Track & Field
Iowa track & field didn't have to travel far to compete at the Drake Relays. The meet was highlighted by Iowa's men team winning a second straight Hy-Vee Cup, which is given to the team with the most points in five relays -- 4x100, 4x400, 4x800, sprint medley, distance medley. Iowa won despite being disqualified in the 4x100.
The Hawkeyes started strong with a second-place finish in the 4x800. Michael Melchert, Matt Monternach, Nolan Teubel and Tysen VanDraska finished in 7:28.33, which is also the fourth best time in school history. VanDraska was also part of the sprint medley, joining Antonio Woodard, Collin Hofacker and Mar'yea Harris for another second-place finish. Their time of 3:18.11 is fifth in school history. Iowa added another top-five program time in the distance medley, where VanDraska, Monternach, Nathan Mylenek and Chris Thompson took third in 9:50.70. Due to Iowa's disqualification in the 4x100, it needed at least a second-place finish in the 4x400 to repeat as Hy-Vee Cup champions. It ended the meet with a bang, as DeJuan Frye, Hofacker, Thompson and Harris won the 4x400 in 3:05.05.
Iowa's women only earned points in one relay -- 4x400. Talia Buss, Sarah Plock, Mallory King and Sommer Sharpe placed third, finishing in 3:39.74. Sharpe also won the 400-meter hurdles earlier in the meet, crossing the line in 59.73 seconds. Chris Douglas continued Iowa's strong showing in hurdles on the men's side, placing second in 110-meter hurdles (13.92) by .01 seconds.
The rest of Iowa's standouts came in field events. Jahisha Thomas only competed in triple jump. Even though she came in second, her jump of 43-feet, 8.5-inches is the best mark in the Big Ten this season and only two inches from being a school record.
Reno Tuufuli had himself a weekend, as well. He finished second in discus (190-feet, 6-inches) and won shot put (60-feet, 8.5-inches) for a second straight year. Then, Iowa became the first team since Georgia to sweep shot put at the Drake Relays when Laulauga Tausaga threw a school record of 64-feet, 11.25 inches to win on the women's side.
Upcoming: Big Ten Championships (May 11-13)
Iowa softball (20-26 overall, 6-13 B1G) continued its downward spiral last week, dropping the first game to Northwestern, 4-1. Lauren Shaw allowed four earned runs on five hits and two walks over three innings, making Erin Riding's three-shutout innings too little, too late. Iowa's only run came from an Allie Wood home run in the second, though Northwestern scored its final three runs in the bottom of the third. Angela Schmiederer led Iowa with two hits.
The Hawkeyes' losing streak stopped at 10 games when Iowa beat Northwestern, 3-0. After a couple of poor starts, Allison Doocy looked like herself again. She threw seven-shutout inning, allowing just two hits and striking out eight batters. Iowa scored early thanks to a 2-RBI triple by Schmiederer in the second. The Hawkeyes extended its lead an inning later when Devin Cantu hit an RBI-single.
Unfortunately, Iowa's losing streak came right back. Northwestern cruised to a 6-2 victory to take the series. Kenzie Ihle allowed four earned runs (five total) over two innings. Although, Iowa's bullpen looked sharp again, as Riding, Shaw and Ashley Yoways allowed only one earned run in the final four innings. Wood hit her second home run of the week, but Iowa's offense managed just two other hits.
With one series left in the regular season, Iowa is 11th in the Big Ten standings. It seems unlikely that it will be able catch Nebraska, which holds a two-game lead for the final spot in the Big Ten Tournament.
Upcoming: Purdue (FRI-SUN)
Iowa hosted the Big Ten Championships last weekend. Its home-court advantage helped in its first round matchup against Northwestern, as the Hawkeyes won 4-2. Jonas Larsen/Kareem Allaf defeated Dominik Stary/Ben Vandixhorn 6-1, and Joe Tyler/Jake Jacoby defeated Antonioni Fasano/Chris Ephron 7-5 to give Iowa the doubles point. The match stayed close in singles play. Many of the singles matches went the distance, including when Josh Silverstein beat Stary 2-6, 6-1, 7-6(7-3) in a match between the teams' top singles players. Allaf defeated Jason Seidman 4-6, 7-5(7-4), 6-2, and Larsen defeated Fasano 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 to secure Iowa the match.
The Hawkeyes' season ended in the second round against No. 3, and eventual Big Ten champ, Ohio State. The Buckeyes cruised to a 4-0 win. While Ohio State easily won the doubles point, Silverstein and Allaf each played well in singles play, despite their matches not finishing. Silverstein was trailing Mikael Torpegaard 6-7(9-11), 2-1, while Allaf led Tim Seibert 7-6(7-2), 4-1 in the second set before Ohio State clinched the match.
Watch some of the biggest moments from the 2018 season! pic.twitter.com/qPUU5zgFbU— Iowa Men's Tennis (@IowaMensTennis) April 30, 2018
Last week in Baltimore, Maryland, Iowa men's golf finished third (859, +19) at the Big Ten Championships thanks to shooting 38 birdies. Despite a slow start -- sixth place (288) after day one -- the Hawkeyes climbed into a tie for third after shooting its tournament-best 275 on day two. Iowa shot a 296 on the final day, beating Penn State by one stroke for third. Illinois and Ohio State finished first and second, respectively.
Benton Weinberg (213, +3) notched Iowa's only top-10 finish, as he finished in eighth. Alex Moorman (215, +5) and Alex Schaake (216, +6) each finished in the top-20, though, coming in at 15th and 18th, respectively. Iowa's final two golfers in Matthew Walker and Sam Meuret tied for 31st, shooting 220, +10.
Despite a strong finish to the season, Iowa was left out of the NCAA Tournament, ending a nine-year run. That said, Schaake qualified as an individual and will compete on May 14-16. He didn't have his best tournament last week, but he has consistently been Iowa's best golfer this season.
There were many teams at the Longhorn Invitational, including No. 3 Texas, No. 8 Iowa, No. 9 Virginia and No. 18 Oklahoma. Unsurprisingly, Iowa's best boat, I Varsity Eight, had the Hawkeyes' best finish, coming in second behind only Texas. Iowa's I Varsity Four came in third, while the II Varsity Four and I Varsity Eight boats each qualified for the finals but came in fourth.
Upcoming: Big Ten Championships