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College Track & Field: Iowa defends Big Ten Title, crowned 2022 champs

GENEVA, Ohio – University of Iowa track and field won its second consecutive Men’s Big Ten Indoor Championships at the SPIRE Institute on Saturday. The Hawkeyes edged Ohio State by a 117-102 margin.

“We have an expectation to be Big Ten Champs every time we step on the track and start our season,” Iowa Director of Track and Field Joey Woody said. “I’m really proud of the guys because they had to be resilient this weekend. They had to fight through a lot of adversity and this was a total team effort.”

The Hawkeye men tallied two Big Ten Champions (Jenoah McKiver; 600m, men’s 4×400-meter relay) and six additional medalists on the afternoon. On the women’s side, sophomore LaSarah Hargrove earned two medals. Hargrove was the runner up in the 200 meters (23.55) and took third in the 60 meters (7.35).

McKiver claimed the first Big Ten title of his career, winning the 600 meters in 1:15.67. He doubled back to run the anchor leg on the 4×400-meter relay, consisting of Everett Steward, junior Julien Gillum, freshman Armando Bryson and McKiver and helping the Hawkeyes to their second Big Ten title of the day.

All five Hawkeyes who were entered in the event ran in the 600-meter final. Gillum took third place (1:16.11), earning his third-career Big Ten medal to move into second on Iowa’s all-time list. Sophomore Spencer Gudgel (1:16.82) moved to sixth all-time at Iowa and took fourth for the second. Bryson (1:16.89; ninth all-time) and fellow freshman Phillip Jefferson (1:17.76; personal best) finished fifth and seventh, respectively.

Sophomore Austin West improved on his third-place finish in the heptathlon from a year ago, finishing runner up. West completed the weekend with a win in the heptathlon 1,000 meters to total 5,783 points.

In the 60-meter hurdles, sophomore Grant Conway earned his first career Big Ten medal with a runner-up finish (7.72). Sophomore Gratt Reed (7.73) earned his second-career Big Ten Indoor medal in the hurdles and third Big Ten medal overall, finishing third.

Junior Wayne Lawrence, Jr. finished third in the 400 meters (46.09) to earn his ninth career Big Ten medal. Freshman Chadrick Richards finished fourth (46.19).

Sophomore Kalen Walker (6.70) picked up a bronze medal in the 60 meters during his first Big Ten meet. Sophomore LaSarah Hargrove (7.35) also won a bronze medal in the 60 meters, and doubled back to take silver in the 200 meters (23.55). The women’s team finished sixth with 59 points on the weekend.

Iowa’s 4×400-meter relays ended the meet on a strong note. The women’s quartet of junior Mariel Bruxvoort, seniors Payton Wensel and Mallory King and freshman Tesa Roberts took bronze (3:35.73). The men’s conference-winning squad included freshman Everett Steward, Gillum, Bryson and McKiver (3:05.47). That time ranks sixth all-time at Iowa.

Iowa competes next at the NCAA Championships in Birmingham, Alabama, March 11-12.

Athletes and events in the hunt to qualify include:
Men’s 4×400-meter relay
Women’s 4×400-meter relay
400 meters: Jenoah McKiver, Chadrick Richards, Wayne Lawrence, Jr.
Heptathlon: Austin West
Weight Throw: Tyler Lienau
Shot Put: Nik Curtiss
60 Meters: Kalen Walker
60-meter Hurdles: Grant Conway, Gratt Reed

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