Takeaways: Breakthrough performances in Doc Hale Elite Meet

Jalaiya Bartley competes in the high jump during the Iowa State Classic on Feb. 9, 2019, in Lied Recreation and Athletic Center.

Jordan Swanson

Iowa State track and field Head Coach Martin Smith only sent the women’s team to compete in Virginia Friday and Saturday and the team got solid finishes out of it.

The Cyclones saw a handful of personal bests in a variety of events while also seeing many finals appearances. 

Breakthrough performances

The sophomore from Canada may have had the breakthrough performance she needed this week for Iowa State.

Katarina Vlahovic started off competition Friday by tying her personal best in the 60-meter hurdles in the prelims with a time of 8.30, matching the time she set last season in the Big 12 Indoor Championships.

Then, in the finals of the event, Vlahovic placed second with a time of 8.27, setting a new personal record. This mark is good enough to put her at the No. 4 spot all time for Iowa State and tie for the No. 15 spot all time.

Vlahovic has been a mark of consistency for Iowa State this season in the hurdles. She also has gone to compete globally for her home country of Canada.

But Vlahovic’s weekend performances were not the last worth highlighting.

Jalaiya Bartley had already given one of her best triple jump marks in two years two weeks ago and the junior continued to perform Saturday.

Bartley finished third in the women’s triple jump — her top event. Her second (40-1 1/4, 12.22m) and third (40-0 1/2, 12.20m) jumps moved into the top half of the leaderboard. Her fourth and final jump of the day was her best at 40-6 3/4 (12.36m).

Tennessee proves why they are a top-25 program

Coming into the meet, the Tennessee Volunteers women’s track team was the No. 20-ranked team in the country and by the end of the weekend they proved why. 

By the end of the meet, the Volunteers had totaled four new personal bests and a number of finals appearances to round out an overall solid performance. 

One highlight for Tennessee was senior Hannah Jefcoat. Jefcoat broke her own all-time record in the pole vault clearing a height of 14-2 3/4. The height puts Jefcoat in a strong position to qualify for the 2021 Indoor National Championships for the pole vault. 

Another feature event for Tennessee was the 4×400 meter relay. Both the men’s and women’s teams put up season best times this past weekend en route to claim victories. 

In addition to this, after the meet, both 4×400 meter relay teams are ranked No. 16 in the country.

Two weeks left until the postseason

With the Doc Hale Elite Meet in the books, Iowa State only has two more meets left until the Big 12 Indoor Championships begin and then the NCAA Indoor National Championship.

The Cyclones have had a solid season to date, but there is still room for improvement before postseason play begins.

The two meets left for Iowa State are the Cyclone Invite in Ames and JDL DMR Invitational in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.