Top 10 Hawkeye Sports Stories from ’17-18
IOWA CITY, Iowa – The Hawkeye sports year isn’t quite over. The track and field teams are competing in Eugene, Ore. this week as part of the national championship meet.
I’m still going to move ahead with my Top 10 sports stories for the latest school year. Vacation for me rolls around next week and then it will be hard finding time to do it when I return.
10. Iowa golfer Alex Schaake picked for all-Midwest regional team
The sophomore was named to the Division I PING All-Midwest Region Team. The Ohama product also landed on the all-Big Ten first team. His 18-hole scoring average (71.88) was the fourth lowest in Hawkeye history since the 1991-92 season.
Schaake carded 13 rounds at or below par with four top-10 finishes, both team bests.
9. Hawkeye field hockey’s Katie Birch named third team all-American
The sophomore was picked by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association as a third team all-American. The native of England was the 90th all-American in program history.
A first team all-Big Ten selection, Birch led the team in goals (14), points (36), and shots (68). She finished the season ranked second in the conference in shots per game (3.83), third in goals (14) and goals per game (0.78), and second in points per game (2.0).
8. The Iowa rowing team experiences best modern-era finish at NCAA Championship
The eighth-ranked Hawkeyes scored a school-record 69 points at the 2018 NCAA Rowing Championships in Sarasota (FL) at the end of May. That was good for 11th place, the school’s best finish in the modern era. They were 15th last year and have only reached the national event three times in program history.
The Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association announced earlier this week that head coach Andrew Carter was its Region 4 Coach of the Year.
7. Hawkeye juniors James Daniels and Josh Jackson selected early in 2nd Round of NFL Draft
Daniels and Jackson decided in January to forgo their final seasons at Iowa and reach for their NFL dreams. Despite not going in the first round, as some folks predicted, they heard their names called early in the second round.
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The Chicago Bears selected Daniels, a center, with the second pick of that round. NFC North Division rival Green Bay chose Jackson six picks later.
6. Hawkeye track and field athletes each capture pair of Big Ten titles
Laulauga Tausaga, a sophomore, became the first person since ’09-10 to win two straight discus titles and the seventh athlete in Big Ten history to win the discus and shot put at the same meet.
Jahisha Thomas was fourth person in the Big Ten annals to sweep the long jump and triple jump at both the indoor and outdoor championships.
5. Three Iowa baseball players earn first-team all-conference honors
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For the first time since ’90, the Hawkeyes placed three players on the league’s top team. Nick Allgeyer (starting pitcher), Tyler Cropley (catcher) and Robert Neustrom (outfield) earned the honor.
Earlier this week, Neustrom was selected in the fifth round (No. 145 overall) of the MLB Draft. It represented the highest a Hawkeye position player was chosen since Danan Hughes was taken in the third round (No. 79) in ’92.
4. Hawkeye Center Megan Gustafson puts together all-American season
The junior from Wisconsin earned Big Ten Player of the Year honors. She led the nation in points per game (25.7), field goal percentage (67.1), and field goals made (320). She also ranked second in double-doubles (28) and and fifth in rebounds per game (12.8).
She landed on all of the major all-American teams and, barring injury, should break the school’s all-time scoring and rebounding records.
3. Iowa football defenders Josey Jewell, Josh Jackson unanimous consensus all-Americans
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Jewell earned Big Ten linebacker of the Year and Jackson was named defensive back of the Year before becoming just the 24th and 25th players in the history of the program to become consensus all-Americans. The were just the fifth and six unanimous selections.
2. Iowa Wrestler Spencer Lee slices through competition on way to national title
I heavily debated putting Lee’s achievement at No. 1. A case certainly could have been made for the freshman.
He cruised to the 125-pound championship with two falls and two technical falls before recording a 5-1 decision against perviously unbeaten Nick Suriano of Rutgers in the final match. Suriano hadn’t yielded a point in the national tournament before facing Lee.
It turned out to be a whirlwind first-season for Lee, who didn’t remove his redshirt until the beginning of January.
1. Hawkeye Football pounds No. 3 Ohio State, 55-24, on Nov. 4 at Kinnick Stadium
Nobody saw this one coming and not many could believe it when it happened. The Hawkeyes absolutely beat down the standard-setting program in the Big Ten and essentially kept it out of the College Football Playoff.
Amani Hooker kicked off the blowout with a Pick-6 on the game’s first play. Josh Jackson delivered a one-handed interception, Nate Stanley threw a touchdown with Sam Hubbard wrapped around his leg, and tight ends Noah Fant and T.J. Hockenson embarrassed the Buckeyes.
You’ll tell your grandchildren about this one.