April 2021

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Page 36 of 158

37 O n March 13, 2020, the Big Ten Conference announced that along with the 2020 Men's Basketball Tournament, "it will be canceling all conference and nonconference competitions through the end of the academic year, including spring sports." at news ended the season for all and seemingly looked like it could end the careers of Iowa's 2020 seniors. Fortunately for the graduating class at the University of Iowa, the NCAA, Big Ten Conference and University of Iowa administration extended the "competition clock" of those who would have otherwise exhausted their eligibility. What does that mean? It means the indoor men's Big Ten champion and a Hawkeye women's team that placed third at the 2021 conference meet will be even stronger when the 2021 outdoor season began March 26. e Hawkeyes have 17 seniors on the roster who were not allowed to complete their outdoor eligibility last spring. e group includes one national champion, 15 All-America performances, four school-record holders and 31 Big Ten Championship medals. e women's group includes Tia Saunders, Laulauga Tausaga, Jenny Kimbro, Courtney Strohman, Karina Joyner, Erin Dowd, Allison Wahrman and Serena Brown. e men's group includes Will Daniels, Tysen VanDraska, DeJuan Frye, Ray Clarke, Austin Lietz, Dan Soto, Nathan Mylenek, Jaylan McConico and Antonio Woodard. Tausaga leads the women's squad, holding school records in the indoor and outdoor shot put, weight throw, hammer throw and discus (two indoor and three outdoor). She is a five- time All-American and captured the national championship in the discus throw with a mark of 207-feet, 6-inches (63.26m) at the 2019 NCAA Outdoor Championships. Tausaga also won the discus and the hammer throw at the 2019 Big Ten Championships. "Being back at Iowa is special," Tausaga said. "I want to put a cherry on top of a historic collegiate career. It's the last time for me to leave a lasting impression as a Hawkeye." Frye, Woodard, Clark and McConico lead the men's sprint squad. Frye is a four-time All-American (two first team, two second team) in the 4x400 relay. Woodard holds two All-America honors in the outdoor 4x400 relay and was a part of the school record team of Lawrence, Jr., Harris and Bartley that ran 3:00.14 at the 2019 NCAA Outdoor National Championships. Clark qualified for the 2020 NCAA Indoor National Championships, receiving All-America honors. McConico is a two-time second team All-American in the indoor 60-meter hurdles and the outdoor 110 hurdles. Frye, Woodard, Clark and McConico hold 12 Big Ten medals among themselves. "I was anxious while the NCAA was deliberating on granting us another year of eligibility. I needed to quickly figure some things out," Woodard said. "Once there was confirmation, I gladly accepted the invitation. I had unfinished business to take care of individually and as a team." Iowa opened the 2021 outdoor season March 26- 27 in Bloomington, Indiana. e outdoor season is limited to Big Ten schools. Iowa has eight outdoor dates, including stops in Florida and Texas, before the Big Ten Outdoor Championships on May 16- 17 at Illinois. e NCAA First Round is May 27-29 at Texas A&M and the NCAA Championships are June 9-12 in Eugene, Oregon. APRIL SCHEDULE April 9-10 at B1G Invite No. 2 Bloomington, Indiana April 16-17 at B1G Invite No. 3 Bloomington, Indiana April 16-17 at B1G Texas Invitational Houston April 23-24 at B1G Preview Champaign, Illinois

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