Iowa track and field shines at first Big Ten Invitational of 2021 outdoor season

Over the weekend, the Hawkeyes rewrote their program’s record books — claiming 13 gold medals in Bloomington, Indiana.


Ryan Adams

University of Iowa Junior Allison Wahrman throws the hammer during the first day of the Big Ten Track and Field Outdoor Championships at Cretzmeyer Track on Friday, May 10, 2019. Wahrman placed twenty-first in the hammer throw at a distance of 166′ 10″.

Lauren Swanson, Sports Reporter

The University of Iowa track and field team shined over the weekend at the first Big Ten Invitational of the 2021 outdoor season. At the Billy Hayes Track and Field Complex in Bloomington, Indiana, the Hawkeyes collected 13 gold medals — rearranging Iowa’s history books in the process.

In total, eight Hawkeyes made their way up Iowa’s all-time top 10 lists.

“It was a great opening meet for both the men and women,” Iowa director of track and field Joey Woody said in a release. “It was just great to compete outdoors for the first time in nearly two years.”

In the hammer throw on Saturday, senior Allison Wahrman hit the 60.45-meter mark — good for fourth all-time in Hawkeye history.

In the same event, junior Amanda Howe registered a 60.02-meter throw — good for sixth in school history.

“Allison had a huge breakthrough — winning the hammer throw,” Woody said. “She has come a long way from starting out as a heptathlete and triple-jumper to a 60-meter-plus in the hammer. Going 1-2 with Amanda is a great sign of what we can do in that event this year.”

While Wahrman led the charge for the Hawkeye women, junior Tyler Lienau set the tone for the Iowa men, finishing second in the hammer throw. Lienau registered a 58.25-meter throw that earned him the ninth all-time spot in Iowa’s record books.

Sophomore Jordan Johnson was close behind Lienau in third place. Johnson recorded a 56.32-meter toss — good for 10th in school history.

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Freshman Austin Kresley won the 100-meter with a time of 10.44. Junior Peyton Haack and sophomore Tanner Iske trailed Kresley, finishing the event in fifth and sixth place with 10.98 and 10.99 times, respectively.

“I was very impressed with an opening meet PR for Austin,” Woody said. “I am excited to see what he can do this season in that event.”

Courtney Strohman won the women’s 400-meter with a time of 54.47. Sophomore Julien Gillum led the men in the 400-meter, placing second with a time of 48.14. Freshman Khullen Jefferson finished just behind Gillum in the event in third.

Senior Tia Saunders and sophomore Spencer Gudgel won their respective 800-meter races with times of 2:11.66 and 1:52.96, respectively.

Iowa won gold and bronze in the women’s 400-meter hurdles. Juniors Mariel Bruxvoort won with a 60.33 time, and Payton Wensel placed third with a 61.91 time.

“Those were great performances, and it was fun to see Marial win her first collegiate 400-meter hurdles in the first race of her career,” Woody said.

Junior Jamal Britt placed third in the men’s 200-meter, finishing in a career-best 21.22 time.

Iowa wrapped the event up with a gold medal performance in the men’s 4×400-meter relay and a runner-up showing in the women’s 4×400. The men recorded a time of 3:10.51, while the women finished in 4:40.84.

“I was super proud of how our athletes competed this weekend, and in particular, it was just exciting to see our fifth- and sixth-year super seniors get out and compete,” Woody said. “The entire team performed exceptionally well, and things are only going to keep getting better.”