Iowa men’s track and field standout Jenoah McKiver returns to competition at Hawkeye Invitational

The two-time Big Ten champion, who had been out of action with injury since April 2022, won the 400-meter dash Saturday at the Iowa recreation building.


Jerod Ringwald

Iowa’s Jenoah Mckiver shows off his uniform after running the men’s 400-meter at the Hawkeye Invitational at the Recreation Building in Iowa City on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023. McKiver ran a 46.26 to take first place.

Chris Werner, Assistant Sports Editor

After missing nine months with a hamstring injury, Iowa track and field two-time Big Ten Champion Jenoah McKiver returned to action at the Hawkeye Invitational Saturday at the Iowa Recreation Building. 

The sophomore from High Point, North Carolina, won the 400-meter dash, posting a 46.26 — good for the fastest time in the country this season.

“It feels pretty good to compete back with the team and just see the energy and the atmosphere,” McKiver said. “I loved the fans that came out to support. I feel like it was a great way to start.”

Following conference crowns in the 600-meter dash and as the anchor leg of the 1,600-meter relay during the 2021-22 indoor season, and a second-place finish in the 400-meter dash at the NCAA Championships, the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association’s Midwest Region Men’s Track Athlete of the Year was ready to chase an outdoor NCAA title.

But, in mid-April, after posting the second-fastest time in the world in the 400-meter dash at the Jim Click Shootout, McKiver sustained the injury that held him out for the rest of the season.

RELATED: Jenoah McKiver breaks Iowa track and field outdoor 400-meter record at Jim Click Shootout

“He’s been training really consistently all fall,” Iowa director of track and field Joey Woody said. “I mean, we finally got kind of over that injury over the summer and he kind of got back to training over the summer. He’s been really consistent this whole fall. He’s had, you know, some ups and downs, like everybody does during the fall. But, you know, I think just getting out there getting his feet wet, that’s a pretty good opener.”

McKiver wasn’t the only Hawkeye atop the leaderboards Saturday.

Johnson dominates men’s throws

Iowa senior Jordan Johnson took top honors in both the men’s shot put and weight throw. 

After he captured the weight throw Friday evening at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Center with a personal-best 20.06 meters — good for ninth in Iowa history — Johnson followed it up with a shot put gold Saturday. 

Johnson’s mark of 17.56 meters in the shot put was also a personal best. 

“He hasn’t really been practicing a lot in the shot,” Woody said of Johnson. “The weight throw has really improved a lot this year. I think he’s a guy that’s looking to score [points in the postseason] in that event. But it’s pretty nice to see him come out and compete to win without really putting a lot of emphasis on the shot.”

Hawkeye women sweep sprints 

The Hawkeyes flexed their muscles in the women’s sprints Saturday. 

Iowa athletes LaSarah Hargrove, Myreanna Bebe, and Paige Magee finished first in the 60-meter dash, 60-meter hurdles, and 200-meter dash respectively. 

Hargrove crossed the line in 7.39 and teammate Lia Love was second in the 60-meter dash. In the 60-meter hurdles, Bebe finished in 8.22 — a personal record, meet record, and the second fastest time in school history — and Magee earned silver. Magee then won the 200-meter dash with a personal record of 24.01. 

“We expect to score a lot of points at the conference meet and get multiple girls to the national meet,” Woody said of his sprinters. “I think we sent a big message last year, but we’ve got a lot more firepower this year. And it’s fun to have a nice training group in that event group. They’ve got high expectations, you know, I think they’re really starting to put some things together.”

Up next

The Hawkeyes will be back in action at the Larry Wieczorek Invitational Jan. 20-21 in Iowa City. Last season’s Larry Wieczorek Invitational included  Iowa, Purdue, Wisconsin, Baylor, Gonzaga, and Northern Iowa.