Hawkeyes to Compete in Big Ten Championships

Oct. 22, 2007

THIS WEEK– The men and women’s cross country teams will compete at the Big Ten Championships in Columbus OH, Sunday. The women will be running a 6K and the men will be running an 8K.

WOMEN’S LAST TIME OUT–The Hawkeyes had five personal bests and were led to an eighth place finish by senior Diane Nukuri at the Pre-Nationals. Nukuri placed third and set a new school record in the 6,000-meters with a time of 20:11. Other runners for Iowa were senior Meghan Armstrong (15th, 20:38), sophomore Jolly Burke (17th, 20:41), sophomore Krista Anderson (100th, 21:46), senior Jessica Schmidt (126th, 22: 03), freshman Lauren Hardesty (143rd, 22:18) and senior Molly Esche (170th, 22:45).

MEN’S LAST TIME OUT–In a large field of 37 competing teams the Hawkeyes finished in 25th place and all Hawkeye runners ran personal bests. Iowa was led by sophomore Jesse Luciano (41st, 23:59). Other runners for Iowa were junior Andy Napier (113th, 24:44), sophomore Tommy Tate (154th, 25:04), sophomore Brendan Camplin (197th, 25:32), freshman Mark Battista (202nd, 25:37), sophomore Jay Renaud (211th, 25:45), freshman Sam Bailin (221st, 25:57).

THE RANKINGS–The United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association has released its third rankings for the 2007 season. The Hawkeye women are ranked 18th nationally and third in the Midwest region. The men are ranked eighth in the region.

NUKURI NAMED BIG TEN ATHLETE OF THE WEEK– Hawkeye senior Diane Nukuri was named Big Ten women’s cross country Athlete of the Week for the third time this season two weeks ago. The Pickering, Ontario, native earned the award after placing third at the Pre-NCAA National meet in a school-record time (20:11). The 6,000-meter record (20:34) was set in 2006 by Nukuri and teammate Meghan Armstrong. Nukuri has competed in three races for the Hawkeyes this season. It was Nukuri’s fourth career weekly honor from the Big Ten. Her last was October 2, 2007, after she won the Auburn Invitational in a school and course-record 15:55. Iowa’s next competition will be October 28 at the Big Ten Championships in Columbus, OH.

HAWKEYE WOMEN’S COACH Layne Anderson — Layne Anderson is in his fifth year as head women’s cross country coach at Iowa. In his four years with the cross country team, the Hawkeyes have made strong strides toward recapturing the program’s success of the 1980’s. The program took a major step in that direction in 2006, qualifying for the NCAA Championships as a team for the first time in 14 years and posting its highest Big Ten finish (sixth) since 1993. The Hawkeyes also recorded their highest finish at the NCAA Midwest Regional meet (third) under Anderson. Iowa has improved its finish at the NCAA Midwest regional each season, placing ninth in 2003, seventh in 2004, sixth in 2005 and third in 2006.

HAWKEYE MEN’S COACH Larry Wieczorek — Larry Wieczorek is in his 21st season as Iowa men’s cross country coach. During his tenure, the cross country team has placed sixth or higher 10 times at the NCAA Regional Championships, has posted 29 all-region selections and qualified for the NCAA Championships five times. In 2004, the Hawkeyes recorded their highest placings under Wieczorek at the Big Ten (3rd) and NCAA Championships (13th). In 2002, Wieczorek was named Midwest Region Coach of the Year honors by the United States Cross Country Association after the Hawkeyes won the NCAA Regional for the first time in school history. Wieczorek was a two-time Big Ten champion and a member of Iowa’s last Big Ten track championship team in 1967. Wieczorek still owns the Iowa record in the indoor two miles.

QUOTING COACH ANDERSON– “It will take a total team effort for us to improve our Big Ten placing. We have raced well this year, however. It will take our best to make a run at a top five finish. This weekend will be a significant test for our group.”

QUOTING COACH WIECZOREK– “We’re coming off the Pre-Nationals where we ran seven personal bests, which was every one of our runners. Since we have been improving so much this year, I am optimistic we can run even better this meet.”

Click HERE for the Big Ten Network home page.