The Hawkeyes To Compete at Pre-Nationals

Oct. 9, 2006

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THIS WEEK — The men’s and women’s cross country teams will travel to Terre Haute, IN, Saturday for Pre-Nationals. The women will compete in the 6,000-meter race at approximately 11 a.m., while the men will follow with the 8,000-meter race beginning at approximately Noon. Both races will be held on the rolling terrain of the LaVern Gibson Course.

MEN’S LAST TIME OUT — The University of Iowa men’s cross country team traveled to St. Paul, MN, for an 8,000-meter race at the Roy Griak Invitational. In a large field of 35 competing teams the Hawkeyes finished with a 13th place finish. Scoring runners for the Hawkeyes were: senior Jeff Kent (35th, 25:37), senior Micah VanDenend (40th, 25:43), junior Eric MacTaggart (47th, 25:50), freshman Jesse Luciano (87th, 26:12), and sophomore Andy Napier (109th, 26:23). Other runners for Iowa were sophomore Blake Schlotzhauer (142nd, 26:42) and redshirt freshman Tommy Tate (175th, 27:15).

WOMEN’S LAST TIME OUT — The University of Iowa women’s cross country team participated in the 5,000-meter race at the Auburn Invitational in Auburn, AL. Putting together a solid finish, the Hawkeyes captured the Invitational’s team title, outscoring the second place team by nearly 80 points. Individual winner was Iowa’s Diane Nukuri with a time of 16:10. Nukuri’s winning time shattered a 23 year old record set by Nan Doak in a time of 16:31. The Hawkeyes clinched the title with strong finishes from Nukuri, junior Meghan Armstrong (2nd, 16:26), senior Shannon Stanley (3rd, 16:56), freshman Jolly Burke (4th, 16:59), and junior Racheal Marchand (6th, 17:02). Other Hawkeye runners were freshman Krista Anderson (12th, 17:26), junior Jessica Schmidt (17th, 17:44), freshman Katie Ellis (18th, 17:45), junior Molly Esche (21st, 17:50) and freshman Jennie Docherty (63rd, 18:36).

HAWKEYES IN THE RANKINGS–Latest rankings by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches’ Association were released October 3rd. The women’s teams are ranked eighth in national rankings and first in regional rankings. The men’s cross country team is ranked fifth in the regional rankings.

BIG TEN ATHLETE OF THE WEEK — Hawkeye junior Diane Nukuri was named Big Ten women’s cross country Athlete of the Week on October 3rd. The Pickering, Ontario, native earned the award after winning the Auburn Invitational in a school-record setting 16:10. The previous record of 16:36 was set in 1983 by Iowa NCAA champion and six-time distance all-American Nan Doak. Nukuri has competed in two races for the Hawkeyes this season, setting the 3,000-meter school mark at the Hawkeye Open and the 5,000-meter record at Auburn. It was Nukuri’s first career weekly honor from the Big Ten office. She is the first Hawkeye to earn the award since junior Meghan Armstrong in 2005.

HAWKEYE MEN’S COACH Larry Wieczorek — Larry Wieczorek is in his 20th season as Iowa men’s cross country coach. During his tenure, the cross country team has placed sixth or higher nine times at the NCAA Regional Championships, has posted 27 all-region selections and qualified for the NCAA Championships four times. In 2002, Wieczorek was named Midwest Region Coach of the Year honors by the United States Cross Country Association after the Hawkeyes won the NCAA Regional for the first time in school history. In 2004, the Hawkeyes recorded their highest placings under Wieczorek at the Big Ten (3rd) and NCAA Championships (13th). Wieczorek was a two-time Big Ten champion and a menber of Iowa’s last Big Ten track championship team in 1967. Wieczorek still owns the Iowa record in the indoor two miles.

HAWKEYE WOMEN’S COACH Layne Anderson — Layne Anderson is in his fourth year as head women’s cross country coach at Iowa. In his three years with the cross country team, the Hawkeyes have made strong strides toward recapturing the program’s success of the 1980’s. The team recorded identical seventh-place finishes at the 2004 and 2005 Big Ten Championships, which was Iowa’s highest finish since placing fifth in 1993. Iowa has also improved its finish at the NCAA midwest regional each season, placing ninth in 2003, seventh in 2004 and sixth in 2005. The Hawkeyes have also set school records in the 3,000 and 6,000 meters that last two seasons, and the 4,000-meter record in 2004.

QUOTING COACH WIECZOREK —“We will be competeing against most of the top ranked teams at this meet. Our main goal is to have five men break 25:00 in order to beat some ranked teams to get a bid for at large.”

QUOTING COACH ANDERSON — “This weekend will be an opportunity to test ourselves against the top cross country programs in tha nation. We will need to perform as we did at Auburn to achieve our team goals for this meet.”