Hawkeyes Head To Big Ten Championships

May 8, 2007


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THIS WEEK — The Iowa men’s and women’s track teams will compete at the Big Ten outdoor championships, Friday through Sunday, in University Park, PA. All events will be held at the Nittany Lion Track on the Penn State University campus. Competition is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. Friday, 8:30 a.m. Saturday and 10:40 a.m. Sunday (CT).

Tickets are available from the Penn State Athletic Ticket Office at (800) 833-5533 or www.gopsusports.com. All-session tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for youth, senior citizens and students. A handling fee of $2 will be assessed per order. Single-session tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for youth, senior citizens and students on Friday, and $7 for adults and $5 for youth, senior citizens and students on Saturday and Sunday. Single day group passes for all three days are $3 per day for groups of 10 or more.

ALEXANDER, ROACH ATTEMPT TO JOIN HAWKEYE ELITE — Junior Kineke Alexander and senior Peaches Roach will try to add to their Big Ten hardware and rewrite the Hawkeye record books. The duo became the third and fourth Hawkeyes, respectively, to win four Big Ten individual titles at the 2007 conference indoor meet when Roach won the high jump and Alexander captured the 200 and 400-meter titles. No Hawkeye has ever won more than four Big Ten titles.

Roach won Big Ten high jump titles at the 2004, 2005 and 2007 indoor meets and the 2004 outdoor meet. She is the only Hawkeye in school history to win all four conference titles in a single event. The Kingston, Jamaica, native currently leads the Big Ten in the high jump, ran the second leg on the 400-meter relay that leads the conference and is ranked third in the 100 meters.

Alexander won the 200 and 400 meters at the 2006 and 2007 Big Ten indoor meets. The native of Mesopotamia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, ran on the 1,600-meter relay team that is ranked fourth in the Big Ten.

The other two Hawkeyes to win four Big Ten titles are Vivien McKenzie and Shellene Williams. McKenzie won three titles in the 100 meters and one in the 55 meters from 1983-85. Williams won three titles in the 400 meters and one as part of the 1,600-meter relay from 2003-04.

HAMILTON LOOKS TO DEFEND HAMMER THROW TITLE — Hawkeye senior Adam Hamilton will try to defend the Big Ten hammer throw title he won at the 2006 championships. The Milford, NH, native is Iowa’s fourth Big Ten hammer throw champion, and would be the 18th Hawkeye in school history to win consecutive Big Ten titles in the same event if he successfully defends his title. Former Hawkeyes Arno van der Westhuizen (1999, 2000) and Jim Costello (2002) are Iowa’s other Big Ten hammer throw champions. Hamilton leads the conference in that event and is the only Big Ten competitor to throw over 200 feet this season. His season-best throw of 222-2 is only nine inches off the school record van der Westhuizen set in 2001.

HAWKEYES IN BIG TEN OUTDOOR HISTORY — The Iowa men’s team has won two Big Ten outdoor team championships (1963, 1967) and 164 conference titles – 54 in individual running events, 38 in field events and 72 in relays – since the first meet was held in 1901. Two former Hawkeyes hold a spot in the conference record books. In 1997, Bashir Yamini tied the long jump record of 26-8 1/4, set in 1935 by Ohio State’s Jesse Owens. Jon Reimer holds the retired 330-yard hurdles record of 36.1, set in 1965. The Hawkeye men’s team has had four student-athletes earn conference individual outdoor track honors. Pat McGhee is the lone Hawkeye to earn two awards in the same season, being Male Athlete of the Year and Athlete of the Championships in 1989. Other outdoor honorees were Anthuan Maybank (1993 Athlete of the Year), Jeremy Allen (1998 Freshman of the Year) and Tim Dwight (1999 Athlete of the Championships).

The Iowa women’s squad has yet to win a Big Ten outdoor team title, but has crowned 25 conference champions since the first meet in 1982 – 10 in individual running events, three in field events and 12 in relays.The two Hawkeyes to have earned Big Ten Outdoor Freshman of the Year honors are Erica Broomfield (1998) and Peaches Roach (2004). Iowa’s highest finish at the conference outdoor meet was third (89 points) in 2004.

2006 BIG TEN OUTDOOR REVIEW — The Iowa men’s team placed fourth and the Hawkeye women placed eighth at the 2006 Big Ten Outdoor Championships in East Lansing, MI. Despite cold and wet weather, the Hawkeye men recorded their highest team finish since placing second in 1999. Wisconsin won the men’s team title for the third straight year, while the Minnesota women’s team won its first title in school history.

The Iowa men were led by Big Ten champions Tim Brodersen and Adam Hamilton. Brodersen, a senior from Vermillion, SD, successfully defended his discus title with a winning throw of 181-2. He became the 17th Hawkeye in school history to win consecutive Big Ten titles in the same event. Brodersen also placed eighth in the hammer. Hamilton, a junior from Milford, NH, won the meet’s first title when he took the hammer title (208-1). He also became Iowa’s fourth Big Ten hammer throw champion.

Placing in the top three for the men’s team were sophomore Shane Maier (2nd – shot put), freshman David Chaplin (3rd – 100 meters), freshman John Hickey (3rd – shot put) and the 400-meter relay of sophomore Max Milder, Chaplin, junior David Pierre and freshman Prince Riley.

The women’s team was led by juniors Tiffany Johnson and Peaches Roach and sophomore Meghan Armstrong. Johnson placed second in the 100-meter hurdles (13.62), third in the triple jump (40-5) and ran on the 400 and 1,600-meter relays that placed fourth and seventh, respectively. Roach placed second in the high jump (58- 3/4), fourth in the 200 meters (24.28) and anchored the fourth-place 400-meter relay. Armstrong placed second in the 1,500 meters (4:17.41), setting a school record that beat her previous collegiate-best by almost nine seconds.

Sophomore Kineke Alexander was withheld from competition during the final day so as not to aggravate a nagging injury in the cold and wet conditions. In the prelims, she posted the second-fastest time in the 200 meters, the fourth-fastest clocking in the 400 meters, and ran on the 400 and 1,600-meter relays. The 400-meter relay had the top qualifying time. Had she been able to compete on Sunday, Iowa’s team finish coudl have been as high as fifth.

HAWKEYES BREAK RECORDS — Five Hawkeyes have set school records so far this season. Senior distance runner Micah VanDenend, senior thrower Becca Franklin, senior sprinter and hurdler Tiffany Johnson, sophomore jumper Renee White and sophomore thrower A.J. Curtis are the new record holders.

VanDenend shattered his own school 5,000-meter record at the Stanford Invite. The Glen Ellyn, IL, native became the first Hawkeye in school history to break 13:50 in that event with his time of 13:49.31. He set the previous record of 13:55.96 at the same meet last season.

Franklin broke her own hammer school record for the fourth time this season at the Iowa Musco Twilight IX. The toss of 195-0 surpassed her previous best of 187-11.

Johnson broke the school record of 13.24 that she set last season in the 100-meter hurdles with her winning time of 13.20 at the 2007 Drake Relays.

White also set a new triple jump school record at Auburn. Her winning jump of 41-3 3/4 bested the previous record of 41-3 1/4, set in 2006 by Tiffany Johnson.

Curtis broke a school record that is older than himself with his winning discus throw of 202-11 at the Central Collegiate Invite on April 6. He was born on February 7, 1987. The previous record of 202-4 was set in 1986 by former Hawkeye Gary Kostrubala. Curtis’ throw also set a meet record and smashed his previous personal best of 173-11 in that event. He and Kostrubala are the only two Hawkeyes in school history to throw over 200 feet.

THREE HAWKEYES NAMED BIG TEN ATHLETE OF THE WEEK — Hawkeye senior distance runner Micah VanDenend, sophomore thrower A.J. Curtis and senior thrower Adam Hamilton each earned Big Ten Athlete of the Week honors this outdoor season. They were the first Hawkeyes to earn the weekly conference honor during the outdoor season since javelin thrower Bill Neumann in 2003.

VanDenend was the first of the trio to earn the honor, earning co-Big Ten Runner of the Week accolades April 3 for his school-record setting time of 13:49.31 in the 5,000 meters at the Stanford Invitational.

Curtis was named Big Ten Field Event Athlete of the Week April 10 for setting the school discus record of 202-11 at the Central College Invite April 6. The previous record of 202-4 was set in 1986 by Gary Kostrubala. Curtis’ throw also set a meet record and smashed his previous personal best of 173-11 in that event. He and Kostrubala are the only two Hawkeyes in school history and two of four student-athletes in Big Ten history to throw over 200 feet in that event.

Hamilton was named Big Ten Field Event Athlete of the Week May 1, placing second in the hammer throw at the 98th annual Drake Relays April 28 with a personal-best mark of 222-2. That distance ranks second in school history, and is only nine inches off the school record of 222-11 set by Arno van der Westhuizen in 2001. The mark also leads the Big Ten, and ranks second in the NCAA Midwest Region and eighth in the nation. Hamilton is the only competitor in the Big Ten to throw over 200 feet so far this season.

WOMEN’S TEAM MAKES TRACKWIRE 25 — The Hawkeye women’s track team is ranked 20th in the most recent national outdoor rankings released by Trackwire. The list, compiled by www.trackwire.com, ranks schools according to a projected hypothetical score for the NCAA Outdoor Championships, which is generated by a power ranking of the top 12 athletes and relay squads in each NCAA event. Iowa is tied for 20th with 12 points with Texas-El Paso and Colorado. LSU is ranked first with 69.

Five Hawkeyes are listed in Trackwire’s Dandy Dozen individual rankings. Junior Kineke Alexander boasts Iowa’s highest ranking at second in the 400 meters, despite not running the event the entire outdoor season. Senior Peaches Roach and junior Meghan Armstrong join Alexander in the top 10, with Roach ranked fifth in the high jump and Armstrong ranked ninth in the 1,500 meters. Also ranked for Iowa are junior Diane Nukuri (11th – 10,000 meters) and senior Tiffany Johnson (11th – 100-meter hurdles).

HAWKEYE COACHES — Larry Wieczorek and James Grant are in their 11th seasons at the helm of Iowa men’s and women’s track, respectively.

Wieczorek has coached 24 all-Americans and 40 Big Ten Champions at Iowa. The Hawkeyes’ highest conference meet finishes during his tenure are second at the 1999 outdoor meet and fourth at the 1997 indoor meet. As a runner, Wieczorek was a six-time Big Ten champion at Iowa, winning four track and two cross country titles. He was also a four-time all-American. In 1998, Wieczorek was inducted into the Iowa Varsity Club Hall of Fame. He is assisted by three-time Indiana all-American Scott Cappos and World Champion and four-time Northern Iowa all-American Joey Woody.

In his tenure with the Hawkeyes, Grant has coached 24 Big Ten champions, 60 regional qualifiers, 21 all-region selections, 31 NCAA qualifiers, 12 all-Americans and one NCAA champion. Iowa placed third at the 2004 Big Ten Indoor Championships in Iowa City and sixth at the 2003 conference outdoor meet – the team’s highest placings during Grant’s tenure. The third-place indoor finish tied the team’s highest conference finish in school history. He is assisted by three-time conference champion Layne Anderson and NCAA champion and four-time all-American Victor Houston.

2007 DRAKE RELAYS REVIEW — Iowa crowned two champions at the 2007 Drake Relays in Des Moines, IA. Senior Tiffany Johnson became the first female student-athlete in school history to win back-to-back Drake titles in an individual event when she won the 100-meter hurdles Saturday. Her time of 13.20 also broke the school record of 13.24 she set in that event last season. Junior Diane Nukuri won the 5,000 meters with a collegiate-best and regional qualifying mark of 16:15.28.

Hawkeye senior Adam Hamilton was the highest placer for the men’s team, finishing second in the hammer throw with a collegiate-best 222-2. That mark is just nine inches off the school record of 222-11 set in 2001 by Arno van der Westhuizen.

The women’s 400 and 1,600-meter relays posted regional qualifying marks. The 400-meter relay of Johnson, senior Peaches Roach, junior Megan Clarke and freshman Rhonda-Kaye Trusty placed fourth (45.21), while the 1,600-meter relay of junior Kineke Alexander, freshman Kara-Aretha Graham, senior Adtiya Jones and senior Monica Mims placed sixth (3:43.53), running a season-best 3:39.36 in the prelims.

Iowa’s other top eight placers were the men’s 400-meter relay of junior Max Milder, freshman Paul Chaney, Jr., junior Aaron Reed and senior Lee Elbert that placed fifth (41.16), the women’s distance medley relay of junior Meghan Armstrong, Alexander, freshman Sophia Poncé and senior Shannon Stanley that placed sixth (11:25.05), Roach (6th – special invite high jump), sophomore John Hickey (6th – special invite shot put), freshman Ray Varner (7th – 400-meter hurdles) and sophomore A.J. Curtis (8th – shot put).

NEXT COMPETITION — The Hawkeyes will send student-athletes who meet the qualifying standards to the 2007 NCAA Midwest Regional, May 25-26 in Des Moines, IA. All events will be held at Drake Stadium on the Drake University campus. All-session tickets are $30 and single day tickets are $15. Tickets can be ordered from the Drake University Athletic ticket office at 515/271-3647 or www.drakebulldogs.org.

The Midwest region will feature 39 schools from Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming. The top five finishers in each individual event and the top three relays from each of the four regionals will automatically advance to the NCAA Championships, to be held June 6-9 in Sacramento, CA. The other three regions are the West (40 men’s teams, 42 women’s teams), the Mideast (78 men’s teams, 81 women’s teams) and the East (110 men’s teams, 112 women’s teams).