Alexander Advances To Finals

May 30, 2008

LINCOLN, NE — Juniors John Hickey and A.J. Curtis were the first Hawkeyes to advance to the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships with their performances Friday at the NCAA Midwest Regional in Lincoln, NE. The Iowa men’s team sits in fourth place with 16 points after the first day of competition, while the Hawkeye women’s team is in 18th place with one point.

The Midwest regional is one of four meets being held this weekend to determine qualifiers for next month’s NCAA Championships in Des Moines, IA. The top five placers in each individual event earn automatic bids to the national meet. Hickey placed second in the shot put (61-4 1/4), while Curtis placed third (59-5 1/2) to automatically advance.

Hawkeye senior sprinter Kineke Alexander and sophomore hurdler Ray Varner qualified for Saturday’s finals in their respective events. Alexander won her 400-meter heat with a season-best 52.95, which was the second-fastest preliminary time in the field. Varner snatched the last finals spot in the 400-meter hurdles with his season-best time of 51.07, which was the eighth-fastest qualifying time. Varner edged out the ninth-place finisher by .01 seconds.

Hawkeye junior Renee White scored the Hawkeye women’s team point with her eighth-place finish in the long jump. White, who is also competing in Saturday’s triple jump, posted her first collegiate career jump over 20 feet with her mark of 20-3 3/4. Senior Shane Maier, who will compete with Curtis in the discus Saturday, placed seventh in the shot put (56-11 1/2). Senior Jeremy Petsche ended his Hawkeye career with a collegiate-best high jump of 6-11 for 10th place.

Eight Hawkeyes are scheduled to compete in Saturday’s final day of regional competition. Events are scheduled to start at 1 p.m. (CT) and will be held at Ed Weir Stadium on the University of Nebraska campus. Hawkeye seniors Tammilee Kerr (javelin), Andy Napier (3,000-meter steeplechase) and Jessica Schmidt (3,000-meter steeplechase) will join Alexander (400 meters), Varner (400-meter hurdles), White (triple jump), Curtis (discus) and Maier (discus) in their bid to advance to the national meet.

DAY ONE TEAM STANDINGS (Top Five Teams Plus Iowa)
Men’s Team Standings
1. Nebraska 37.50
2. Colorado 28
3. Texas Tech 20
4. Iowa 16
Texas-El Paso 16

Women’s Team Standings
1. Texas Tech 27.50
2. Minnesota 20.50
3. Kansas State 20
4. Texas El-Paso 16
5. Texas A&M 14
18. Iowa 1

Women’s Long Jump – Trials & Finals
1. Okagbare Blessing (UTEP) 21-5 1/4
8. Renee White (Iowa) 20-3 3/4

Women’s 400 Meters – Prelims
1. Leslie Cole (Oklahoma) 52.65
2. Kineke Alexander (Iowa) 52.95

Men’s High Jump – Finals
1. Dusty Jonas (Nebraska) 7-7
10. Jeremy Petsche (Iowa) 6-11

Men’s Shot Put – Trials & Finals
1. Keith Lloyd (Nebraska) 61-5
2. John Hickey (Iowa) 61-4 1/4
3. A.J. Curtis (Iowa) 59-5 1/2
7. Shane Maier (Iowa) 56-11 1/2

Men’s 400-Meter Hurdles – Prelims
1. Justin Boyd (Baylor) 50.26
8. Ray Varner (Iowa) 51.07


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