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Sowinski, Tausaga take third at USATF Championships

Former Hawk and current Hawk lead a strong Iowa showing

Track and Field: USA Championships Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Rain seems to be the common theme with track events this year, but a wet competition at the United States Track and Field Championships still saw some great performances from former and current Iowa track athletes.

Erik Sowinski is Iowa’s biggest professional track star and the Nike-sponsored athlete finished third in the 800m with a time of 1:47.76. He was about a little more than a second behind winner Clayton Murphy. Sowinski’s splits for the two 400’s were 54.90 and 52.86, respectively.

At 28, Sowinski has stayed competitive for a number of years and might have a chance to threaten for a spot in the 2020 Olympics, something he’s never been able to do. He still is around Iowa City and coached by Hawkeye track and field director Joey Woody.

It doesn’t seem like that will change any time soon.

Elsewhere, Iowa also got a third-place finish from Laulauga Tausaga in the discus. After hitting 191-5 on her first attempt, she scratched her next two and ended up sitting in sixth place entering the sixth, final throw. On that last one Lagi ripped a career-best 198-11 to move up in the standings.

Finishing fourth at the NCAA Championships and third at the USATF Championships is not a bad way to head into the summer. Lagi is probably the greatest thrower to ever come through Iowa and she still has two seasons left.

That’s pretty exciting. Let me say right now I’ll be sorta shocked if she doesn’t win something big over the next couple years.

Elsewhere for the Hawks, Brittany Brown broke through what had been a real tough season with a school record 22.42 in the 200-meters to finish fifth. Granted it was raining and the conditions weren’t great in Eugene, but that time that would have obliterated the 22.76 200 that USC’s Angie Annelus won the NCAA Championships with.

Brown’s time is a top-20 in the world this season as well. That’ll be the last time she’ll wear an Iowa uniform and I’m glad she ended things on a high note. Brown is one of Iowa’s all-time great track athletes and should be remembered as such.

Iowa’s last placer was Briana Guillory, who continued a strong end-of-season-run, finishing sixth in the 400 with a school-record 51.30. She returns to Iowa next year.

In all? A pretty damn good season for the Iowa track team (though Jahisha Thomas very well could win events at the British Championships next week). There was definitely growth again this year and I’m excited to see what’s next.

Outside of Thomas’ chance to win next week, that’s pretty much the end of stuff for Iowa this year. Sowinski and Lagi will head to the NACAC Senior Championships in Toronto, Canada on Aug. 10-12 and will be joined by Guillory, who is on the 4x1600 team.

After that we start looking at cross country season and the cycle starts all over again.