The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Iowa track and field starts season by shattering indoor school records at Jimmy Grant Invitational

The Hawkeyes competed in their first meet as a team on Dec. 9.
Grace Smith
Iowa’s Kalen Walker smiles after setting a meet and personal record time of 6.59 in the men’s 60-meter dash during the Jimmy Grant Alumni Invitational at the Hawkeye Indoor Track Facility on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023. The Hawkeyes hosted Western Illinois and Wisconsin, competing in events including the pentathlon, weight throwing, field events, and various running events at the indoor track.

While light snow flurries filled the air on Saturday afternoon, the Hawkeye Indoor Track Facility was heating up.

Iowa’s track and field programs made their 2023 indoor debut at the Jimmy Grant Invitational on Dec. 9 in front of an electric crowd in Iowa City. 

“This type of crowd that comes and watches us really shows you what Iowa track and field is all about,” Iowa Director of Track and Field Joey Woody said.

Home meet headliners

Fourth-year sprinter Kalen Walker improved his own 2022 school record by one-hundredth of a second in the prelims of the 60-meter race with a time of 6.60.

About an hour later, he ran a 6.59 in the finals and solidified a new Iowa record.

In the same race, third-year sprinter Lia Love set a new Jimmy Grant Alumni Invitational record of 7.28, placing her second in Iowa history.

Decorated third-year hurdler Paige Magee tied the 60-meter hurdles school record set by Myreanna Bebe with a time of 8.07. 

“This shows everyone we are in a good spot to start the year,” Love said. “But it still makes us hungry for more.”

The Hawkeyes capitalized on that for the rest of the meet. 

Iowa second-year thrower Sean Smith had a personal best and facility record-setting weight throw of 21.66 meters. His throw also ranks second all-time in school history.

In the women’s pentathlon high jump, first-year Annie Wirth set a new meet and facility record with a jump of 1.76 meters, which ranks sixth all-time at Iowa. In the shot put, Wirth replicated her success with a throw of 11.34 meters.

Third-year Rivaldo Marshall captured the 800-meter race in 1:47.83, which ranks fourth all-time in school history. 

Toward the end of the evening, mid-distance fourth-year Alli Bookin-Nosbisch ran a personal-best and meet-record mile race in 4:48.08.

“It’s rare that you set school records in December,” Woody said. “To be able to have two school records and a few that were top two or three all-time was phenomenal.”

More personal bests

Other personal records in field events included second-year Ella Meeuwsen’s high jump of 1.70 meters, third-year Dimia Burrell’s long jump of 5.42 meters, and third-year Alivia Bauer’s weight throw of 20.12 meters. 

As for additional running event personal bests, third-year Kalil Johnson ran a 7.97 while competing in the 60-meter hurdles. In the same race, second-year Natalie Harris ran her best time of 8.51.

Magee and second-year Holly Duax earned career-best times in the 60-meter race.

Nick O’Connor represented the mid-distance squad well by running his best 800-meter race of his four-year career in 1:53.70.

Iowa third-year Katie Moore ran a time of 5:07.56 and earned a new personal record in the mile run. In the same race, second-year Ellie Rathe also achieved a career-best performance of 5:14.95.

“We had a lot of people step up today,” Kalen Walker said. “I think we can make a push for the Big Ten Championship.”

Up next

The Hawkeyes will have a short break from competition over winter break before returning to action on their home track — at the Hawkeye Invitational all day on Jan. 13 at the Hawkeye Indoor Track Facility. 

“I’m really proud of where we’re at,” Love said. “We trained really hard this fall, and it’s showing.”

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About the Contributors
Mia Boulton
Mia Boulton, Sports Reporter
Mia Boulton is a freshman at the University of Iowa majoring in Journalism & Mass Communication, as well as exploring a possible double major in Sports Media. She works at the Daily Iowan as a sports reporter. Outside of the Daily Iowan, Mia has been a photographer for her hometown newspaper, The Record.
Grace Smith
Grace Smith, Senior photojournalist and filmmaker
Grace Smith is a fourth-year student at the University of Iowa double majoring in Journalism and Cinematic Arts. In her four years at The Daily Iowan, she has held the roles of photo editor, managing summer editor, and visual storyteller. Outside of The Daily Iowan, Grace has held an internship at The Denver Post and pursued freelance assignments for the Cedar Rapids Gazette and the Des Moines Register.