Iowa track and field wins 17 gold medals at Big Ten Florida Invitational

The Hawkeyes traveled to Jacksonville, Florida, and showed their strength once again.


Jenna Galligan

Iowa thrower Laulauga Tausaga competes in the women’s shot put premiere during the fourth annual Larry Wieczorek Invitational at the University of Iowa Recreation Building on Friday, Jan 17, 2020. Tausaga’s 16.72m throw earned her sixth place, behind five throwers who surpassed the previous meet record of 17.13m.

Lauren Swanson, Sports Reporter

The Iowa track and field team showed its strength Friday and Saturday at the Big Ten Florida Invitational, which featured all Big Ten programs at North Florida University in Jacksonville, Florida.

The Hawkeyes won five gold medals on day one and twelve gold medals on day two of competition.

On Friday, Laulauga Tausaga won the women’s shot put with a nation best 17.92 meters, and Dawson Ellingson won the men’s shot put by throwing 17.58 meters, which is a career-best.

Tysen VanDraska got gold in the men’s 800 meters with a time of 1:46.36.

Nathan Mylenek won the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase by securing a time of 8:50.26.

In the open women’s hammer throw, Erika Hammond finished third with a career-best 53.29 meters.

For the invitational women’s hammer throw, Amando Howe finished second with a career-best 61.31 meters. Howe’s throw places her at second all-time in Iowa history.

In the women’s 100-meter hurdles, Jenny Kimbro won her section with a time of 13.61.

Jamal Britt won his heat of the 110-meter hurdles with a career best 13.59, which qualified him for Saturday’s competition. Britt’s time ranks third all-time in program history. Jaylan McConico won his section with a time of 13.64 to also qualify him for Saturday’s final.

On Saturday, Tausaga won the invite discus by throwing 59.24 meters. Serena Brown finished right behind with a throw of 57.44 meters.

“Even though it wasn’t her best day, Lagi continues to dominate the Big Ten in the discus with her second best mark of the season,” Iowa director of track and field Joey Woody said in a release. “Serena continues to improve and show that she’s one of the best in the nation.”

RELATED: Iowa track and field set for Big Ten Florida Invitational

In the triple invite jump, James Carter Jr. jumped 15.94 meters, which won gold and is a mark that ranks fifth all-time in program history.

Britt won the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 13.52, which was a career-best. He finished second in the men’s 400-meter hurdles with a time of 51.43.

McConico got the gold in the open 200 meter by setting a career-best time of 21.09.

Antonio Woodard picked up the win in the men’s 400-meter open by finishing with a time of 47.98 — a career-best.

With a time of 59.25, Jenny Kimbro secured gold in the 400-meter hurdles

Kal Lewis won the men’s 800 meter open with a time of 1:51.96 — a personal best — and he managed to have a faster second lap than his first. Nick Trattner won the 3,000 meters with a time of 8:17.67.

Iowa did extremely well in the 4×400’s, with the women’s group of Clare Pitcher, Karina Joiner, Kylie Welch, and Aly Weum finished first. The men’s group of Spencer Gudel, Armando Bryson, Alec Still, and Drake Woody finished first as well. In the men’s invitational of that event, Woodard, Wayne Lawrence Jr., Tyler Olson, and Julien Gillum also finished first.

“We had a lot of PR’s and season best performances from the entire team today, which shows we are progressing really well,” Woody said. “I thought all of the athletes competed really well on the multiple 4×4’s at the end of the meet.”

The Hawkeyes will compete next in the Big Ten Invite No. 2 in Bloomington, Indiana, from April 9-10.