Hawkeyes To Host Iowa Open

Jan. 12, 2009

The Hawkeye men and women’s track and field teams will host the annual Iowa Open Saturday at the University of Iowa Recreation Building in Iowa City. Events are scheduled to start at 11 a.m. Competing teams include Central Methodist, Truman State, Wisconsin-Whitewater and Chicago State. Admission to the event is free.

The University of Iowa men’s track team opened the 2009 indoor season with a 92-77 win over Big Ten rival Illinois (Jan. 10) at the UI Recreation Building in Iowa City. Iowa crowned 10 event champions and posted 21 collegiate bests at the meet.

Sophomores Josh Bean and Zeke Sayon were event winners with collegiate-best performances that broke into the Hawkeye record books. Bean’s winning triple jump mark of 48-6 ranks fourth on Iowa’s all-time bests list, and Sayon’s winning 60 meters time of 6.86 ranks sixth in school history.

Freshman D’Juan Richardson had a strong collegiate debut winning two events. The Indianapolis, IN, native won the 60-meter hurdles (8.33) and 200 meters (21.95) with collegiate-best times. The hurdles time also ranks ninth in school history.

Also winning for Iowa were seniors John Hickey (shot put) and Eric MacTaggart (3,000 meters), juniors Adam Hairston (800 meters), Jesse Luciano (mile) and Alex Zona (pole vault), and sophomore Graham Valdes (high jump).

The 2009 Hawkeyes will rely on several inexperienced returnees and talented newcomers after graduating five individuals (Kineke Alexander, Meghan Armstrong, Tammilee Kerr, Diane Nukuri and Jessica Schmidt) who combined for one NCAA title, 16 all-America honors, four regional titles, 13 all-region honors, nine Big Ten titles, 16 school records and nine academic all-Big Ten honors.

Defending Big Ten indoor triple jump champion Renee White returns for her senior campaign, after earning all-region honors in both the triple and long jumps (20-3 3/4, 43-10) and breaking her own school records in the indoor and outdoor triple jumps (42-4, 43-10) last season.

Iowa will rely heavily on a group of inexperienced returnees and talented newcomers in every event. Senior Krista Anderson, juniors Katie Ellis and Fionna Fallon, sophomores Amanda and Lauren Hardesty and Hannah Roeder are looking for breakout seasons in the distance events, while senior high jumper Caleigh Bacchus, senior thrower Mandy Chandler, junior sprinters Rhonda-Kaye Trusty and Sophia Poncé, sophomore sprinters Tiffany Hendricks and Bethany Praska, and sophomore hurdler Karessa Farley will try to do the same in their events.

Iowa’s newcomers also bring outstanding credentials to campus. The group consists of transfer Sarah Spencer Perry (Sioux Falls, SD) and freshmen Lindsay Anderson (Leeds, ND), Danielle Berndt (Bloomington, MN), Brittany Dlhy (West Branch, IA), Brooke Eilers (Holland, MI), Nicole Erickson (Cedar Rapids, IA), Betsy Flood (Des Moines, IA), Courtney Johnson (Marion, IA), Susan Kuhl (Beaman, IA), Jackie Laesch (Wheaton, IL), McKenzie Melander (Apple Valley, MN) and Josie Takes (Solon, IA).

The Hawkeye coaching staff has some new faces and responsibilities for the 2009 season. Larry Wieczorek will remain the men’s head track and cross country coach, and Layne Anderson will remain the women’s head track and cross country coach, but the teams will share administrative responsibilities, coordinate their competition schedules and divide coaching responsibilities by event instead of gender. Assistant Scott Cappos, who is in his 13th year at Iowa, will coach the throws, while third-year assistant Joey Woody will coach the men’s sprints, short hurdles and relays, and women’s long sprints and hurdles. First-year assistant Clive Roberts will coach the women’s short sprints, hurdles and relays, as well as the horizontal jumps for both groups. First-year assistant Christi Smith will direct the multi-events and vertical jumps.

The Hawkeyes will send split squads to different meets the weekend of Jan. 23-24. Some Hawkeyes will compete at the co-ed Jack Johnson Classic in Minneapolis, MN. Events are scheduled to start at 3 p.m. on Jan. 23 and 9 a.m. on Jan. 24, and will be held at the University of Minnesota Fieldhouse. The rest of the team will head to the Razorback Invitational in Fayetteville, AR. Events are scheduled to start at Noon Jan. 23 and 11 a.m. Jan. 24, and will be held at the University of Arkansas Randal Tyson Track Center.

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