Iowa track and field set to compete at Billy Hayes Invitational

The Hawkeyes will travel to Bloomington, Indiana, to participate in the University of Indiana-hosted event.


Jenna Galligan/The Daily Iowan

Hawkeyes compete during the second day of the Larry Wieczorek Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021 at the University of Iowa Recreation Building. 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)

Lauren Swanson, Sports Reporter

This weekend, the University of Iowa track and field teams will travel to Bloomington, Indiana, to compete at the 2021 Billy Hayes Invitational. The event will begin at 7:30 a.m. Friday morning with the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase and wrap up Saturday at 9:15 p.m. with the men’s 4×400-meter relay.

As of April 19, Iowa women’s track and field ranks 26th in the nation per the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Rating Index. The Hawkeyes’ No. 26 national ranking is the second-best in the Big Ten Conference.

Iowa men’s track and field ranks 30th in the country and first in the Midwest per the USTFCCCA. Currently, the UI is home to the Big Ten’s highest-ranked men’s track and field team.

Iowa’s track and field teams also rank nationally in eight individual events. The Hawkeye women are ranked No. 1 in discus, No. 2 in shot put, No. 6 in hurdles, and No. 9 in hammer throw.

The Iowa men rank first in the nation in the 110-meter hurdles, fourth in the 400-meter hurdles, fourth in discus, and sixth in long jump.

RELATED: Iowa track and field records 19 career-bests at Illinois

Among the Hawkeyes competing this weekend in Indiana are sophomore throwers Jordan Hawkins and Dawson Ellingson.

Hawkins will participate in both the hammer and discus throws, while Ellingson takes part in the shot put and discus throw.

Hawkins approaches every meet week the same, partly crediting his success this season to his consistent routine.

“With a typical week, after we get back competing, we’ll have a day to just rest and let our bodies recover from, you know, the hard competition,” Hawkins said. “Then, it just starts with easing into it on Mondays, kind of working out some kinks from the last week or anything like that. And then just kind of jumpstart and revise for the next week’s competition. As the week progresses, it’s just all about honing in on our technique and our craft and just feeling good.”

While Hawkins sticks to a very particular regimen before meets, Ellingson enters most competitions without a particular routine in mind.

Ellingson treats meet days the same as non-meet days — with one notable exception.

“Really the only thing I do before a meet is I like to eat a little healthier,” Ellingson said. “Especially before discus, I tend to eat a little lighter. I don’t know why. I just kind of think the less I eat, the faster I am. Other than that, I don’t really know as much but before the meet. I always kind of just listen to headphones and try to have casual talks to keep my mind off the meet. I always try to keep a light mood because that’s when I compete my best is when I’m kind of messing around, and when it comes to time to throw, it’s all strictly business.”

Results for the 2021 Billy Hayes Invitational can be found via the Track and Field Results Reporting System at  Past Billy Hayes Invitational results are available on