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Laulauga Tausaga is a world champion

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Junior World champ? Let’s go, Laulauga.

(UI Athletics photo)

In a season full of great performances, Laulauga Tausaga’s gold medal at the junior Pan American Games will be up there.

In her first year competing with the team, Tausaga won a Big Ten Championship, finished 7th at the NCAA Championships, a USATF U20 national title and then a junior world gold medal. She’s already the best female thrower this program has ever had. She’s going to be a sophomore next year.

Let that sink in.

Tausaga won the event with a 59.29 meter toss. That broke the record for the event, which had stood since 1997. She won the event by nearly six meters. So that’s pretty neat too.

All of this “offseason” competition is tremendous for her development as well. And hey, getting a trip to Peru out of the deal is a pretty cool thing too. She’s easily the best returning discus thrower in the Big Ten this year and there’s little doubt in my mind she’ll once again compete for a national title.

I’ve said it before, but Andrew Dubs is doing a tremendous job with the throwing group and is one of the best positional coaches Iowa has, in any sport. Kudos to him as well.

But wait, there’s more!

Nathan Mylenek got silver in the steeplechase, finishing in 9:00.70, just four seconds behind Canada’s Jean Desgagnes. Mylenek is a talented cross country runner as well, so his name will pop up again before his Iowa career comes to a conclusion.

Again, congrats to both Nathan and Laulauga on a job very well done. Take a bit of time to rest up, the Track and Field team will need your talents in the not-so-far future.