Iowa had 16 different events entered in the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
They took first- or second-team honors in 11 of them. Six of those 11 were first-teamers.
In the team race, the Hawkeye women took 13th with 19 points — their best finish in school history — and were the second-highest scoring Big Ten team behind Purdue. Iowa was also just 2.5 points out of a top-10 finish.
The men finished tied for 31st (out of 66 scoring teams) with nine points, getting points in just two events. You can check out the full results from the meet right here.
In all, it was a successful weekend for the squads. Jahisha Thomas had the best performance, finishing in third in the long jump with a leap of 21 feet, 5.25 inches. She was just five inches from first place and it’s quite the achievement for her — until Thomas’ finish, the women’s team has never had a first-team All-American in that event.
She was beyond psyched after taking bronze in the long jump and this is honestly up there with my all-time favorite Iowa interviews:
Thomas also finished sixth in the triple jump as the Hawkeye field events did the lions share of the scoring work. Thrower Laulauga Tausaga took both fourth in the shot (56-10.75) and the discus (183-11) for two first-team AA honors.
Her shot put mark is a school record, though it’s hardly been her best event. Just a sophomore, it was Lagi’s first time throwing the shot at the NCAA finals. She’s also a back-to-back first-team AA in the discus.
By the time she’s a senior, we might be expecting to see her win both. In fact, Tausaga is already arguably the best female thrower to ever come through the school.
“Its definitely been a struggle,” Tausaga said of the shot to HawkeyeSports. “There have been days when I liked (the shot put) and days when I hated it. I am starting to learn that if I put my mind to it and if I do exactly what coach says then things will happen like they did today. This has just been an amazing experience to not go to regionals last year in the shot put to getting fourth place.”
On the men’s side, Reno Tuufuli struggled a bit in the shot put, but came back to place fifth in the discus. It’s the second year in a row he’s first-team AA in the discus.
Mar’yea Harris was the only one from either the men’s or women’s teams to nab first-team honors on the track. He ran a 45.00 400-meter dash to place fourth, his first individual first-team AA honor.
Qualifying seventh, he was in an outside lane which makes it all the more impressive.
“I wanted to focus on not worrying about anyone else in the race because in lane eight you can’t see anybody,” Harris said to HawkeyeSports. “I knew I had to get out, but I focused on my own race. The guys that got top three were already gone when we made the final turn, but I knew if I finished strong then I could get a fourth place finish.”
Harris was also part of the 4x400, which missed the cut to make the finals by a touch over a tenth of a second. DeJuan Frye, Antonio Woodard, Collin Hofacker joined Harris on the relay, which finished with a time of 3:04.93 and is the 10th fastest in school history.
Iowa’s other second-team All-Americans:
- Brittany Brown, 200, 22.89 (14th)
- Chris Douglas, 110H, 13.76 (11th)
- Will Dougherty, decathlon, 7,647 (13th)
- Briana Guillory, 400, 52.36 (10th)