Hawkeyes Head To Coasts

March 21, 2005

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THIS WEEK — The men’s and women’s track teams will compete at the 62nd annual Coca-Cola Florida Relays Friday and Saturday in Gainesville, FL. All events will be held at Percy Beard Track on the University of Florida campus. The men’s team will also send some competitiors to the Stanford Invitational in Stanford, CA. Events will be held Friday and Saturday at Cobb Track and Angell Field. Both meets will feature collegiate and high school competition.

LAST WEEK — Hawkeye sophomore Tiffany Johnson qualified for the NCAA Midwest Regional meet in the triple jump in Iowa’s outdoor season opener. The Hawkeyes crowned eight event champions at the Shamrock Invitational hosted by Coastal Carolina University in Conway, SC.

Johnson placed second in the triple jump with a collegiate-best leap of 40-4 3/4. That mark qualified her for the NCAA Midwest Regional meet, ranks second on Iowa’s all-time outdoor best performers list and is less than three inches off the school record. She also won the 100-meter hurdles with a collegiate-best time of 13.98 and ran the lead leg on Iowa’s winning 400-meter relay. Iowa’s other event winners were sophomore Peaches Roach (100 meters), redshirt freshman Jordan Laney (800 meters), freshman Meghan Armstrong (1,500 meters), freshman Jenni Elbert (high jump), the 400-meter relay of Johnson, freshmen Kineke Alexander and Ashley Granger and Roach, and the 1,600-meter relay of sophomores Erin Sheeley, Lindsey McCalla and Aditya Jones and senior Aisha Hume.

NCAA REGIONAL QUALIFIERS — Hawkeye sophomore Tiffany Johnston qualified for the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships, which will be held May 27-28 in Norman, OK. She qualified in the triple jump with a collegiate-best mark of 40-4 3/4. The top five student-athletes in each event from each of the four regions will then advance to the NCAA Championships, scheduled for June 8-11 in Sacramento, CA.

MEN’S TEAM CAPTAINS CHOSEN — Seniors Ken Kemeny, Juan Coleman and Bill Neumann are tri-captains for the 2005 season. Kemeny is a five-time NCAA qualifier in the shot put, the 2004 Drake Relays champion in that event and has led the team in the shot put each of the last three years. Coleman is a four-time NCAA qualifier in the 1,600-meter relay, and ran the lead leg on the 2001 Big Ten Outdoor Champion 400-meter relay. 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.

2005 SIGNINGS — The Hawkeyes inked four recruits during the early signing period in November. The men’s team signed sprinter David Chaplin of Stone Mountain, GA, and thrower A.J. Curtis of Brodhead, WI. The women’s team signed Jamaican sprinters Jodyann Powell and Annabella Reid.

Chaplin is a National Elite Youth All-American and was one of Georgia’s nominees for the Wendy’s High School Heisman Trophy. He helped his Redan High School team to the 2004 state title. His best times are 10.42 in the 100 meters and 21.25 in the 200 meters. Curtis won the Division II state discus title for Brodhead High School with a personal-best 180-7, which ranks sixth among returning prep discus throwers in the nation. He was also state runner-up in the shot put with a throw of 59-7, which ranks 11th among returning prep shot putters in the nation. Powell, from Mandeville, Jamaica, will join the team as a sophomore. Her personal bests include 11.52 in the 100 meters and 24.20 in the 200 meters Reid is enrolled at Whitefish Bay High School in Milwaukee, WI, this year and will join the Hawkeyes as a freshman. Her best 400-meter time is 53.56. She will also run the 200 meters at Iowa.

HAWKEYE COACHES — Head Coaches Larry Wiezcorek and James Grant are in their ninth seasons at the helm of the Iowa men and women’s track teams, respectively.

During his career at Iowa, Wieczorek has coached 23 all-Americans and 35 Big Ten Champions. Iowa’s highest conference meet finishes during his tenure is second at the 1999 outdoor meet and fourth at the 1997 indoor meet. 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.

The Hawkeyes crowned two individual champions and recorded their highest placing under Grant (third) and their highest team point total (89) in school history at the 2004 Big Ten indoor championships. During his career at Iowa, Grant has coached nine all-Americans and 18 Big Ten Champions. As a runner, Grant captained Eastern Michigan University’s 1970 and 1971 track teams. He earned all-America honors while specializing in the 400-meter dash, 400-meter hurdles and the mile relay.

NEXT COMPETITION — The men’s team will compete at the Cal State Northridge Open April 2 in Northridge, CA. The women’s team will take a week off, resuming competition April 9 at the Missouri Invitational.