Iowa Will Run At NCAA Championship

Nov. 16, 2004

IOWA CITY, IA – THIS WEEK – The Iowa men’s country squad heads to Terre Haute, IN to compete in the NCAA Championships Monday, November 22. Indiana State University will host the competition on the LaVern Gibson Championship Course at the Wabash Family Sports Center. The 10,000 meter race will begin at 11:15 pm (CT).

This is the third time Iowa has qualified, as a team for the NCAA Championship in the past 7 years. The Hawkeyes qualified in 2002, finishing 29th and in 1998 when they finished 21st.

The Big Ten Conference will be well represented. Seven of the ten conference teams have qualified for the NCAA Championship including the number one team in the nation and conference champion, Wisconsin.

LAST WEEK – The University of Iowa men’s and women’s cross country teams competed at the NCAA regional meet hosted by Bradley University. The Iowa men finished third (21 teams) with 87 team points. The women concluded their season with a seventh place (26 teams) finish. The women improved two places and 48 points from their performance last year.

Junior Dan Haut led the Hawkeye men placing 10th (153 runners). Haut’s time of 30:55:16 is the 11th fastest in school history. Senior Matt Esche claimed the 12th fastest time in Hawkeye history by running 30:58:08 and finishing 12th. Junior Adam Roche finished 14th in 31:01:49 and senior Tony Rakaric finished in 31:19:98 for 24th. Sophomore Micah VanDenend (27th) freshman Eric MacTaggart (28th) and sophomore Jeff Kent (38th) contributed to Iowa’s performance.

HAWKEYE COACH Larry Wieczorek – Larry Wieczorek is in his 18th season as Iowa men’s cross country coach. In the past six years, Iowa has placed no lower than sixth at the NCAA regional, including a first place finish at the 2002 NCAA regional, the highest finish in school history. Wieczorek was a two-time Big Ten champion and a member of Iowa’s last Big Ten track championship team in 1967. Wieczorek still owns Iowa records in the outdoor 5,000-meters and the indoor two mile.

QUOTING COACH WIECZOREK – “We’ve been very close to the championship each year since 1998. Each year I thought we would be one of the teams to go. It is a very elite field; only 31 teams out of 290 get invited. It is a very special event and it is great that we are going to be a part of it. In August we set three goals; be in the top three at the Big Ten Championship, qualify for the NCAA Championship, and be one of the top 15 to 20 teams in the nation at the end of the season. We’re still hungry and we’re ready to do well and accomplish our final goal.”