Hawkeyes At Drake Relays

April 19, 2004

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THIS WEEK — The Hawkeye men’s and women’s teams will compete at the 95th annual Drake Relays Thursday thru Saturday in Des Moines, IA. Events will be held on Jim Duncan Track at Drake Stadium. The meet will be aiming for its 39th consecutive sellout in the 18,000 seat Drake Stadium, which would be the longest streak in U.S. track history. Tickets are available at 515/271-3647.

2003 DRAKE RELAYS REVIEW — The men’s and women’s team crowned three champions at the 94th annual Drake Relays. Hawkeye junior Aisha James wowed a capacity crowd with her win in the long jump, while javelin throwers and British Columbia natives Alana Redfern and Bill Neumann won titles for the Hawkeyes.

James, a native of Trinidad, posted the best mark in the world at the time in the long jump with her winning leap of 22-3. The mark also set meet and stadium records at Drake, the Trinidad country record and bested the her Iowa school record of 20-9 3/4. Redfern, a sophomore from Duncan, British Columbia, threw a season-best mark of 157-9 to win the javelin . Neumann, a junior from Comox, British Columbia, threw a season-best 238-11 to win the event.

James’ and Redfern’s titles were the first recorded by the Iowa women’s team in any field event in the 94-year history of the Drake Relays. They became the fifth and sixth Hawkeye individual women’s event winners at Drake in school history. It was not the first time the Hawkeye women’s team crowned multiple champions at Drake. In 1998, Iowa crowned three event champions when senior Wynsome Cole won the 400-meter hurdles (57.44), junior Paula Ruen won the 100-meter hurdles (13.96) and the shuttle hurdle relay team of Cole, sophomore Colleen Prendergast, junior Ruqayya Raheem and Ruen won their race in 56.54.

Neumann became the Hawkeye men’s 25th individual event champion at Drake, and Iowa’s third javelin champion. Former Hawkeyes Paul Fegerlind (1945) and L.D. Weldon (1930) were previous javelin winners. Former Hawkeye Stetson Steele was Iowa’s last event champion at Drake before Neumann, winning the 5,000 meters with a personal-best 14:02.76 in 2000.

LAST WEEK — The men’s team competed at the UNI Twilight meet in Cedar Falls, while the women’s team split the weekend between UNI and the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, CA.They won a total of four events and posted six NCAA regional qualifiers and one NCAA provisional qualifier.

The men’s team crowned three event winners at UNI. Sophomore Dan Haut set a Mark Messersmith outdoor track complex record in the 5,000 meters, winning the event in 15:03.29. Iowa’s other two champions were senior Zach Digney in the 200 meters (21.29) and sophomore Adam Hamilton in the hammer throw (202-9). Both were collegiate-best performances. Iowa’s regional qualifiers were senior Brad Daufeldt in the discus (176-6) and hammer (186-1), sophomore Tim Brodersen in the discus (176-0), Hamilton in the hammer (202-9) and junior Chris Voller in the hammer (193-4). Between the men’s and women’s teams, the Hawkeyes recorded 16 personal-best and 28 season-best performances.

At Mt. SAC, senior Shellene Williams won the 400 meters with a season-best time of 53.61. That mark qualifies her for the NCAA regional meet. Senior Michelle Lahann also qualified for the regional meet in the 1,500 meters, running a collegiate-best 4:24.00. That time was more that six seconds faster than her previous best of 4:30.18. Freshman Nikki Chapple provisionally qualified for the NCAA Championships in the 10,000 meters with a collegiate-best 35:06.35.

At UNI, freshman Becca Franklin recorded collegiate bests in the triple jump (36-2 1/4) and hammer throw (134-10) at UNI. Freshman Sarah Burgett also posted a collegiate-best 10-11 3/4 in the pole vault.

NEXT COMPETITION — The Hawkeyes will host the annual Iowa Musco Twilight Meet, called Iowa Musco VI, Saturday, May 1 at Cretzmeyer Track in Iowa City. Competing teams include Drake, Illinois State, Lincoln, Minnesota, Northern Iowa, Wisconsin, Wisconsin-LaCrosse and Iowa. Field events are scheduled to start at 3 p.m. and running event “B” sections are set to start at 3:30 p.m. Running event finals are scheduled to start at 6 p.m. Admission to the co-ed meet is $3 for adults and students. Children ages 5 and under get in free.

In addition to the collegiate competition, Northern Iowa graduate and international competitor Joey Woody will run in the 400-meter hurdles. Seventeen Hawkeye seniors will be making their finals appearance at Cretzmeyer Track. They are Derrick Burks, Brad Daufeldt, Zach Digney, Warren Holloway, Tony Leick, Bill Neumann, Russell Peterson, Eric Rothwell, Stephen Traphagen for the men’s team and Sarah Arens, Atalie Barber, Michelle Lahann, Kamesha Marshall, Kyndra Middleton, Georgia Millward, Jessie Strand and Shellene Williams for the women’s team.