Hawkeyes Set To Hold Iowa Open

Iowa City
The Hawkeye men and women’s track teams will host the annual co-ed Iowa Open Saturday at the University of Iowa Recreation Building in Iowa City. Participating teams include Coe, Iowa Central, Marquette, Truman State, Western Illinois and Wartburg. Events are scheduled to start at 11 a.m. Admission to the event is free.

The Iowa men’s team returns team-leading performances in 15 of 17 individual indoor events, as well as both complete relays from 2007. The Hawkeyes also return all but two team outdoor leaders, as well as one full relay and three legs of the other three. All-America distance runner Eric MacTaggart and Big Ten champions Micah VanDenend (10,000 meters), Shane Maier (indoor shot put) and John Hickey (outdoor shot put) will give the Hawkeyes an immediate presence. Also returning is 2006 Big Ten indoor long jump champion Matty Gorman. The 26-member freshman class boasts a combined total of 22 state and 65 conference individual titles. Four-time state champions Matt Banse (throws), Josh Kingery (sprints/hurdles) and Brandon McSkimming (sprints) lead the group, as well as highly-touted sprinter Chris Barton and throwers Ryan Lamparek and Nick Brayton. Banse, Brayton and Lamparek are, arguably, three of the best throws prospects to ever come out of Iowa.

Layne Anderson was named Interim Head Women’s Track Coach in August after the loss of longtime Head Coach James Grant. Grant passed away in July at the age of 60 after a two-year battle with cancer.

A strong group of successful seniors return for the 2008 season. Sprinter Kineke Alexander, distance runners Meghan Armstrong, Racheal Marchand and Diane Nukuri and multi-event competitor Tammilee Kerr have posted outstanding individual performances in the past and hope to add to their list of accomplishments during their final season at Iowa. Alexander won a 2006 NCAA indoor title and is the only Hawkeye to earn six all-America honors in the same event (400 meters). The five-time Big Ten champion holds five Hawkeye records. In 2007, she was named Big Ten Indoor Athlete of the Year and Athlete of the Championships. Armstrong is a three-time all-American and five-time all-region selection. Marchand earned all-America honors in cross country, in 2006, and is a two-time all-region honoree. Nukuri, a two-time Midwest regional cross country champion and Athlete of the Year, is a three-time all-American and all-region honoree. She holds four school and two facility records in cross country. Kerr set the school heptathlon record in 2007 and became one of the first Hawkeyes in recent history to qualify for the NCAA championships in that event.

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