Leaving for the NCAA Championships

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March 6, 2007

IOWA CITY – THIS WEEK — The Iowa women’s track team will compete in the 2007 NCAA Indoor Championships this week. The University of Arkansas will host the national meet Friday and Saturday in the Randal Tyson Track Center. More information about the national meet can be found at www.ladybacks.com. Athletes who will be competing are juniors Kineke Alexander in the 400 meters, Meghan Armstrong in the mile and senior Peaches Roach in the high jump. Alexander is expected to have a strong showing in the 400 meters. Last season she was crowned NCAA champion in the event with at time of 52.16. Alexander currently sits with the second fast time (51.93) in the country, behind Natasha Hastings of South Carolina (51.38).

BEST OF THE BEST — Kineke Alexander was named Midwest Regional Track Athlete of the year by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. She was also named Big Ten Athlete of the Year as well as the Big Ten Athlete of the meet at the Big Ten Championships. Alexander took first place in the 200 and 400 meters at the Championships. Her time of 52.23 in the 400 meters was good enough to break the conference record of 52.31, which she set last year. Peaches Roach joined Alexander on the all-Big Ten first team for her efforts in the high jump. She took first place at the conference meet with a leap of 5-10. Diane Nukuri was named to the second team due to her second place finish in the 3,000 and 5,000 meters.

BIG TEN REVIEW — The Hawkeyes won three individual titles at the 2007 Big Ten Conference Meet. Kineke Alexander was crowned champion in the 200 (23.67) and 400 meters (52.23). Her time in the 400 meters broke the conference record in which she set at last years meet. This marks the second year in a row that Alexander has won two titles, she is the first athlete in Iowa history to acheive such a feat. Peaches Roach took first place in the high jump, with a jump of 5-10. Alexander and Roach account for only the third and fourth athletes in school history to win four Big Ten titles during their career. Diane Nukuri finished the meet with two second place finishes coming in the 3,000 and 5,000 meters.

NEXT COMPETITION — The Hawkeyes will begin their outdoor season by traveling to San Diego on March 16-17, to compete in the Aztec Invitational.

NCAA QUALIFIERS — Junior Kineke Alexander is the lone Hawkeye to automatically qualify (400 meters) for the 2007 NCAA Indoor Championships. The Hawkeyes have provisionally qualified five other events. Kineke Alexander (200 meters), Meghan Armstrong (mile and 3,000 meters), Diane Nukuri (mile, 3,000 and 5,000 meters), Tiffany Johnson (60 meter-hurdles), and Peaches Roach (high jump) have all qualified in individual events.

2006 INDOOR NCAA REVIEW — Iowa placed 20th at the 2006 NCAA Indoor Championships with 12.5 points. Texas won the team title with 51. Iowa’s highest event finish was first place by Kineke Alexander in the 400 meters. Alexander is only the fourth Iowa’s fourth NCAA Champion and first under Coach Grant. Peaches Roach (high jump) and Meghan Armstrong (mile) each reached all-American status in their respected events.

IOWA’S NCAA HISTORY — The Hawkeyes have crowned four individual champions; Nan Doak (10,000 meters) in 1985, Tracey Dahl (5,000 meters) in 1992-93 and most recently, Kineke Alexander (400 meters) last season. Iowa has also produced 46 all-Americans. The 1982 season marks the most all-Americans in one year with 12. Current athletes on the women’s track team account for eight of the 46 all-Americans in school history. Alexander is a four-time all-American, Peaches Roach is a three-timer and Meghan Armstrong has earned all-American status once. Coach James Grant has coached ten athletes to all-American status during his tenure at Iowa.

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 24 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.