Hawkeyes To Compete At Big Ten Championships

May 8, 2006

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THIS WEEK — The Iowa men and women’s track teams will compete at the Big Ten outdoor championships, Friday through Sunday, in East Lansing, MI. All events will be held at the Ralph Young Track and Field Facility. Tickets are available from the Michigan State University Athletic Ticket Office at (800) 467-8283 or www.msuspartans.com. Tickets are $10 for adults (Ages 18-54) and $5 for youth and seniors (Ages 0-17 and 55+) each day.

ALEXANDER, ROACH ATTEMPT TO JOIN HAWKEYE ELITE — This weekend sophomore Kineke Alexander and junior Peaches Roach will try to become the third and fourth female student-athletes in school history to win four career Big Ten titles. Both student-athletes have several opportunities to accomplish the feat.

Roach, a three-time conference champion, won high jump titles at the 2004 indoor and outdoor Big Ten meets and at the 2005 indoor meet. The Kingston, Jamaica, native leads the Big Ten in the high jump, anchored the 400-meter relay that leads the conference and is ranked fifth in the 100 meters. Roach could also make her mark in the Iowa record books. No female track student-athlete has ever totaled more than four conference titles or won more than three in one event.

Alexander, is a two-time Big Ten champion, winning the 200 and 400 meters at the 2006 Big Ten indoor meet. The native of Mesopotamia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, leads the Big Ten in the 200 meters and as part of the 400-meter relay. She also ranks second in the 400 meters and as part of the 1,600-meter relay.

The other two Hawkeyes to win four Big Ten titles are Vivien McKenzie and Shellene Williams. McKenzie won three titles in the 100 meters and one in the 55 meters from 1983-85. Williams won three titles in the 400 meters and one as part of the 1,600-meter relay from 2003-04.

BRODERSEN LOOKS TO DEFEND DISCUS TITLE — Hawkeye senior Tim Brodersen will try to defend the Big Ten discus title he won at the 2005 championships. The Vermillion, SD, native is Iowa’s seventh conference discus champion in school history. Brodersen’s season-best throw of 187-9 ranks second in the conference. Minnesota’s Karl Erickson leads the Big Ten with a season-best toss of 200-6 1/4.

2005 BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIPS REVIEW — The Hawkeye men’s team placed eighth with 53 points at the 2005 Big Ten Outdoor Championships, while the women’s team placed ninth with 52.5. Junior Tim Brodersen won Iowa’s lone individual title in the discus. Iowa had three runners-up in senior Chris Voller (hammer throw), sophomore Peaches Roach (high jump) and sophomore Tiffany Johnson (100-meter hurdles).

Seniors Andy Banse and Aisha Hume, Roach and freshman Kineke Alexander each recorded two top-five placings. Banse placed third in the shot put (60-10) and fourth in the discus (177-11), Hume placed fourth in the 800 meters (2:09.50) and third as part of the 1,600-meter relay (3:40.34), Roach placed second in the high jump (5-8 3/4) and third in the 100 meters (11.66) and Alexander placed fourth in the 400 meters (53.89) and third as part of the 1,600-meter relay (3:40.34). The Hawkeyes recorded 14 top-five individual finishes.

HAWKEYES IN BIG TEN HISTORY — The Iowa men’s team has won two Big Ten outdoor team championships (1963, 1967) and 106 event titles since the first meet was held in 1901. Two former Hawkeyes hold a spot in the conference record books. In 1997, Bashir Yamini tied the long jump record of 26-8 1/4 set in 1935 by Ohio State’s Jesse Owens. Jon Reimer holds the retired 330-yard hurdles record of 36.1, set in 1965. The Hawkeye men’s team has had four student-athletes earn conference individual outdoor track honors. Pat McGhee is the lone Hawkeye to earn two awards in the same season, being Male Athlete of the Year and Athlete of the Championships in 1989. Other outdoor honorees were Anthuan Maybank (1993 Athlete of the Year), Jeremy Allen (1998 Freshman of the Year) and Tim Dwight (1999 Athlete of the Championships).

The Iowa women’s squad has yet to win a Big Ten outdoor team title, but has crowned 27 event champions in 17 individual running events, five field events and two relays since the first meet was held in 1982. The two Hawkeyes to have earned Big Ten Outdoor Freshman of the Year honors are Erica Broomfield (1998) and Peaches Roach (2004).

WOMEN’S TEAM MAKES TRACKWIRE 25 — The Hawkeye women’s track team is 21st in the most recent national outdoor rankings released by Trackwire. The list, compiled by Gary Verigin of www.trackwire.com, ranks schools according to a projected hypothetical score for the NCAA outdoor championships, which is generated by a power ranking of the top 12 athletes and relay squads in each NCAA event. Iowa is ranked 21st with 10 points after opening the outdoor season ranked 20th. Texas is first with 61.

HAWKEYES SET RECORDS — Hawkeye juniors Micah VanDenend, Tiffany Johnson and Peaches Roach have set new school records this outdoor season. VanDenend broke a 38-year-old 5,000-meter record at the Stanford Invitational, running 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. Johnson broke her own 100-meter hurdles and triple jump records. Her collegiate-best 13.53 at the Mt. SAC Relays broke the hurdles record of 13.57 she set in 2005, and she smashed the triple jump record of 40-9 1/2 she set in 2005 with her collegiate best 41-3 1/4 leap at the Iowa Musco Twilight VIII. Johnson now holds school records in the indoor and outdoor triple jump, 60-meter hurdles, 100-meter hurdles and as part of the indoor 1,600-meter relay. Roach broke the 23-year-old school high jump record of 6-0 set in 1983 by Mary Mol with the collegiate-best 6-0 3/4 at the Mt. SAC Relays. Roach holds the school indoor high jump mark, which is also 6-0 3/4.

LAST WEEK — Iowa crowned two champion at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, IA. Sophomore Kineke Alexander won the women’s special 400 meters (52.01), while junior Tiffany Johnson won the women’s University 100-meter hurdles (13.58). Junior Meghan Armstrong placed third and qualified for the NCAA regional in the women’s special 1,500 meters (4:26.01). For the men’s team, sophomore Shane Maier placed second in the shot put (59-11 1/4), junior Adam Hamilton placed third in the hammer throw (213-6) and sophomore Matty Gorman placed third in the long jump (24-8 1/2) and fifth in the triple jump (48-0).

NEXT COMPETITION — The Hawkeyes will send athletes who meet the qualifying standards to the 2006 NCAA Midwest Regional, May 26-27 in Austin, TX. All events will be held at Mike A. Myers Stadium on the University of Texas campus. Single day tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for youth. Tickets can be ordered from the University of Texas Athletic ticket office at 800/982-2386 or www.texasports.com.

The Midwest region will feature 39 schools from Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming. The top five finishers in each individual event and the top three relays from each of the four regionals will automatically advance to the NCAA Championships, to be held June 7-10 in Sacramento, CA. The other three regions are the West (40 men’s teams, 42 women’s teams), the Mideast (78 men’s teams, 81 women’s teams) and the East (110 men’s teams, 112 women’s teams).