Hawkeyes To Run at NCAA Championship

Nov. 14, 2006

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THIS WEEK — The men and women’s cross country teams have qualified to compete in the NCAA championship meet in Terre Haute, IN, Monday, November 20th. The women will race in the 6,000-meter run at noon ET, while the men will race in the 10,000-meter run at 1:15 p.m. ET. The races will be held at the LeVern Gibson Championship Course located at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center.

WOMEN’S LAST TIME OUT — The women’s cross country team competed in the Midwest Regional meet in Minneapolis, MN. The Hawkeyes made a strong team appearance placing three individuals in the top ten and finishing third. Winning the regional meet and leading the Hawkeyes, junior Diane Nukuri finished the 6,000- meter course in a time of 20:34.72. Junior Meghan Armstrong (8th, 21:05) and junior Racheal Marchand (9th, 21:07) were the other Hawkeyes in the top ten. Other Iowa runners included; junior Jessica Schmidt (47th, 22:20), freshman Krista Anderson (56th, 22:36), freshman Jolly Burke (71st, 22:51) and junior Molly Esche (92nd, 23:14). The Hawkeyes’ third place finished earned them an at-large bid to the compete in the NCAA championship meet.

MEN’S LAST TIME OUT — The men’s cross country team competed in the Midwest Regional meet in Minneapolis, MN. Senior Micah VanDenend took the Midwest regional champion title in a time of 30:40. Efforts from VanDenend, junior Eric MacTaggart (17th, 31:21), senior Jeff Kent (28th, 31:50), sophomore Blake Schlotzhauer (32nd, 31:55), freshman Jesse Luciano (45th, 32:11) helped the Hawkeyes claim third place and earn an at-large team bid to compete the NCAA championship meet. Other runners for the Hawkeyes included; sophomore Andy Napier (58th, 32:38) and redshirt freshman Tommy Tate (65th, 32:47).

LAST NCAA APPEARANCE — The men’s cross country team has made an appearance in the NCAA championship meet four times out of the last five years. This will be Head Coach Larry Wieczorek’s fifth men’s cross country team to qualify for the NCAA championship meet. The Hawkeyes have placed as high as 19th in the national cross country meet. The Iowa women’s cross country team will make its first appearance in the NCAA championship meet since 1992. This trip to the national cross country meet will be the first for Head Coach Layne Anderson with the Hawkeyes. This will be the first time in Hawkeye history that both the men and women’s cross country teams will compete together at the NCAA championship meet.

THE MEET — Thirty-one qualifing teams and an additional 36 men and women individuals will compete in the NCAA championship meet. Other Big Ten schools competing in the men’s 10,000-meter race include top ranked Wisconsin and Michigan State. Six out of 11 women’s cross country team will represent the Big Ten at nationals including; Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin and Iowa.

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 and the 4,000-meter record.

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.

QUOTING COACH ANDERSON — “We are very excited to be selected as one of the 31 teams to go to the championship meet. Our main focus is to compete while we are there and not just to run. We will be among some very good competition and we want to compete with them.”

QUOTING COACH WIECZOREK — “It’s very exciting going back to the NCAA championship. After the teams that didn’t make it through the tough regionals it is great to see that we withstood the test. It is a great feeling to go three years in a row.”