Nukuri Named Big Ten Cross Country Athlete of the Year

Nov. 1, 2007

PARK RIDGE, IL — Hawkeye senior Diane Nukuri has been named Big Ten women’s cross country Athlete of the Year. The Pickering, Ontario, native is a four-time Big Ten Runner of the Week honoree and only the second Hawkeye woman to be named Athlete of the Year. Her championship title this year shattered the school and course records by over 45 seconds with a time of 19:37.60. She was the first Hawkeye to win the Big Ten Championships since Tracy Dahl in 1992.

Nukuri has run in four races this season and won three, set four school records and three course records. Nukuri placed third at the Pre-NCAA National meet Oct. 13 in a 6,000-meter school-record time (20:11). On Oct. 2, she won the Auburn Invitational in a school and course 5,000-meter record 15:55. Nukuri also won the Hawkeye Invitational Sept. 15 with a school and course 4,000-meter record time of 13:14.

Senior Jessica Schmidt and junior Andy Napier were named the Iowa’s cross country Big Ten Sportsmanship honorees. Schmidt, of Columbus, OH, improved her times every meet. Schmidt shattered her previous personal best by nearly a minute at the Big Ten Championships with a time of 21:20. She also shaved 20 seconds at the Auburn Invitation with a time of 17:28 and the Hawkeye Invitational with a time of 14:21.

Napier, of Antioch, IL, was named the team’s co-captain in October and has been a strong leader and consistent runner this season. He won the Hawkeye Invitational in a time of 25:02 Sept. 15. Napier improved his 8,000-meter time by nearly 50 seconds since last season.

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