Iowa Hits the Road One Last Time Before Big Ten Outdoor Championships

April 27, 2009

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THIS WEEK — In their final event before the Big Ten Outdoor Championships, the Iowa’s track teams will send the majority of its competitors to the Illinois Invite Saturday, at Champaign, IL. Events will be held at the University of Illinois Track and Soccer Stadium and are scheduled to start at Noon (CT).

A handful of Hawkeyes will travel to Stanford’s Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational Saturday instead of competing at Illinois. Events at the Cobb Track and Angell Field are set to start at 5 p.m. (CT).

HAWKEYE RELAY WINS DRAKE TITLE — Hawkeye freshman D’Juan Richardson, sophomore Zeke Sayon, freshman Patrick Richards and junior Paul Chaney, Jr. sprinted their way to a Drake Relays title in the men’s 400-meter relay last weekend in Des Moines. The quartet ran a 40.71 to become the sixth Iowa 400-meter relay to earn a Drake Relays title, and the first Hawkeye men’s competitors to win a title in a Drake track event since former Hawkeye Stetson Steele won the 5,0000 meters in 2000.

The Hawkeye relay qualified for the NCAA regional meet for the first time this season running a 40.58 in the prelims. Chaney, Jr., who was making his outdoor season debut after wrapping up spring football practice April 18, also anchored the men’s 800-meter relay to a school-record 1:26.39 for sixth place. Richardson, redshirt freshman Stephen Bee, and Richards ran the other three legs of that relay.

Hawkeye sophomore Karessa Farley and junior Ray Varner placed second in their respective events, while the men’s sprint medley relay of Richards, Chaney, Jr., sophomore Chris Barton and junior Adam Hairston placed second in 3:20.05, which ranks third in school history. Farley was runner-up in the women’s 100-meter hurdles with a collegiate best 13.53 which qualifies her for the regional meet and ranks second in school history. Varner was runner-up in the 400-meter hurdles with a regional qualifying mark of 51.80, and anchored the men’s 1,600-meter relay to a fourth-place finish in 3:11.46. Sophomore Steven Willey, Richards and Barton also ran on the 1,600-meter relay.

Junior Zachary Schimp and senior John Hickey were Iowa’s top field event placewinners, as both recorded regional qualifying marks in their respective events. Schimp placed third in the javelin (204-8), while Hickey placed third in the shot put (59-0 1/4). Senior A.J. Curtis also posted a regional qualifying mark in the shot put, placing fifth with a 58-0 1/4.

Sophomore Hannah Roeder posted Iowa’s other regional qualifying performance of the day, placing fifth in the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase in 10:42.88. The women’s 6,400-meter relay of freshman Betsy Flood and McKenzie Melander, sophomore Amanda Hardesty and freshman Brooke Eilers placed third in 19:36.43, which ranks second in school history. Rounding out the top 10 individual performances for the Hawkeyes were senior A.J. Curtis in the men’s discus (7th-170-2), Hairston in the men’s 800 meters (8th-1:54.15), and sophomore Josh Bean in the men’s triple jump (9th-47-8 1/2).

A total of eight Hawkeye relays made their way into the Iowa record books by posting times that rank in the top 10 in school history. The men’s 800-meter relay (Richardson, Bee, Richards, Chaney, Jr.-1:24.85) set the school record, while the women’s 6,400-meter (Flood, Melander, A. Hardesty, Eilers-19:36.43) and men’s 3,200-meter (Willey, freshman Zack Braff, freshman Erik Sowinski, Hairston-7:33.08) relays rank second. The men’s sprint medley relay (Richards, Chaney, Jr., Barton Hairston-3:20.05) ranks third and the women’s 3,200-meter relay (Flood, freshman Brittany Dlhy, sophomore Lauren Hardesty, senior Jennie Docherty-8:53.91) ranks fourth. The men’s 6,400-meter relay (freshman Chase Kadlec, senior Eric MacTaggart, sophomore James Paul, sophomore Brian Marchese-17:17.63) ranks sixth, the women’s 800-meter relay (junior Rhonda-Kaye Trusty, sophomore Tiffany Hendricks, sophomore Kara-Aretha Graham, freshman Nicole Erickson-1:38.79), and the men’s distance medley relay (Kadlec, Sowinski, Braff, E. MacTaggart-10:02.91) ranks ninth.

IOWA TRACK TO HOST CLINICS & CAMPS — The Hawkeye coaching staff is scheduled to host a four-day summer camp June 21-25. For more information contact Assistant Coach Scott Cappos at (319) 335-9392 or, or visit

MEN’S TEAM ANNOUNCES 2009 RECRUITING CLASS — The Hawkeye men’s track team has signed four student-athletes to national letters of intent for the 2010 season. Head Coach Larry Wieczorek is excited about the immediate impact that hurdler Ethan Holmes (Clinton, IA), distance runner Jeff Thode (Hoffman Estates, IL) and throwers Ben Stancombe (Bloomington, IN) and Matt Byers (Wichita, KS) will have on the Hawkeyes next season.

Holmes is the defending Class 4A state 400-meter hurdles champion (53.03), also winning that event at the 2008 Drake Relays. Stancombe is one of the top five returning hammer throwers (202-0) and one of the top nine weight throwers (67-10) in the nation. Competing for South High School, he is also the top returning shot putter (58-0) in the state of Indiana. Byers is one of the top three returning javelin throwers in the nation, recording a personal-best 219-8. He placed second at the Class 6A Kansas state championships, the USTAF Junior Championships and the USATF Junior Olympics last season. Thode is the fourth Illinois state cross country champion to join the Hawkeyes in recent years. He won the large school class at the 2008 state meet in November with a time of 14:18 on the three-mile course. He is also one of the top six returning milers in the nation, posting a 4:10.80 last spring.

WOMEN’S TEAM ANNOUNCES 2009 RECRUITING CLASS — The Hawkeye women’s track team has signed eight student-athletes to national letters of intent for the 2010 season. Head Coach Layne Anderson is excited about the immediate impact that multi-event competitor Missy Miller (Tipton, IA), high jumpers Megan Glisar (Sergeant Bluff, IA) and Eva Greenwalt (Fitchberg, WI), distance runners Megan Ranegar (Valparaiso, IN) and Sarah Boyd (Dunrobin, Ontario), thrower Ashlyn Gulvas (Pinconning, MI), sprinter and jumpr Emily Moore (Gillette, WY) and sprinter Raven Moore (Riverdale, GA) will have on the Hawkeyes next season.

Boyd placed third at the 2007 OFSAA Cross Country Championships (17:56), and has lifetime best performances of 2:14 (800 meters) and 4:39 (1500 meters indoor). Glisar is a three-time Class 3A high jump state champion who placed third at the 2007 Nike Outdoor National Championships (5-8 3/4) and won the 2007 USA Youth Outdoor high jump title. Greenwalt qualified for the 2008 state meet in four events, placing third in the high jump. Her lifetime best clearance in that event is 5-8. A 2008 state champion in both the shot put and discus, Gulvas has posted lifetime best performances of 45-3 in the shot and 140-6 in the discus.

Miller is a four-time Class 2A state champion in track, having qualified in the maximum 12 events for three state championships, and a four-time state qualifier in cross country. She is a 10-time Drake Relays qualifier, and was part of two state championship cross country and track teams. Emily Moore is an 11-time Class 4A state champion in the jumps and sprints. Wyoming’s 2008 Track and Field Gatorade Player of the Year, she holds state records in the long lump (19-2 1/2), triple jump (39-7 1/2) and as a part of the 400-meter relay (48.30). She is a two-time triple jump all-American at the Nike Outdoor National meet, placing fourth in 2007 and second in 2008. Raven Moore was a Class 1A state champion in both the 100 (11.80) and 200 meters (24.50). Ranegar was the 2007 State Cross Country Runner-up and placed 20th at the Footlocker Midwest Regional in a time of 18:24.

NEXT UP — The Hawkeyes will head to the Big Ten Outdoor Championships May 15-17 at Columbus, OH. All events will be held at Ohio State’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

Events at the co-ed meet are set to start at 11 a.m. (CT) Friday, 10:30 a.m. Saturday and 11:30 a.m. Sunday. Live results will be available at

All-session tickets are $18 for adults and $10 for students, while single-session tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students. Tickets may be purchased by contacting the Ohio State Athletic Ticket Office at or 1-800-462-8257.