April 23, 2004
Des Moines, IA – The University of Iowa men’s and women’s track and field teams competed in day three of the 95th annual Drake Relays on a beautiful Friday afternoon. Six athletes qualified for the NCAA Regional meet and three events qualified for the finals on Saturday.
Junior Ken Kemeny brought home his first Drake Relays win and is the first Hawkeye since Chris Gambol in 1987 to place first in the shot put. Kemeny’s regional qualifying throw of 59-11 1/4 is a season best mark and the second best throw of his career. His mark ranks third on Iowa’s all-time outdoor performance list. Freshman Shane Maier also regionally qualified in the shot put with a season and collegiate-best toss of 54-0 (16.46 m).
“It’s just an unbelievable feeling,” said Kemeny. “It was just so awesome being here. It was one of the most fun meets I have ever competed in. This is my third time competing here at Drake and this is by far the best of the three.”
Senior Tony Leick placed sixth in the 400-meter hurdles with a regional qualifying and season-best time of 52.36. Leick’s previous qualifying mark was 52.43, which he set at the Sea Relays on April 9. Senior Eric Rothwell shattered his collegiate-best mark in the discus, setting a season best distance and regionally qualifying with a throw of 177-02 (54.01 m). His mark also ranks third on Iowa’s all-time outdoor performance list. Warren Holloway, Digney, Ryan Strang and Russell Peterson finished first in their heat of the 4×100 meter relay with a season-best time of 40.88. They have the fastest time in the 4×100 relay going into Saturday’s finals. Junior Juan Coleman will replace Strang in tomorrow’s finals due to injuries sustained during Friday’s preliminaries. Digney also placed first in his heat of the 100 meters with a time of 10.70 and will compete in Saturday’s finals.
For the women, senior Jessie Strand set a season-best mark in the pole vault with a qualifying jump of 12-3 1/2 (3.75 m). Senior Michelle Lahann placed third and qualified in the 800 meters with a season and collegiate-best time of 2:06.79 and now ranks second on Iowa’s all-time outdoor performance list. The distance medley relay team of Atalie Barber, Shellene Williams, Aisha Hume and Sarah Arens finished third in 11:34.56 and now sits in second place on Iowa’s all-time outdoor performance list. Williams blistered through the 400 meters during the distance medley, recording a split time of 51.30. If she had ran that time in an open event, Williams would have broken the school record by 1.35 seconds.
The Drake Relays will conclude on Saturday inside Drake Stadium. Events are slated for an 8:00 a.m. start.