Iowa men’s track and field wins 2021 Big Ten Men’s Outdoor Championship

The Hawkeye men’s track and field team clinched its third-straight Big Ten conference title, and the women’s team took fourth in the conference.


Alyson Kuennen

University of Iowa junior Jaylan McConico competes in the 110 meter hurdles during the second day of the Big Ten Track and Field Outdoor Championships at Cretzmeyer Track on Saturday, May 11, 2019. McConico placed fifth in the men 110 meter hurdles preliminaries.

Chloe Peterson, Sports Reporter

The Iowa men’s track and field team won the 2021 Big Ten Men’s Outdoor Track and Field Championship Sunday at Demirjian Park in Champaign, Illinois.

The men’s team clinched the title with 127.5 points, 33 points ahead of second place Michigan, who totaled 94.5 points.

The Hawkeyes’ 127.5 points at the outdoor championship are an Iowa school record, and the 2021 Iowa men’s team is the first to win the indoor and outdoor title in the same season since 1963.

“This coaching staff and every one of our athletes competed their butts off and I am extremely proud of our entire team,” Hawkeye director of track and field Joey Woody said. “This was a complete team win, just like it was during the indoor season.”

Dating back to 2019, the Hawkeye men’s track and field team have won three consecutive Big Ten track and field conference championships — Iowa clinched the 2019 Big Ten Outdoor Championship on May 13, 2019, in Iowa City, and the 2021 Big Ten Indoor Championship on Feb. 27 in Geneva, Ohio. 

The Big Ten canceled the 2020 Track and Field Indoor and Outdoor Championships because of COVID-19. 

At the outdoor meet this weekend, the Hawkeyes were looking to build off of their 2021 indoor title — especially with 2020 seniors returning for another year of eligibility in the outdoor season.

Fifth-year senior Jaylan McConico — who couldn’t compete in the 2021 indoor track season because of NCAA protocols — won the 110-meter hurdles Sunday with a time of 13.23 seconds,  good for a personal best, school record, and Big Ten meet record. Junior Jamal Britt took second with a time of 13.60.

Britt also won the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 49.69 seconds.

Fifth-year senior Tysen VanDraska also returned for the outdoor season, and won the men’s 800-meter race with a time of 1 minute and 48.67 seconds.

“Coming from the indoor championships, we were fortunate because we had a lot of great seniors that came back just for the opportunity to be part of this program, this team, and go out and win this championship,” Woody said. “… And they performed lights out, I can’t say enough about this senior group that came back just for this season.”

The men’s team officially clinched the title with one event remaining Sunday — the 4×4 400-meter relay — but Woody said he felt comfortable with the team’s chances to win throughout the final day of the three-day meet.

“All I told them [Sunday] was that we just have to focus on ourselves,” Woody said. “Compete for each other, compete and focus on ourselves, and if we do that, we’re going to be very happy at the end of the day. And they definitely did that today. Tremendous performances all across the board today, and you know, 30-plus points is great, but I want more. But I’m very happy to be able to win by that many points, especially as competitive as this conference is.”

The Iowa women’s track and field team finished the 2021 Big Ten Women’s Outdoor Championship in fourth place with 75 team points.

Hawkeye senior Laulauga Tausaga won the gold medal in the discus throw with a 62.09 meter performance, almost six meters ahead of second place — which was clinched by another Hawkeye, senior Serena Brown, as she threw for 56.62 meters.

With her gold medal Sunday, Tausaga became the first in Iowa track and field program history be a 4-time Big Ten outdoor champion.

“[Tausaga’s] the ultimate competitor, I say it all the time,” Woody said. “I don’t know too many people that can compete like she does, and every time she steps in the ring, she has a chance to win it. In the shot put, in the discus, in the hammer throw, whatever it is, she’s just a tremendous athlete… to be able to come in here and win four straight years, with a target on her back, says a lot about her.”

The Hawkeyes will continue their outdoor postseason at NCAA Regionals May 27-29 in College Station, Texas. 

Facebook Comments