Iowa's Mar'yea Harris crosses the finish line during the 4x400 meter relay during the Larry Wieczorek Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2017. Harris anchored the Hawkeyes relay team to a victory with a 45.599 split. (Nick Rohlman/The Daily Iowan)

Hawkeye track and field sets sights on NCAAs


With a successful indoor season winding down, Iowa track and field eyes its final meet indoors: the NCAA Championship.

By Andrew Donlan

The Iowa track and field team wrapped up its indoor season last weekend at the Big Ten Championships, but the season isn’t quite done yet for everyone. Ten Hawkeyes will travel for the indoor NCAA meet in College Station, Texas, today and Saturday.

The athletes will represent Iowa in six events and two relays: senior Brittany Brown, junior Mar’Yea Harris, junior Briana Guillory, junior Chris Douglas, senior Jahisha Thomas, sophomore Collin Hofacker, junior Sarah Plock, junior DeJuan Frye, senior Sheridan Champe, and freshman Bradford Garron.

“I am extremely excited and proud of our NCAA Indoor qualifiers,” Iowa Director of Track and Field Joey Woody told Hawkeye Sports. “To make the top 16 athletes and 12 relays to qualify signifies that these athletes are in elite company. They are in the top 1-2 percent of all Division 1 track and field. Our goal is the same as it was at the beginning of the season, which is to score in the top 10 as a team. I believe we have the athletes that can make this happen.”

Both the Iowa men’s and women’s 4×400 relay teams qualified for the meet. The Iowa women’s team comprises Brown, Guillory, Champe, and Plock. The team took third at the Big Ten meet with a time of 3:31.31.

The men’s 4×400 relay team also took third at the Big Tens. That team consists of Harris, Frye, Hofacker, and Garron. Their time of 3:05.22 was under a second off the first-place finisher.

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Both relay teams also have athletes who will compete individually this weekend. Guillory and Brown took home the 400 and 200 at the Big Tens, respectively, and will compete in the same events in Texas.

Guillory has worked to keep her mind in the right place leading up to the NCAAs.

“I’m not thinking about the Big Tens anymore, they have nothing to do with this weekend,” Guillory said. “At random times, I feel a little nervous for the weekend, but I have a five-page paper due on Friday, so that’s my main focus right now. My goal for the 400 meters is just to make the final.”

Harris serves as the anchor in the men’s 4×400 and also competes individually in the 400. Harris finished second in the event in the Big Tens, but his personal best time of 45.95 seconds ranks 12th in the country.

“I feel really good. I got some good workouts in this week, so my confidence is high,” he said. “My goal is to make my first NCAA final in the 400 meters, and I know our 4×400 team is more than capable of making it higher on the podium.”

Thomas won both the triple jump and long jump at the Big Ten meet, and she will compete in both at the NCAAs.

Douglas will run in the 60-meter hurdles. His personal best time this season was 7.76 seconds, third all-time at Iowa.

The outdoor season will kick off for Iowa on March 16 and March 17 in Arizona at the Willie Williams Classic.

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