Napier, Nukuri Earn Conferece Honors

April 8, 2008

PARK RIDGE, IL — Hawkeye distance runners Andy Napier and Diane Nukuri have been named co-Big Ten Track Athletes of the Week for their recent performances. Napier shared the men’s award with Samuel Borchers of Penn State, while Nukuri shared the women’s award with Jamie Cheever of Minnesota.

Napier won the 3,000-meter steeplechase at Saturday’s Auburn Tiger Classic with a regional-qualifying and collegiate-best time of 9:03.85. The mark also ranks seventh on Iowa’s all-time best performers list. It is the first time that Napier, a junior from Antioch, IL, has earned the weekly conference honor. Senior distance runner Micah VanDenend earned Iowa’s last Big Ten Men’s Track Athlete of the Week honor on April 3, 2007.

Nukuri broke the 17-year-old school 10,000-meter record at the Stanford Invitational Friday night with her runner-up finish of 33:17.01. That time beat her previous-best clocking of 33:30.29 by over 13 seconds and automatically qualifies her for the NCAA Championships in Des Moines, IA, in June. Former Hawkeye Jennifer Brower set the previous school record of 33:23.38 in 1991. A senior from Pickering, Ontario, Nukuri is only the second Hawkeye runner in school history to earn the conference outdoor honor, as senior Meghan Armstrong captured the first on March 25, 2008. Nukuri is a four-time Big Ten Women’s Cross Country Athlete of the Week honoree.

The Hawkeyes will send split squads to the Mesa Classic in Mesa, AZ, Friday, the Sun Angel Classic Friday and Saturday in Tempe, AZ, or the Lee Calhoun Memorial Saturday in Macomb, IL.

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