Iowa at Gold Country Classic

Jan. 20, 2004

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THIS WEEK — The Iowa men’s and women’s track teams will compete at the Minnesota Gold Country Classic Saturday in Minneapolis. Events are scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m., and will be held at the University of Minnesota Field House. Competing teams include Iowa, Minnesota, Minnesota State-Mankato, Marquette, North Dakota State, South Dakota State and Wisconsin-LaCrosse.

LAST WEEK — The Hawkeye men’s and women’s track teams won a combined 18 events and had one student-athlete provisionally qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships at the annual Hawkeye Invitational in Iowa City.

Hawkeye senior Ken Kemeny provisionally qualified for the NCAA Championships in the shot put with a winning throw of 58-10 3/4. Hawkeye freshman Tiffany Johnson was the lone double individual event winner, taking the triple jump (38-9 3/4) and 60-meter hurdles (8.77) in her collegiate debut. The Iowa men’s team chased the two-mile school record of 8:54.0 set in 1968 by current Hawkeye Head Coach Larry Wieczorek, but were unsuccessful in their bid. Iowa junior Matt Esche won the event in 9:03.82. The Hawkeye women’s team recorded 27 collegiate-best performances on the day, while the men’s team recorded 14.

NCAA QUALIFIERS — Senior Ken Kemeny is the first Hawkeye of the 2004 indoor season to qualify for the NCAA Championships, to be held March 12-13 in Fayetteville, AR. Kemeny provisionally qualified in the shot put at last week’s Hawkeye Invitational with a winning throw of 58-10 3/4.

MEN’S TEAM CAPTAINS CHOSEN — The Hawkeye men’s team has chosen seniors Brad Daufeldt, Bill Neumann and Russell Peterson as tri-captains for the 2004 season. Daufeldt led the team in the discus last season and was the only Hawkeye to qualify for the NCAA Midwest Regional in two individual events (discus and hammer). Neumann is a two-time all-American and Big Ten Champion in the javelin. He won that event in five of six meets in 2003, and is the school record holder in the javelin. Peterson is a four-time national qualifier – qualifying three times in the 1,600-meter relay and once in the 400-meter hurdles.

HAWKEYE COACHES — Larry Wieczorek is in his eighth year as Iowa’s men’s head track coach. As a runner, Wieczorek was a six-time Big Ten champion for Iowa, winning four track and two cross country titles. He was also a four-time all-American. In 1998, Wieczorek was inducted into the National Iowa Varsity Club Hall of Fame. He is assisted by former Iowa all-American and world-class 400-meter hurdler Pat McGhee and three-time all-American and two-time Big Ten shot put champion Scott Cappos.

James Grant is also in his eighth year at the helm of the women’s track and field program. Grant and the Hawkeyes had monumental success in 2003, as the team placed sixth at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships, which was Iowa’s highest finish during Grant’s tenure. They also crowned a school-record six individual event champions, including two-time winner Shellene Williams who was the third female student-athlete in school history to win two events at the same conference meet. During his career at Iowa, Grant has coached one all-American and 14 Big Ten Champions. As a runner, Grant captained Eastern Michigan University’s 1970 and 1971 track teams, earning all-America honors while specializing in the 400-meter dash, 400-meter hurdles and the mile relay. Grant is assisted by Steve Callaway, who was a decathlete and pole vault school record holder at Indiana, and Layne Anderson, a three-time Southern Conference champion who set 10 school records at The Citadel.

QUOTING WIECZOREK — “The Hawkeye Invitational was a good starting point for us. We saw a lot of strengths in our team. We also had some weaknesses we need to work on in the coming months. Highlights for us were Ken Kemeny provisionally qualifying in the shot put, Brad Daufeldt throwing a personal-best in the weight throw and Jason Nolting winning the 600 meters and running on the winning 1,600-meter relay.”

QUOTING GRANT — “Overall, it was a very good meet for us. It was one of the best starts that we’ve had in a long time. I was very impressed with both the freshmen and upperclassmen. It was an excellent starting point for us to build on for the rest of the season.”

NEXT COMPETITION — The men’s and women’s teams will compete at the UNI Invitational Jan. 30-31 in Cedar Falls. Friday’s events include the women’s pentathlon at 3 p.m., the men’s heptathlon at 3:10 p.m. and the men’s long jump at 8 p.m. All other events will be held Saturday, with field events starting at 11:30 a.m. and running events starting at 1 p.m. All events will be held in the UNI Dome. Competing teams include Iowa, Kansas State, Minnesota and Northern Iowa.