The women’s track and field team closed out the Drake Relays Saturday in a less-than-exciting fashion; only one event placed higher than sixth for the Hawkeyes.
On an unusually cold and dreary day for the end of April (but then again, what’s unusual, this is Iowa after all.) Drake Stadium saw its fair share of stumbles – both literally and figuratively.
Lake Kwaza, Brittany Brown, Elexis Guster, and Katharina Trost led off the running events for the Hawkeyes, clocking a time of 3:53.29 in the 1,600-meter sprint medley to grab sixth place.
Next up on the Blue Oval was Marta Bote Gonzalez in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Bote Gonzalez held onto third for about half of the race, but hit an unfortunate bump – the water steeple, actually – tripped, and fell into the water. The freshman struggled to regain ground and ended the race in 16th with a time of 10:47.39.
“I was just thinking about my next movement, next steeple, and trying to keep the same pace. I wasn’t even thinking aobut the position, the time is more important for me. Sadly, it wasn’t my lucky day,” Bote Gonzalez said. “The ground was slippery, I couldn’t keep the balance so I didn’t jump properly and I fell into the water.”
Although the native of Spain took a tumble, she still finished in the top two-thirds of those competing in the steeplechase.
The 16th place finish by the distance medley relay, though, was not as positive.
The quartet took last place out of the teams that finished the race, and only technically beat one other team, which did not finish.
Two Hawkeyes, Kwaza and Brown, qualified for the finals of the 100-meter dash, but neither competed in the race.
“The plan is to make sure that we come out of this meet healthy. With such a busy day you can’t expect to hit it 100 percent over and over and over without something happening. I know because we’re in Iowa people want to see us, but the Big Ten is the most important meet for us,” women’s sprint and relays coach Clive Roberts said. “I just thought it would be too much running today.”
The two competed in the 4×100-meter relay alongside MonTayla Holder and Guster. Kwaza ran the third leg, while Brown anchored.
The four Hawkeyes were the only women to make the podium, taking third behind Mississippi and Purdue, with a time of 45.20. Iowa was looking to defend its title this year, after winning the event at the 2014 meet.
“After winning the 4×1 last year, I think we got too content and comfortable,” sophomore Elexis Guster said. “It definitely showed because we didn’t compete and we thought we just had it.”
Annemie Smith was the only Iowa woman to compete on the field events side on Saturday. The senior took sixth in the hammer throw with a distance of 188’4”.
“Annemie didn’t have a personal best or anything, but she’s starting to put some things together again,” Director of Track and Field Joey Woody said. “I think the biggest thing is that we just need to compete the way we know how to compete as Hawkeyes.”