Hawkeyes To Compete At Messersmith Invitational

April 3, 2006

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THIS WEEK — The Hawkeye track and field teams will compete at the co-ed Mark Messersmith Invitational Saturday in Cedar Falls. Field events are scheduled to start at 11 a.m. and running events are set to start at 1:10 p.m. All events will be held at the Mark Messersmith Outdoor Track Complex on the University of Northern Iowa campus.

VANDENEND BREAKS RECORD — Hawkeye junior distance runner Micah VanDenend broke the school’s 38-year-old 5,000-meter record last weekend at the Stanford Invitational in Stanford, CA. VanDenend ran a collegiate-best 13:55.96 for sixth place in the event. Iowa Head Coach Larry Wieczorek set the previous record of 13:56.0 in 1968.

LAST WEEK — The men’s and women’s teams sent distance runners to the Stanford Invitational in Stanford, CA, while the rest of the squads competed at the UTEP Springtime Invitational in El Paso, TX.

At Stanford, junior Micah VanDenend broke Head Coach Larry Wieczorek’s 38-year-old 5,000 meter record with a time of 13:55.96. Senior Dan Haut and sophomore Meghan Armstrong also qualified for the NCAA Midwest Regional in that event. Sophomore Eric MacTaggart posted an NCAA provisional qualifying performance in the 10,000 meters (28:50.23), while senior Tony Rakaric won the 3,000-meter steeplechase (9:08.55).

In El Paso, the Hawkeyes won seven events and qualified 10 student-athletes for the NCAA Midwest Regional. For the women’s team juniors Tiffany Johnson (100-meter hurdles) and Peaches Roach (high jump) each won individual titles before teaming up with sophomores Kineke Alexander and Ashley Granger to win the 400-meter relay. Freshman Renee White also qualified for the regional meet in the long jump. For the men’s team, sophomore Shane Maier, freshman John Hickey and freshman A.J. Curtis finished 1-2-3 in the shot put, with all three qualifying for the regional meet. Senior Tim Brodersen won the discus and sophomore Matty Gorman won the long jump, both with regional qualifying performances.

HAWKEYE COACHES — Larry Wieczorek and James Grant are in their 10th seasons at the helm of Iowa men’s and women’s track, 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 are 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.

In his tenure with the Hawkeyes, Grant has coached eight all-Americans and 21 Big Ten champions. Iowa placed third at the 2004 Big Ten Indoor Championships in Iowa City and sixth at the 2003 conference outdoor meet – the team’s highest placings during Grant’s tenure. The third-place indoor finish tied the team’s highest conference finish in school history.

NEXT COMPETITION — The women’s team will compete at the Mt. SAC Relays, April 13-15, in Walnut, CA. The men’s team will send a split squad to the Tom Botts Invitational in Columbia, MO, and the Sun Angel Classic in Tempe, AZ. Both meets will be held April 14-15.