DES MOINES - Olimpia Nowak's final three events of the Drake Relays heptathlon were just as impressive as her first four, and it all added up to a school record and lifetime-best performance for the University of Northern Iowa senior. Nowak scored 5,686 points - 271 more than she had ever totaled before - to take second place in the heptathlon on Thursday.
Nowak shattered the previous UNI record of 5,550 established by Dani Stipe in 2008, and she currently ranks No. 5 in the nation this season.
Nowak was the top collegiate finisher, trailing only Peaches Roach-Findlay who competed unattached and took the title with 5,709 points.
After the first four events on Wednesday, Nowak entered the day in second place. She opened with a mark of 18-03 (5.56m) in the long jump - her longest outdoor jump since 2010. She followed up with the best javelin throw of her life by more than 10 feet, tossing 130-05 (39.75m) to top the rest of the heptathlon field.
Nowak concluded by clocking the second-fastest 800m of her career at 2:15.49, finishing behind only teammate Paige Knodle.
Knodle also finished the day with a lifetime-best heptathlon score, claiming fifth place with 5,280 points. As a freshman, Knodle now ranks at No. 3 on UNI's all-time list in the multi-event behind only Nowak and Stipe.
Knodle jumped 17-11 (5.46m) in the long jump, threw 128-02 (39.07m) in the javelin to give UNI the top two performers in the event, and out-ran the entire field in the 800m to finish in 2:14.10. All three performances were personal-bests. Just two weeks after completing her first collegiate heptathlon at the KT Woodman Classic, Knodle topped that score by 316 points.
Knodle currently ranks No. 24 in the nation, making UNI, Wisconsin and Kansas State the only three schools in the country to have multiple women in the top 25.