with a distance of 7.45 meters after qualifying at 7.60 meters. His qualifying distance puts him in a tie for fifth in school history.

“Jamal is a tremendous athlete and a guy who helps the team in a lot of different areas,” Woody said. “His goal is to get to the national meet and be a big-time point scorer for us.”

Apart from Britt and Magee’s personal bests, Iowa athletes set 12 other personal records, including two by Tionna Tobias in the 60-meter hurdles and the long jump.

Although the Hawkeyes didn’t pick up any golds at the UI Recreation Building on Saturday, personal bests were under attack yet again.

Iowa set 19 more personal-bests on Saturday, two of which came in the men’s 3000-meter. Nick Trattner finished in 8:12.68, nearly a ten-second improvement over his previous best, and Max Murphy posted a 7:59.30. The sub-eight-minute mark vaults Murphy into third place in school history.

On the women’s side, all three Hawkeyes in the 3000-meter premier finals tallied new personal-records.

Emma Gordon and Gabby Skopec both posted new personal bests, and Kelli Tosic burst onto the scene with a 12th-place finish in 9:57.84.

“The 3,000 meters was amazing, both men and women had really great PR’s,” Woody said. “That’s why I gave [distance coach] Randy [Hasenbank] the floor at the end of our team meeting. I wanted to let him talk about the distance group because sometimes they don’t get enough recognition for the hard work and progression that they’ve had over this last year.”

At the Spire Invitational, Mallory King won the 800-meter, along with the 4×400-meter relay that included teammates Mariel Bruxvoort, Tesa Roberts, and Payton Wensel. The Hawkeyes had 19 career-bests in Ohio between Friday and Saturday.

Iowa track and field won’t compete again until the Big Ten Indoor Championships from Feb. 25-27 in Geneva, Ohio.