Great 8! Alexander advances to the 400 final

June 13, 2008

DES MOINES, Iowa — Layne Anderson called it a solid day. Kineke Alexander said the fun is just beginning.

Whether you agree with Anderson, the head women’s track and field coach at the University of Iowa, or Alexander, one of the star Hawkeye sprinters, there is no denying that it was an impressive performance by the three Iowa competitors Friday at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field national championships inside Drake Stadium.

Alexander, with a 52.36 clocking and a third-place finish in the second of two semifinal 400 heats, advanced to the tomorrow’s final, where she will become an eight-time All-American in the that event (four times indoor, four times outdoor). The 2006 NCAA indoor national champion has become a model of consistency and dominance in that event for the past four years.

“The fun is just beginning,” Alexander said. “I have the finals tomorrow. I felt good because there was no wind out there. I wanted to run 51 (seconds) today — that was one of my goals. Hopefully I can get it tomorrow.”

Alexander has the sixth-fastest time among the eight qualifiers for the finals.

“There have probably been very few women who have been an All-American eight consecutive times in the 400,” Anderson said. “That’s a remarkable feat and it’s a credit to Kineke’s ability and consistency.”

Iowa’s Renee White advanced to the finals of the triple jump with a leap of 43-3 ¾. She is seeded 10th out of 12 jumpers in the finals.

“Renee is on her way to surpassing her seed coming into nationals,” Anderson said. “The next step for her in her evolution as an athlete is to become an All-American.”

Tammilee Kerr is sitting 18th after four events in the heptathlon with 3,186 points — 420 behind leader Jacquelyn Johnson of Arizona State. Kerr tied for 12th in the high jump (5-5 ¼), was 13th in both the shot put (38-11) and 200 dash (25.24) and 27th in the 100 hurdles (14.84). On Saturday, Kerr will finish the heptathlon (long jump, javelin, 800 run) and compete in the finals of the javelin.

“Tammilee is in position to score and have a lifetime best if she has a good second day,” Anderson said. “She’s going to have to have a great day to become an All-American, but she’s in a position to do that.”

The day on Saturday for Iowa will look very similar to what participated today. Kerr begins the heptathlon at 11 a.m. (and also competes in the javelin final at 2:45 p.m.), White is in the finals of the triple jump at 3 and Alexander will run the finals of the 400 dash at 3:05.

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