Iowa track pack one-two punches in Big Ten Championship


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After failing to take home numerous titles in April’s Drake Relays, the Iowa men’s track and field team responded in the finals Sunday of the Big Ten championships in Columbus, Ohio, to the tune of four Big Ten titles. The Black and Gold finished fifth place overall with 85 points.

Senior sprinter Justin Austin earned three of the honors himself. He won the 100- and 200-meter dashes with times of 10.27 and 20.86. Senior Josh Larney finished second in the 100-meter dash with a personal-best time of 10.39. Austin also took first place in the 200-meter dash in 2011, and he is the first Iowa athlete to take first place in the event since star football player Tim Dwight in 1999.  Austin and fellow seniors Larney, Ethan Holmes, and Jordan Mullen also took first place in the 400-meter relay with a time of 40.21. Senior javelin thrower Matt Byers earned second place with a toss of 72.45 meters.

“It was a real thrill to go out there and win the individual titles and the relay,” Austin said in a release. “You always want to compete at the Big Ten meet, and I was disappointed last year, so this season, it was really nice to come out on top. I came in with the top rank, so it feels good to show up and meet the expectations.” Holmes also earned a first-place medal in the 400-meter hurdles. The Clinton, Iowa, native posted a time of 50.78 to earn the Hawkeyes its first victory in the event since 2010.

‘As far as the 400 hurdles go, it was windy out here and I knew the conditions weren’t great,” he said in a release. “I knew I just had to get out as fast as I could. When I saw I was in first-place coming around that final turn, I just tried to stay as calm as I could. I could see the Michigan guy coming, and I just tried to stay as composed as possible.” But Holmes was not pleased with all of his performances. His 14.44 time in the 110-meter hurdles earned him seventh place in the event, slower than the 13.97 he posted in Des Moines. Mullen finished second in the event with a personal-best time of 13.76.

“The 110 hurdles didn’t go as well as I wanted it to, but I couldn’t be happier for Jordan,” Holmes said in a release. “He is healthy, running great, and we are ready for regionals.” The women’s team did not crown any individual champions and finished in last place. However, the team did earn two second-place finishes in Columbus.

Graduate student Mareike Schrulle finished second with a time of 16:12.66 in the 5,000 meters, and senior Majesty Tutson earned a runner-up finish in the discus with a throw of 170-8. Freshman Lake Kwaza set a personal best with a time of 11.56 to finish fifth in the 100-meters. Sophomore Khanishah Williams jumped 5-6½ in the high jump to finish eighth. Williams finished third in the indoor Big Ten championships in February.

Despite the lack of champions for the women, head coach Layne Anderson was pleased to see the level of competition his team displayed at the meet. “The kids competed hard; we have some things to be excited about,” Anderson told The Daily Iowan. “We didn’t have as many individual and relay champions, but when you have runner-up finishes; that bodes well for the team.”

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