Feb. 28, 2007
IOWA CITY, IA –
Adding to a long list of accomplishments, junior Kineke Alexander has been named 2007 Big Ten Women’s Athlete of the Year and Big Ten Women’s Athlete of the Championships. Alexander is the first Hawkeye to earn either award. It is the 13th time in Big Ten history that an athlete has earned both awards in the same year.
Last week Alexander won two individual conference titles for the second year in a row; 200 (23.67) and 400 (52.23) meters. She is the only student-athlete in Hawkeye history to win two titles in back-to-back years. Her winning time in the 400 meters broke her previous conference record of 52.31. Her individual wins earned her first team all-Big Ten honors. She is the only Hawkeye to automatically qualify for the 2007 NCAA Indoor Championships. She set school records in the 400 (52.01) and 600 (1:27.84) meters this season.
Other Hawkeyes earning Big Ten honors were senior Peaches Roach (first team all-Big Ten), junior Diane Nukuri (second team all-Big Ten), and senior Becca Franklin (Big Ten Sportsmanship Award). Roach won the Big Ten high jump with a leap of 5-10. She has won that event three of the last four years (2004, 2005, and 2007). Nukuri finished second in both the 5,000 (16:24.60) and the 3,000 (9:32.75) meters. Franklin broke the weight throw school record for the fourth time this year. She marked a throw of 58-3 1/4, good enough for fifth place.
Alexander and Roach join Viven McKenzie (1983-85) and Shellene Williams (2003-04) as the only student-athletes in Iowa women’s track history to win four Big Ten titles. Alexander has earned all four of her titles from the indoor meet (two in the 200 meters and two in the 400 meters). Roach is the only student-athlete to have won the same event all four times (high jump).
The Hawkeyes will have one more chance to qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships. Some student-athletes will compete at the Alex Wilson Invitational in South Bend, IN, this weekend, while others will travel to the Last Chance Qualifier in Ames, IA.