Hawkeyes head to Big Ten Championships

Feb. 19, 2007

Iowa City, IA –

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THIS WEEK — The Iowa women’s track team will compete in the 2007 Big Ten Indoor Championships this week. The University of Illinois will host the conference meet Saturday and Sunday in the University of Illinois-Armory. More information about the conference meet can be found at www.fightingillini.com.
Athletes who have a great chance of bringing home a Big Ten title include Kineke Alexander in the 200, 400 and 600 meters, Meghan Armstrong and Diane Nukuri both in the 3,000 meters, Nukuri in the 5,000 meters, Peaches Roach in the high jump and Renee White in the triple jump. All of these athletes are currently ranked no. 3 or higher in the Big Ten Conference, Alexander is ranked no. 1 in the 400 and 600 meters.

LAST WEEK — The Hawkeyes won eight events at the Iowa Invitational. Senior Peaches Roach took first in the high jump and also tied the facility record with a season best leap of 6-0. She holds the record along with Carri Long, who competed unattached in 2002. This is the second time Roach has cleared 6-0 in the Iowa Recreational Building.
Other Hawkeyes to claim a title include; Rhonda-Kaye Trusty in the 60 meters (7.63), Kara Graham in the 200 meters (26.12), Katie Ellis in the mile (5:15.32), Monica Mims in the 600 meters (1:38.05), Heather Gilmore in the 60 meter hurdles (9.04), Sarah Burgett in the pole vault (11-5 3/4) and Tiffany Johnson in the long jump (19-2 1/2).

HAWKEYE COACHES — James Grant is in his 11th year at the helm of the women’s track and field program. 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 (Alexander) and set 22 school records.
Assistant coach Layne Anderson is in his third season at Iowa. He works with the distance runners and is also the head women’s cross country coach.
Victor Houston is in his third season with the Hawkeyes. His main area of responsibility include field events and multi-event athletes.

NEXT COMPETITION — The Hawkeyes will compete in the Alex Wilson Invitational, hosted by Notre Dame, March 2-3. The NCAA Qualifier, hosted by Iowa State University is March 3.

NCAA QUALIFIERS — Junior Kineke Alexander is the loan Hawkeye to automatically qualify (400 meters) for the 2007 NCAA Indoor Championships. The Hawkeyes have provisionally qualified five other events. Kineke Alexander, Meghan Armstrong, Diane Nukuri, and Peaches Roach have all qualified in individual events.

Kineke Alexander, 400 Meters * (52.01), 1st/2nd
Kineke Alexander, 200 Meters # (23.75), 3rd/25th
Meghan Armstrong, Mile # (4:44.55), 5th/18th
Meghan Armstrong, 3,000 Meters # (9:27.95), 2nd/27th
Diane Nukuri, 3,000 Meters # (9:28.41), 3rd/29th
Diane Nukuri, 5,000 Meters # (16:24.50), 2nd/11th
Tiffany Johnson, 60 Meter Hurdle # (8.41), 5th/22nd
Peaches Roach, High Jump # 1.83 m (6-0), 1st/13th
* — automatic qualifier, # — provisional qualifier

2006 INDOOR BIG TEN REVIEW — Iowa placed 7th at the 2006 Big Ten Indoor Championships with 57.5 points. Michigan won the team title with 126.67. Iowa’s highest event finish was first place by Kineke Alexander in the 200 and 400 meters. Following is a complete list of Iowa’s top-10 Big Ten placers from the 2006 meet:

60 Meters, Peaches Roach, 7.48 5th
60-Meter Hurdles, Tiffany Johnson, 8.43 5th
200 Meters, Kineke Alexander, 23.69 1st
400 Meters, Kineke Alexander, 52.31 1st
400 Meters, Lindsey McCalla, 56.63 9th
Mile, Meghan Armstrong, 4:46.23 1st
1,600 Meter Relay, Johnson, McCalla, Alexander, Granger, 3:43.64 2nd
Distance Medly, Armstrong, Granger, Stanley, Anderson, 11:31.54 2nd
Stanley, Anderson
High Jump, Peaches Roach, 5-8 1/2 5th
Triple Jump, Tiffany Johnson, 40-10 1/4 4th

IOWA’S BIG TEN HISTORY — The Hawkeyes best finish in the Big Ten Indoor Championships came in 2004 with a third place showing. Senior Peaches Roach and junior Kineke Alexander hold four of the University of Iowa’s 23 individual Big Ten Indoor Championship titles, with two apiece. Roach won the high jump in both 2004 and 2005. Alexander took first place in the 200 and 400 meters a year ago. Roach and Alexander are two of five Iowa athletes to win multiple Big Ten Indoor titles.
The most first place finishes the Hawkeyes have had in the Big Ten Indoor Championships in one season was three in 1985. They have won two on six occasions, the last coming in 2006.