Hawkeyes Head To NCAA Championships

May 30, 2007


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THIS WEEK — The Iowa men and women’s track teams will send 11 student-athletes to the 2007 NCAA Championships, June 6-9 in Sacramento, CA. All events will be held at Hornet Stadium in the Alex G. Spanos Sports Complex. All-session reserved tickets are $80 and all-session general admission tickets are $65. Tickets can be purchased by calling (916) 566-2400. Events start at noon (CT) Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, and 12:30 p.m. on Friday.

IOWA’S NCAA QUALIFIERS — The Hawkeye have qualified 11 student-athletes for the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Their events, season best marks and where they rank in the nation are listed below.

Name Event   Mark    NCAA RankingKineke Alexander 400 Meters  52.15   5thMeghan Armstrong 1,500 Meters    4:20.02 21stAdam Hamilton   Hammer  220-6 (67.20 m) 9thTiffany Johnson   100-Meter Hurdles   13.20   15thTammilee Kerr   Heptathlon  5,332 pts.  23rdShane Maier   Shot Put    58-6 1/2 (17.84 m)  25thRacheal Marchand 5,000 Meters    16:27.72    25thDiane Nukuri 10,000 Meters   33:31.69    10thPeaches Roach   High Jump   6-0 3/4 (1.85 m)    8thMicah VanDenend   5,000 Meters    13:49.31    8thRay Varner 400-Meter Hurdles   50.99   18th="https://hawkeyesports.com/http:%3E%3C/ahref="http:>="https://hawkeyesports.com/http:%3E%3C/ahref="http:>="https://hawkeyesports.com/http:%3E%3C/ahref="http:>="https://hawkeyesports.com/http:%3E%3C/ahref="http:>="https://hawkeyesports.com/http:%3E%3C/ahref="http:>="https://hawkeyesports.com/http:%3E%3C/pre%3E%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%3Cp%3E%3Cstrong%3E2006%20NCAA%20OUTDOOR%20CHAMPIONSHIPS%20REVIEW%20--%3C/strong%3E%20The%20Hawkeyes%20had%20three%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20all-Americans%20in%20%3Ca%20href="/roster.aspx?rp_id=5203" class="imported_story_link" oldlink="/sports/w-track/mtt/alexander_kineke00.html">Kineke        Alexander (400 meters), Peaches        Roach (high jump) and Eric        MacTaggart (5,000 meters) at the 2006 NCAA Outdoor Championships in Sacramento, CA. The        women's team placed 20th with 13 points.

Alexander came up just short in her bid for back-to-back national titles in the 400 meters, placing second with a school-record time of 51.35. She won her first NCAA title at the 2006 indoor meet, and joined elite company by picking up her fourth all-America honor. Only former Hawkeye distance runner Nan Doak earned more at Iowa with six all-America honors.

Roach became a three-time all-American by placing fourth in the high jump with a school-record leap of 6-1 1/4. MacTaggart placed 11th in the 10,000 meters in 29:22.78, becoming the first Hawkeye distance runner to earn all-America honors in that event since Stetson Steele in 2000. Sophomore Shane Maier placed ninth in the shot put with a toss of 61-9 3/4, which was just one place short of all-America status.

IOWA IN NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS HISTORY — The Iowa men’s track team has crowned 13 NCAA champions and 81 all-Americans. Its highest finish at the NCAA outdoor meet was a tie for seventh in 1967. The women’s team has crowned four NCAA champions and 46 all-Americans, and its highest finish at the NCAA outdoor meet was 10th in 1992.

COMPETITORS ATTEMPT TO JOIN HAWKEYE ELITE — The 11 student-athletes competing at the NCAA Outdoor Championships will attempt to make their mark in the Iowa records book this week.

Junior Kineke Alexander will try for her second NCAA 400-meter title and her sixth all-America honor in that event. Alexander won the 400 meters at the 2006 NCAA Indoor Championships, and has the fifth-fastest time in the nation going into the outdoor meet. She is the only Hawkeye to earn five all-America honors in the same event. Distance runner Nan Doak has compiled Iowa’s most all-America honors, earning a total of six during her career (1981-85). Iowa has crowned four NCAA champions in school history, with Doak winning the 10,000 meters in 1985, Tracy Dahl winning the 5,000 meters in 1992 and 1993, and Alexander winning the 400 meters during the 2006 indoor season.

Senior Peaches Roach is a three-time all-American in the high jump, earning the honors in 2005 and 2006. She is one of four three-time all-Americans in school history, and has the nation’s eighth-best jump entering the meet.

Junior Meghan Armstrong is a two-time all-American in the mile (2006, 2007), and could be Iowa’s first all-American in the 1,500 meters since Tina Stec in 1994. She has the 21st-fastest 1,500-meter time in the nation, entering the meet. Armstrong is one of Iowa’s four two-time all-Americans.

Of the men’s four qualifiers, senior Adam Hamilton is the only returning all-American. He earning the honor in the hammer throw at the 2004 meet. Hamilton could become Iowa’s first two-time all-American in the hammer, as he has the NCAA’s ninth-best throw.

Seniors Tiffany Johnson and Micah VanDenend, juniors Diane Nukuri and Tammilee Kerr, sophomore Racheal Marchand and freshman Ray Varner are making their first career appearances at the national outdoor meet.

2007 NCAA MIDWEST REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS REVIEW — The Iowa women’s squad crowned two champions and posted its highest team finish at the NCAA Midwest Regional in Des Moines May 26. Senior Tiffany Johnson and junior Kineke Alexander won individual race titles, leading the Hawkeyes to an eighth place finish with 34.50 points – their highest finish in the five-year history of the meet. The Hawkeye men’s team placed 16th with 19 points. In all, Iowa crowned 15 all-region honorees and advanced five automatic qualifiers to the NCAA Championships.

Johnson became the second regional champion in women’s school history when she won the 100-meter hurdles in 13.22. That time was only .02 off her collegiate best and the school record she holds in that event. By successfully defending her 2006 regional title in the 400 meters, Alexander became Iowa’s first two-time regional champion. She won the race in 52.34. Junior Shane Maier was the Hawkeye men’s top finisher, placing second in the shot put with a season-best 58-6 1/2. Junior Meghan Armstrong was Iowa’s fifth automatic NCAA qualifier, placing fifth in the 1,500 meters (4:21.56).

Earning all-region honors for Iowa during the two-day meet were seniors Adam Hamilton (hammer), Peaches Roach (high jump), Micah VanDenend (5,000 meters), Becca Franklin (hammer), Johnson (100-meter hurdles) and Lee Elbert (400-meter relay), juniors Racheal Marchand (5,000 meters), Armstrong (1,500 meters), Diane Nukuri (1,500 meters), Maier (shot put), Alexander (400 meters), Max Milder (400-meter relay) and Aaron Reed (400-meter relay), and freshmen Paul Chaney, Jr. (400-meter relay) and Ray Varner (400-meter hurdles).

HAWKEYES BREAK RECORDS — Six Hawkeyes set school records during the 2007 outdoor season. Seniors Micah VanDenend, Becca Franklin and Tiffany Johnson, junior Tammilee Kerr, and sophomores Renee White and A.J. Curtis are the new record holders. Two broke records that were older than themselves.

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 a 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 meet. 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 a winning time of 13.20 at the 2007 Drake Relays.

Kerr broke the 24-year-old school record heptathlon the day before her 21st birthday with her fourth-place total of 5,332 points at the Big Ten Championships. She never placed lower than eighth in any of the seven events, and won the javelin with a collegiate-best throw of 157-0. Kathy Gillespie set the previous record of 5,062 in 1983. Kerr and Gillespie are the only Hawkeye women to score over 5,000 points in the heptathlon. Kerr was born May 13, 1986.

White broke the triple jump school record of 41-3 3/4 she set earlier this season with a runner-up finish of 42-1 1/2 at the Big Ten Championships. She is the first Hawkeye female to leap over 42 feet in that event.

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 Gary Kostrubala. Curtis’ throw also set a meet record and smashed his previous personal best of 173-11. He and Kostrubala are two of four student-athletes in Big Ten history to throw over 200 feet in that event.

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.

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, ranks second in the NCAA Midwest Region and eighth in the nation.

WOMEN’S TEAM MAKES TRACKWIRE 25 — The Iowa women’s track team is ranked 18th in the most recent national outdoor rankings released by Trackwire.com. The list 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 18th with 13 points. LSU is ranked first with 69.

Three Hawkeyes are listed in Trackwire’s Dandy Dozen individual rankings. Junior Kineke Alexander boasts Iowa’s highest ranking at third in the 400 meters, after winning the 2007 Big Ten indoor and outdoor titles in that event. Senior Peaches Roach is ranked fifth in the high jump after winning the 2007 Big Ten indoor and outdoor titles. Junior Diane Nukuri is also ranked sixth in the 10,000 meters.

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

Wieczorek has coached 24 all-Americans and 42 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 26 Big Ten champions, 81 regional qualifiers, 21 all-region selections, 34 NCAA qualifiers, 12 all-Americans and one NCAA champion. Iowa placed third at the 2004 Big Ten Indoor Championships in Iowa City and fourth at the 2007 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.

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