Iowa track and field set for fourth Big Ten Invitational of 2021 outdoor season

The Hawkeyes will travel to Madison, Wisconsin, this weekend to compete in their eighth meet of the 2021 outdoor season.


Lauren Swanson, Sports Reporter

The University of Iowa track and field teams will travel to Madison, Wisconsin, to compete at the fourth Big Ten Invitational of the outdoor season Saturday. Competition begins with the women’s hammer throw at noon and wraps up with the women’s 800-meter at 3:18 p.m.

The Hawkeye men enter the event ranked No. 21 in the nation and No. 4 in the Midwest per United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Rating Index. Iowa’s No. 21 national ranking is the best of any Big Ten men’s track and field team.

In the USTFCCCA’s May 3 rating index update, the Hawkeye women ranked 30th in the nation and sixth in the Midwest region.

The Hawkeyes are also nationally ranked in several individual events. The UI is home to the nation’s top-ranked women’s discus and men’s 110-meter hurdles squads. Iowa is also No. 2 in women’s shot put and men’s discus, No. 3 in both the men’s and women’s 400-meter hurdles, No. 7 in men’s long jump, and No. 8 in both the women’s hammer throw and the men’s 800-meter.

Among the athletes competing in Madison this weekend is senior Cole Moeller.

Last weekend, at the Billy Hayes Invitational in Bloomington, Indiana, Moeller finished fourth in the men’s high jump, hitting a career-best mark of 2.09 meters. Moeller’s 2.09-meter leap ranks sixth in the Big Ten and 41st in the NCAA West Region this season.

This year could be Moeller’s last in the Black and Gold, as he is senior. The NCAA did, however, grant all its spring sports athletes an additional year of eligibility because of COVID-19, opening the door for Moeller return to the UI in 2021-22.

REALTED: Jefferson excels in first full season with Iowa track and field

If this season is his last at Iowa, Moeller has some wisdom he’d like to pass along to some of the Hawkeyes’ younger athletes.

“The main thing I would say is to just work hard and do the right things,” Moeller said. “I do not think there is really any exception for hard work. You can have great talent and not work hard, or you could be at a kind of mediocre talent level who is lucky to be at the [NCAA Division I] level. But if you work hard, you can keep building and keep getting better. I think that is one thing I have always tried to do while being on the team is just always pushing to work hard. I believe that, eventually, it will usually end in your favor. I believe if you put in the work, good things will happen.”

The weekend’s competition is the Hawkeyes’ last outdoor meet of the 2020-21 regular season. Iowa will kick off its postseason run May 14-16 at the 2021 Big Ten Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Champaign, Illinois.

The 2021 outdoor track and field season will conclude with the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships June 9-12 in Eugene, Oregon. NCAA Championship prelims will be held in College Station, Texas, May 27-29.