The Iowa Track and Field team has put together the most accomplished season in program history. And it’s not over yet.
This year, the men’s team swept both the indoor and outdoor conference championships, breaking school records in both and winning the two by an average of 30 team points. Now, the Hawkeyes are sending ten entries (five individuals and two relays) to the 2021 NCAA Outdoor Championships, which kick off today. The women’s team is also sending five entries (all individuals), taking the total to a program-best 15 entries.
Those 15 entries are spread across all six of Iowa’s coaches with qualifiers in sprints, hurdles, distance, jumps, throws, multi-events and relays. That makes the Hawkeyes a complete team entrant with a realistic expectation of a top-10 finish. Coming into the weekend, the Iowa men are ranked 15th in the USTFCCCA Rating Index, the highest in the Big Ten. The Hawkeye women are ranked 29th, third among the Big Ten.
The Iowa men have finished inside that coveted top-10 eight different times in program history. However, the last time was nearly 90 years ago in 1932 when the Hawkeyes finished 6th. Iowa’s best finish in program history came in 1921, 1923 and 1930 when they came in 3rd overall. The highest finish in modern history came in 2017 when the Hawkeyes came in 17th.
On the women’s side, the best finish came in 2018 when they took home 13th place. Laulauga Tausaga scored 10 points for the Hawkeyes, getting fourth in the shot put and discus. The women also finished 25th in 2019.
This year’s Outdoor Championships, held in Eugene, Oregon, run from Wednesday to Saturday of this week with action set to kick off at 3pm CT this evening. You can watch all events live on Watch ESPN and track the scoring on HawkeyeSports here.
Events to Watch
As noted, the Hawkeye men have 10 qualifiers spread across eight events. They’ll compete in six individual events, including one field event, and two relays.
Iowa gets into the action right off the bat with a pair of competitors in the men’s decathlon. That includes Austin West, who finished third at the Big Ten Championships with his best ever score of 7,805 points. That was the second best score in Iowa’s history and ranks 7th nationally.
West is joined by Will Daniels, a transfer from Division III Central College who won the national title in the decathlon at that level the last time he Nationals were held in 2019. The D3 success has translated just fine as Daniels bested West at the Big Ten Championships with a score of 7,864 points - good enough to finish second and set a school record for the Hawkeyes. He comes into the NCAA Championships ranked 6th in the nation.
Action in the decathlon kicks things off at 3pm CT Wednesday with events running through Thursday evening.
Iowa’s 4x100 relay team consists of Jaylan McConico, Gratt Reed, Antonio Woodard, and Austin Kresley. The quartet finished 10th in the NCAA West Regional with a season-best time of 39.57 seconds.
They look to start their quest for more in the opening minutes of track action tonight. The 4x100 relay is the first track event on the schedule starting at 7:02 CT on Wednesday evening. This marks the 8th straight year Iowa has qualified a 4x100 relay team for the NCAA Championships.
3000 Meter Steeplechase
Shortly after the 4x100, Nathan Mylenek keeps things rolling in the 3000 meter steeplechase. Mylenek is in his second straight NCAA Championship in the event after finishing 9th in 2019 and earning 2nd Team All-America honors. He qualified with atime of 8:40.34 at the West Regional, which placed 9th.
Semifinal action gets started at 7:32pm CT on Wednesday.
110 Meter Hurdles
Immediately following the steeplechase, the Hawkeyes keep the action rolling with two competitors in the 110 hurdles. Jamal Britt finished 10th with a time of 13.67 at the West Regionals to earn his first trip to the NCAA Championships.
Britt will be joined by Jaylan McConico, who is competing in his second straight outdoor championships after finishing 11th in 2019 to earn 2nd Team All-America honors. McConico won the 110 hurdles at the West Regional with a time of 13.41.
Action is expected to get underway around 8:02pm CT Wednesday night.
In the open 400 meters, the Hawkeyes will be represented by their 4x400 anchor Wayne Lawrence, Jr. Lawrence, Jr. finished fifth at the West Regional with a time of 45.49 seconds to earn his second straight trip to the NCAA Championships. In 2019, he finished 14th in the 400 to earn second-team All-America honors.
The semifinals in the 400 meters are expected to start at 8:30pm CT Wednesday.
The lone field event qualifier on the men’s side is long jumper James Carter, Jr. He’ll be competing in his first outdoor championship after finishing 7th in the West Regional with a second-best career mark of 7.73 meters. Carter, Jr. finished third in the Big Ten Championships after winning the indoor championship.
While all the other events on Wednesday feature Hawkeye men in semifinals, Carter Jr. will be in the final of the long jump on Wednesday evening. You can catch that action at 8:30pm CT.
400 Meter Hurdles
In the 400 M hurdles, the Hawkeyes have Jamal Britt competing in his second event of the day. He’s the only Hawkeye to qualify in both events after finishing 6th in the West Regional in the 400 with a time of 49.70 seconds. Britt was the Big Ten Champion in the event.
Look for the 400 hurdles to get started around 9:00pm CT.
The Hawkeyes’ 4x400 relay team consists of Jenoah McKiver, Austin Lietz, Julien Gillum, and Wayne Lawrence, Jr. The group ran a season-best time of 3:04.71 at the West Regional to finish 9th overall while winning their heat.
The 4x4 will close things out on the opening day with the semifinals scheduled to start at 10:18pm CT on Wednesday. This the fourth straight year the Hawkeyes have qualified a 4×400 relay team to the NCAA Championships. Iowa won the title in 1967.
As mentioned above, the Hawkeye women have five qualifiers at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Four of the five are competing in field events with dual entries in two of them. While the men kick off their action on Wednesday, the women’s team will have to wait until Thursday to get rolling.
The Iowa women get started in the shot put where the Hawkeyes have a pair of qualifiers. That includes Kat Moody who finished 12th at the West Regionals with a career best mark of 16.65 meters. This will be her first appearance at the NCAA Championships.
Moody will be joined by a more experienced teammate as superstar Laulauga Tausaga competes in both the shot and discuss for the second time in her career after doing so in 2018. Tausaga won the West Regional in the shot put with a mark of 17.97 meters.
Action in the women’s shot put is expected to get underway around 7:40pm CT on Thursday, June 10th.
It’s a similar story in the discuss where Iowa again has two qualifiers. Serena Brown is heading to her third straight NCAA Championships after setting a career mark of 59.81 meters in the West Regional. Brown finished 13th in the discuss back in 2018 when she earned 2nd Team All-America honors.
Brown will be joined by Tausauga as she looks to defend her 2019 NCAA Championship. Tausaga finished 2nd in the West Regional with a mark of 63.28, just besting her 2019 championship mark of 63.26 meters, which had been a school record.
The women’s discuss doesn’t get started until Saturday with action expected to start around 4:35pm CT.
The women will wrap things up with heptathlon where Jenny Kimbro will be competing for the second straight NCAA Championships. In 2019, Kimbro finished 23rd. She’ll look to improve on that this year after setting a season best back in April with 5,543 points, also 23rd best in the NCAA.
The heptathlon gets started at 2pm CT on Friday, June 11th and runs through Saturday evening.
Full Schedule of Events
Here’s a look at the full schedule of events broken out by day. Note that within each day, events are grouped by type with track events first, followed by field events and the combined events (decathlon and heptathlon). Despite the groupings, the field and combined events typically start earlier in the day.
As a reminder, you can watch all events live on Watch ESPN and track the scoring on HawkeyeSports here. ESPN is running some action on ESPNU with replays available there as well. You can see a breakdown of the full TV schedule here.