April 12, 2009
TEMPE, AZ – Iowa capped off a busy weekend with action at the Sun Angel Track Classic Saturday night, crowning two event champions and seeing 11 regional qualifying athletes.
Iowa senior Renee White came out strong in her outdoor debut, winning the women’s triple jump (41-3) with a regional qualifying mark. Iowa’s formidable freshman pair of Betsy Flood (10th, 4:27.33) and McKenzie Melander (11th, 4:27.34) finished back-to-back in the 1,500-meter B-heat, both earning regional qualifying marks as well as new collegiate bests. Their finishes place them 8th and 9th all-time, respectively, in that event. Iowa sophomore Karessa Farley performed well in the 100-meter hurdles (6th, 13.78) with a regional qualifying time and a new collegiate best. Her finish places her 5th all-time in the Iowa record books.
Big Ten Men’s Track Athlete of the Week Ray Varner hasn’t lost any steam from last week’s two regionally-qualifying performances, coming out Saturday qualifying with better times in the same two events. Varner finished 3rd in the “premiere” heat of the 400-meter hurdles (51.53) and again anchored the 1,600-meter relay team with sophomores Steven Willey, Chris Barton and freshman Patrick Richards to a 2nd place regionally-qualifying finish (3:09.55). The senior throwing duo of A.J. Curtis (5th, 59-5 3/4) and John Hickey (6th, 59-0) both earned regional qualifying marks in the shot put, Hickey his second of the season.
The Hawkeyes are set to split competitors between two meets next weekend. Team members will compete at either the John McDonnell Invite at Fayetteville, AR, Friday and Saturday or the UNI Mark Messersmith Invite at Cedar Falls, IA, Saturday. McDonnell Invite events are set to start at Noon Friday (CT) and 10 a.m. Saturday at the University of Arkansas’ John McDonnell Field. Messersmith Invite events are set to start at 11 a.m. Saturday at the University of Northern Iowa’s Messersmith Outdoor Track and Field Complex.