CEDAR FALLS - The University of Northern Iowa track & field teams were led by several throwing performances that will go down in the UNI record books on Friday afternoon at the Messersmith Invitational.
For the second time this season, senior Justin Romero broke the school record in the shot put by more than a foot. Romero threw 61-01.50 (18.63m) to surpass his own previous school record by one foot and a half-inch, claiming the event title. Earlier this season, Romero shattered the 34-year old record by one foot, seven inches.
Teammate Jordan Williams was close on Romero's heels for the headlines on Friday. Williams hit a personal-best throw of 60-02.00 (18.34m) in the shot put to rank No. 2 in school history, and then he followed up with a lifetime best discus toss of 192-02 (58.57m) that also ranks No. 2 in UNI history, winning the event. Williams' discus mark was nearly 10 feet further than his previous best.
Traci Harms won the women's hammer throw with a lifetime-best throw of 190-04 (58.01m), improving her mark that already ranked No. 2 on the all-time list. Sophomore Adam McDonnell won the men's javelin, throwing a personal-best 211-07 (64.50m) that also ranks No. 2 in the program's history.
The UNI men and women teamed up to sweep the titles in the 100m/110m hurdles, 400m hurdles, 1500m, pole vault and high jump.
A pair of Panther freshman dominated the 100m hurdles and 110m hurdles. Rachel Peth won in 14.68 seconds and Sebastian Barth ran a season-best 14.22 seconds for the victory.
Olimpia Nowak ran 58.77 seconds - No. 2 all-time at UNI in the 400m hurdles - and Ryan Newtoff's winning time was a personal-best 52.94 seconds. Freshman Paige Knodle placed second in a personal-best 59.81 that ranks third in school history.
Hayley Thomas recorded a winning time of 4:41.91 in the 1500m. Brett Egan ran 4:02.33 to win the men's 1500m.
Sam Kranz and Jenna Wexter swept the pole vault titles for the Panthers, clearing 16-10.75 (5.15m) and 12-07.50 (3.85m), respectively. Daniel Gooris took second for the men, and Jennifer Roche cleared a season-best 11-01.75 (3.40m) for third in the women's event.
Travis Leuer (6-09.00) and Johanna Smith (5-03.00) each won high jump titles on Friday.
Junior Carlos Anderson ran 10.64 seconds to win the 100m dash. Derek Kramer and Cam Brown took third and fourth in 10.90 and 10.99 seconds, respectively.
Senior Brady Fritz claimed the 800m title in 1:52.25, Chad Rutledge was second in 1:52.73, and Justin Bartels was third in 1:53.29.
Freshman Sheldon Magee placed second in the 200m dash at 21.91. Bree Rehder ran 25.33 for second in the women's 200.
UNI will travel to Wichita, Kan., for the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Championships on May 11-13.