Hawkeye runners can put their trust in Trusty

Jan. 22, 2008

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Followers of the No. 24 University of Iowa women’s track and field team are familiar with the prowess of seniors Diane Nukuri, Kineke Alexander and Meghan Armstrong. This season, head coach Layne Anderson is looking for — and receiving — a boost from sophomore sprinter Rhonda-Kaye Trusty.

Trusty, a sophomore from Brampton, Ontario, placed first in the 200-meter dash at last Saturday’s Iowa Open with a time of 25.00 seconds. That was .06 seconds off her personal indoor best in the event. Trusty was also runner-up in the 60 dash in 7.74.

“I can tell that I feel a lot stronger this year, especially in my 200,” Trusty said. “The last few meters were a lot better than they have ever been. In the 60, I can definitely improve on the first 20 meters of the race.”

Last season Trusty battled illness and a hamstring injury during the outdoor season. She led the Hawkeyes in the 200 dash (24.23), qualified for NCAA regional as part of the 400-meter relay team and ran a collegiate best of 12.04 in the 100.

Trusty’s efforts at the Iowa Open did not go unnoticed by Anderson.

“It was certainly pleasing to see her 1/10th of a second off a lifetime best in the indoor 200,” Anderson said. “To be at that point this early in the season is a very good sign. We’ll need Rhonda to score points for us in the 60 and 200 at indoor meets this season.”

Trusty knows that more is expected of her this season and she can feel the growth between her freshman and sophomore seasons.

“Oh my gosh,” Trusty said. “The nerves are still there, but now it’s a feeling of wanting to produce. Now instead of nerves, I have confidence.”

The emergence of competitors like Trusty will only add to an already impressive group of Hawkeyes that includes seasoned veterans like defending All-Americans Alexander and Armstrong.

“Those people are always encouraging us and in terms of training they are always pushing us to do our best,” Trusty said. “They have set a standard so now it makes us want to rise to the occasion whenever we compete.”

Iowa will compete Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 26-27, at the Jack Johnson Classic in Minneapolis, Minn.

“I’m not a person who really speaks about times, but I want to improve upon what I did last weekend,” Trusty said. “I’m mainly focusing on my start and getting out and driving and taking it from there.”

Click HERE for the Big Ten Network home page.