Hawkeyes To Open 2007 Indoor Season

Jan. 8, 2007


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THIS WEEK — The Hawkeye men and women’s track teams will open the 2007 indoor season by hosting the Hawkeye Invitational Saturday at the University of Iowa Recreation Building in Iowa City. Field events start at 10:30 a.m. with running events at noon. Admission to the event is free.

2007 MEN’S SEASON PREVIEW — The Hawkeyes return an all-American in the 10,000 meters, Eric MacTaggart, and in the hammer throw, Adam Hamilton. Thrower Shane Maier joins Hamilton as a returning all-region honoree. Two school record holders also return for the Hawkeyes. They are junior Ryan Niver in the heptathlon and senior Micah VanDenend in the 3,000 and 5,000 meters. VanDenend won the Midwest regional this season in cross country, earning him Male Regional Athlete of the Year and his third trip to the NCAA meet where he finished 66th. The Hawkeyes will also look to 16 newcomers for early contributions.

2007 WOMEN’S SEASON PREVIEW — Iowa returns 20 of 22 letterwinners this season. The returnees account for all the team-leading performances, nine school records and all of the points scored at the conference, regional and national meets from a year ago. Transfer, Diane Nukuri won the Midwest regional cross country meet this season for the Hawkeyes. Nukuri also earned Female Regional Athlete of the Year honors. Junior Kineke Alexander returns as Iowa’s fourth national champion and first in the sprints. She won her 2006 national title in the 400 meters. Alexander also won the Big Ten title in both the 200 and 400 meters. Three-time high jump all-American, Peaches Roach returns as well as all-American Meghan Armstrong in the mile. Armstrong finished eighth in the Midwest regional cross country meet this seaons followed by junior Racheal Marchand. The Hawkeyes have eight newcomers on the roster.

HAWKEYE COACHES — Head Coaches Larry Wiezcorek and James Grant are each in their 11th season at the helm of the Iowa men and women’s track teams, respectively.

During his career at Iowa, Wieczorek has coached 24 all-Americans and 39 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 past four seasons have been outstanding for Grant and the Hawkeyes. Kineke Alexander became Grant’s first NCAA champion (400 meters) and only the fourth in school history. In his time at Iowa, the Hawkeyes have crowned 21 Big Ten champions, 60 regional qualifiers, 21 all-region selections, 28 NCAA qualifiers and 10 all-Americans, one NCAA champion (Kineke Alexander) and set 22 school records.

NEXT COMPETITION — The Hawkeye men’s team and members of the women’s team will compete at the Jack Johnson Classic Jan. 20 in Minneapolis, MN. Members of the women’s team will compete at the Razorback Invite Jan. 19-20 in Fayetteville, AR.