Tionna Tobias continued her astonishing breakthrough season in the 100-meter hurdles Thursday with the 4th-fastest time ever recorded by a New Jersey native.
Racing in the NCAA Championships West Preliminaries at Hornet Stadium on the Sacramento (Calif.) State campus, the Winslow graduate and Iowa junior ran 13.11 to easily advance to Saturday’s quarterfinals.
Tobias lowered her PR from 13.20, which she ran earlier this month on Day 1 of the Big Ten Championship heptathlon, which she won.
Her time is No. 2 in school history behind current teammate Paige Magee, who ran 12.90 in the prelims at the Big Ten Championships. Magee ran 13.06 Thursday and joins Tobias in the quarters on Friday. A third Iowa hurdler, Myreanna Bebe, ran 13.12 and also advanced. They’re the three-fastest Iowa hurdlers in school history.
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Tobias came into the season with a PR of 13.59 from Day 1 of last year’s Big Ten heptathlon. She lowered that to 13.55 last month in a meet in Gainesville and then down to 13.51 in a meet in Waco, also last month. Then came the huge breakthrough down to 13.20 in Bloomington on May 12.
Her 13.11 – with a legal 0.5 wind – puts her behind only Olympians Nia Ali [12.34 at Worlds in Doha in 2019] and Sydney McLaughlin [12.65 in Walnut, Calif., in 2021] as well as Neptune’s Dawn Bowles [12.74 in Indianapolis in 1997] on the all-time New Jersey list.
Tobias has already qualified for the NCAA Championships in Austin June 7-10 in the heptathlon. Because of the nature of the event, there is no qualifying round in the NCAA Prelims.
Tobias went 20-0 1/4 in the long jump immediately after the hurdles but fell just short of advancing to Saturday’s quarterfinals.