Hawkeye Runners Split Again This Weekend

Jan. 26, 2009

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THIS WEEK –The majority of the Hawkeye men’s track team and some competitors from the Iowa women’s squad will compete at the Jack Jennett Invite Friday and Saturday in Cedar Falls, IA. All events will be held at the UNI-Dome on the University of Northern Iowa campus. Events are scheduled to start at 3 p.m. Friday and 10:50 a.m. Saturday.

The Hawkeye men will also send a 3,200-meter relay team to the 102nd annual Millrose Games Friday in New York, NY. Hawkeye junior Adam Hairston, sophomore Dan Kuhlman and freshmen Zack Braff and Erik Sowinski are set to run the relay for Iowa. Hawkeye sophomore Steven Willey will serve as an alternate. The race is set for 6:57 p.m. (CT) and will be run in Madison Square Garden. The event will be aired live on ESPN2. A one-hour taped-delay broadcast will be shown on NBC Sports Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

LAST MEET –Iowa hit the road last weekend, sending one group to the Razorback Invite in Fayetteville, AR, and the other group to the Jack Johnson Classic in Minneapolis, MN.

The Hawkeye throws and middle distance groups provided the highlights in Minnesota. Senior John Hickey provisionally qualified for the NCAA Championships in the men’s shot put for the second straight week, winning that event with a throw of 58-6. Five of the top 10 shot put finishers were Hawkeyes. Senior Mandy Chandler posted a collegiate-best 52-5 1/4 in the women’s weight throw, which was a collegiate-best and ranks third on Iowa’s all-time best performers list. Eleven of Iowa’s 12 milers posted collegiate-best times. Freshman Betsy Flood led Iowa in the women’s 800 meters with a collegiate best 2:16.67.

Several Hawkeye newcomers led the men’s team at Arkansas, while some Hawkeye veterans led the women’s squad. Iowa freshman D’Juan Richardson placed fifth in the consolation 60 meters (6.88) and sixth in the 60-meter hurdles finals (8.21). Freshmen Zack Braff and Erik Sowinski placed third (1:53.72) and fourth (1:54.22), respectively, in the 800 meters with collegiate-best times. Junior Paul Chaney, Jr., made his season debut with a sixth-place finish in the consolation 60 meters (6.89). Five Hawkeyes also placed in the top 30 in the 400 meters. Junior Ray Varner led that group with a sixth-place finish (47.98).

Sophomores Bethany Praska and Tiffany Hendricks represented the women’s sprinters well with collegiate-bests in the 400 meters. Praska’s time of 56.58 ranks 10th in school history, while Hendricks posted a 57.66. Sophomore Karessa Farley placed fifth in the 60-meter hurdles (8.63), running a season-best 8.52 in the prelims. Junior Rhonda-Kaye Trusty rounded out the Hawkeye performances with a fifth-place finish in the 60-meter consolation race with a season-best 7.67.

HAWKEYE TRACK STAFF –The Hawkeye coaching staff has some new faces and responsibilities for the 2009 season. Larry Wieczorek is the men’s head track and cross country coach, and Layne Anderson is the women’s head track and cross country coach. The teams now 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.

NEXT UP –The Hawkeyes will split competition between two meets for the weekend of Feb. 6-7.

The men’s throwers will head to New York for the New Balance Invitational at the Armory Track. The men’s shot put is set for 2:45 p.m. Friday and the men’s weight throw will be at 12:15 p.m. Saturday.

The rest of the team will compete at the Meyo Invite in South Bend, IN. Events are set to start at 5 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. Saturday, and will be held at the Loftus Center of the Notre Dame University campus.