Multi-event-athlete Peyton Haack’s record men’s heptathlon fuels Iowa track and field at Razorback Invitational

Haack posted an Iowa-record 6,007 points, earned Big Ten Field Athlete of the Week, and boosted the men’s team to 12th in the nation.


Jerod Ringwald

Iowa head coach Joey Woody walks around during the Hawkeye Invitational at the University of Iowa Recreation Building in Iowa City on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023. The Hawkeye Invitational hosted Ball State, Bradley, Indian Hills, Iowa, Iowa Central, Missouri, Northern Iowa, Western Illinois, Wis.-River Falls, and unattached individuals.

Colin Votzmeyer, Sports Reporter

Multi-event-athlete Peyton Haack fueled the Iowa track and field team at the Razorback Invitational last weekend.

Hosted by Arkansas Jan. 27-28, the meet featured some of the top Division I teams from across the country. After spending last year nursing three injuries, Haack’s two-day performance in the men’s heptathlon was the highlight of the weekend.

After the first leg of the heptathlon on Friday, the junior stood in second place with 3,336 points. The day included personal records in the long jump with a fifth-place finish of 7.17 meters, shot put with a fourth-place finish of 14.04 meters, and high jump with a win at 2.04 meters.

Haack, who won the 2021 Big Ten indoor championship in the heptathlon, exploded for the second leg on Saturday. The Westfield, Indiana, native won the men’s 60-meter hurdle with a time of 7.95, and he tied for first in the pole vault with a height of 5 meters — good for sixth all-time in the event at Iowa. He ended the day with a 2:49:83 in the 1000-meter.

In total, Haack finished second with a school-record 6,007 points — a mark that earned him Big Ten Field Athlete of the Week.

Haack attributed his second-leg performance to his experience in the events.

“I had a lot of confidence on my second day,” Haack said. “I think just coming in with that expectation to win those events really helped out.”

Iowa director of track and field Joey Woody called Haack’s performance “crazy” because of his recent injuries.

“Man, he just exploded,” Woody said. “Peyton’s a Big Ten champion. He knows how to get it done in that event, and I think he’s got even more points still out there for him to go get when we get to the national meet.”

Fellow Hawkeye Austin West followed closely behind Haack in the heptathlon with a score of 5,861 for a personal record that improves his second-all-time mark in the event at Iowa. The performance included a win in the 1000-meter with a time of 2:35.43.


Other Hawkeye successes

Iowa freshman thrower Wisdom Williams jumped to ninth all-time at Iowa in the women’s shot put with a throw of 15.83 meters.

Junior jumper Tionna Tobias compiled 3,919 points in the women’s pentathlon, a personal record that bumps her to fourth on the Iowa all-time list for the event. The performance included a second-place finish with a time of 8.40 in the 60-meter hurdles and a personal record 10.31 meters in the shot put.

Senior jumper James Carter posted two personal records for the Hawkeyes: 7.85 meters in the long jump and 16.14 meters in the triple jump, the latter good for second all-time at Iowa in the event.

After the Razorback Invitational, the Iowa men’s team jumped from 30th to 12th in the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association men’s national rankings, including first in the Midwest.


Biermann’s future is bright

Iowa freshman sprinter Audrey Biermann was a part of three records last weekend.

She joined Aliyanna Dorn, Paige Magee, and Chloe Larsen in the 4×400-meter relay for a time of 3:34.06 which puts the group fourth all-time at Iowa.

“It’s so awesome to meet everyone, and having success with them is huge,” Biermann said. “Not only is seeing success from myself super cool, but it’s so cool to see my teammates also having success. We’re just going through it together and working hard together.”

Biermann also hit personal records in the 200-meter with a 24.55 and 400-meter with a 53.87, which places her seventh on the Iowa all-time list for the latter event.

“I think seeing the times that I’m putting in now is a big boost of confidence for the future,” Biermann said. “Seeing the work I’m doing here and seeing how it’s actually helping me so much is so awesome. I can’t even imagine what it’s going to be like in the future, so I’m super excited.”

Woody called Biermann’s future “bright.”

“I’m really excited about where she’s at right now and the direction that she’s headed,” Woody said. “Especially as a freshman, to be able to come in and do what she’s doing every single week, she’s got a great future here at Iowa.”


Up next

The Iowa track and field team will split up this coming weekend. Mid-distance and 400-meter runners will be traveling to Notre Dame for the Meyo Invitational. Sprinters will head to New Mexico for the New Mexico Collegiate Classic. Throwers will go to Iowa State for the Iowa State Classic.

“I’m really looking forward to the crew that’s going to Notre Dame because we kept some of those athletes out this last weekend to let them train, recover, and feel good going in,” Woody said. “[New Mexico] is hosting the NCAA championships, so I want to make sure to get our sprinters on that track, getting comfortable with everything from the warm-up to the check-in and all the things that we’re going to have to do when we get there for the national meet.”

Woody added Iowa State is an easier trip for the Iowa throwers and said “they’re really trending in the right direction.”

“We’ve seen some big performances, and they have been really consistent across the board,” Woody said. “When you look at all the athletes, it’s been really consistent. I always say consistency leads to big breakthroughs, and I think they’re on the verge of some big breakthroughs here pretty soon.”

As the team inches closer to the Big Ten and NCAA championships, Woody said he feels “a lot better” about the men’s team and Haack, West, and Carter’s positions to reach nationals.

“We’re really close, I think,” he said. “We’ve got some people right on the bubble, so we’re going to have to still improve.”