Iowa track and field set for action-packed weekend

While most of the Iowa track and field team travels to Champaign, Illinois, for the Fighting Illini Big Ten Relays this weekend, hurdlers Jaylan McConico and Jamal Britt will journey to Des Moines, Iowa, to participate in the 2021 Drake Relays.



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.

Lauren Swanson, Sports Reporter

The University of Iowa track and field team is traveling to Champaign, Illinois, this weekend to compete at the 2021 Fighting Illini Big Ten Relays.

The Hawkeye women enter the Friday-Saturday event ranked No. 25 in the nation, per the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association’s April 19 poll. The No. 25 national ranking is good for third-best among all Big Ten women’s track and field teams.

The Hawkeye men come into the weekend ranked No. 28 in the nation and No. 1 in the Midwest. Iowa is home to the highest-ranked men’s track and field team in the Big Ten Conference.

Among the athletes competing in Champaign is junior Amanda Howe, a hammer thrower.

Howe will be riding a wave of momentum this weekend’s competition, as she has earned back-to-back silver medals in hammer throw in her last two outings — the Husker Big Ten Invitational and the Big Ten Florida Invitational.

In her silver-medal performance at the Big Ten Florida Invitational, Howe set a new personal record with a 61.31-meter throw. The toss is also good for the second-best in Hawkeye history, third in the Big Ten this year, and 20th in the NCAA West Region.

“Training the week leading up to the meet is a lot about trying to stay consistent with the field within the circle,” Howe said. “It’s also about building up anything in case you have an off practice, especially during the outdoor season, since we tend to lose a lot more school time by traveling further away.”

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Competing unattached from the rest of the Iowa men’s track field team this weekend are hurdlers Jaylan McConico and Jamal Britt.

Both athletes received an invitation to compete in the 110-meter hurdles at the Drake Relays from USA Track and Field. Former Hawkeye runner Aaron Mallett is also competing in the 110-meter hurdles alongside Britt and McConico.

“It’s very exciting,” Britt told “We are getting a chance to run against pros that have been on the Olympic level or competed in World Championships, which is pretty exciting. This is my first time at the Drake Relays. I would like to hit the Olympic standard, but whatever happens, happens. Hopefully I’ll go out there and compete to win. That is the main goal.”

This weekend’s competition at Gary R. Wieneke Track in Champaign begins Friday at 9 a.m. with the women’s hammer throw. The Fighting Illini Big Ten Relays wrap up Saturday at 4:35 p.m. with the women’s 4×400-meter relay.

McConico, Britt, and Mallett will spring into action in the 110-meter hurdles at 3:44 p.m. at Drake Stadium. The 2021 Drake Relays conclude a 3 p.m. on Saturday with the men’s shot put.

Live Drake Relays results are available at

“It is going to be a privilege to run with guys of that caliber,” McConico told “It will definitely help me going into [the 2021 NCAA Outdoor Championships]. It’s a chance to get to that next level and set myself up for the rest of the season.”