Story and photos
By Jessie Vanderson
Tucson – Tria Seawater-Simmons was a very busy young woman during a recent trip to her hometown. As a member of the University of Iowa’s women’s track and field team, Seawater-Simmons, a former Division I triple jump state champion at Tempe Mountain Pointe, competed all three days during the Hawkeyes’ recent visit to compete at the Jim Click Shootout. The former Division I triple jump state champ at Tempe Mountain, spent the first two days of the meet (April 6-7) competing in the heptathlon, and the final day (April 8) competing in the women’s triple jump.
“I have converted to trying the multi-events,” said Seawater-Simmons, who lived in Tucson and attended high school for one year before moving with her family to Phoenix. “I am catching on pretty well with the events. As I continue to participate in the multi-events, my marks will get better.”
Her performance at Jim Click gave all the indications that she could have a successful collegiate career in the heptathlon as well as the triple jump. She finished the heptathlon Friday in eighth-place with 4928 points. Former Chandler High hurdles state champ Makaila Flannigan, a senior at Texas Christian University, finished seventh in that competition. Kansas State University’s Nina Schultz won the heptathlon (6021).
Seawater-Simmons, who was competing in the first heptathlon of her career, cracked the Hawkeyes’ women’s top 10 with her point total. The emerging Hawkeye standout’s finish left her confident about her future in the heptathlon, which consists of individual competitions in the 100-meter high hurdles, 200-meter dash, 800-meter run, high jump, long jump, shot put and the javelin throw.
“If you fail in one event, you don’t have to have a bad day because you have other events. I actually did better than what the coaches expected,” commented Seawater-Simmons.
A sprinter/jumper in high school, she was the defending meet champion in the triple jump, taking the title a year ago as a freshman at Iowa with the best mark of (38-9).