Track Teams Head To Big Ten Championships

May 11, 2009

THIS WEEK — The University of Iowa men and women’s track teams 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

The Big Ten Network will air a tape-delay telecast of the championships on May 24 at 4 p.m. (CT).

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.

The University of Iowa was originally scheduled to host the 2009 three-day conference event at Francis X. Cretzmeyer Track, but the track complex sustained extensive flood damage last June and is currently under reconstruction. Cretzmeyer Track will reopen for the 2010 outdoor season, and the Hawkeyes are slated to host the 2011 Big Ten outdoor meet.

VARNER LEADS THE BIG TEN — Hawkeye junior Ray Varner has clocked the fastest men’s 400-meter hurdles time in the Big Ten this season. The Wadsorth, IL native ran a 51.00 at the John McDonnell Invite in Fayetteville, AR, which ranks third in the NCAA Midwest Region and 18th in the nation. Varner, who was named Big Ten Track Athlete of the Week April 8, is also a member of Iowa’s 1,600-meter relay that qualified for the regional meet and ranks third in the Big Ten with a season-best time of 3:08.81. The other relay members are sophomore Steven Willey and Chris Barton, and freshman Erik Sowinski.

SENIORS GET ONE MORE CHANCE FOR BIG TEN TITLES — Hawkeye seniors Ryan Kelly, John Hickey, A.J. Curtis and Renee White will get one more opportunity to take home a Big Ten trophy at the conference championships.

Kelly looks to defend his Big Ten outdoor high jump title. White, who won the Big Ten indoor triple jump in 2008, is looking for her first outdoor conference title. She placed second in that event at the conference outdoor meet in 2007 and fourth in 2008. Her season best marks in the triple jump and long jump rank third and eighth, respectively, in the Big Ten. She also anchored the team-leading 400-meter relay to a 46.89 at Drake, which ranks seventh in the conference.

Hickey, who won the outdoor shot put title in 2007 and placed first at the 2008 indoor meet, could become the fifth Hawkeye in school history to win three Big Ten titles in a field event. His season-best shot put ranks third in the conference, while Curtis has the fourth-best shot put and discus throws in the Big Ten this season.

The Hawkeyes have had a strong presence in the men’s shot put the last four years. Hickey placed second at the 2009 indoor meet, while Curtis placed fourth and redshirt freshman Ryan Lamparek placed sixth. At the 2008 outdoor meet, Curtis placed third and former Hawkeye Shane Maier placed fifth. Hickey won the 2008 indoor and 2007 outdoor titles while Maier placed second at both events. At the 2006 indoor meet the finish was reversed as Maier won the title and Hickey placed second.

CHANEY, JR. RETURNS TO TRACK — Hawkeye junior wide receiver Paul Chaney, Jr., made his outdoor season debut April 24th at the Drake Relays, and has made a strong impact in the Iowa sprinting events. He anchored the 400-meter relay to Iowa’s first Drake Relays track event title since 2000 and a regional-qualifying time of 40.58 in the prelims. That time ranks third in the Big Ten and 15th in the Midwest region. Chaney, Jr., who ended spring football practice on April 18, also anchored the 800-meter relay to a school-record 1:26.39 for sixth place. He also posted regional qualifying marks in the 100 (10.51) and 200 meters (21.14) at the Illinois Invite May 2. Those times rank third and second, respectively in the Big Ten.

YOUTH MOVEMENT — Several Hawkeye underclassmen are charging into the Big Ten Championships with some of the top performances in the conference. Sophomores Karessa Farley and Zeke Sayon, redshirt freshmen Nick Brayton and Lamparek, and true freshman Patrick Richards and D’Juan Richardson each have performances that rank in the top three in the Big Ten.

Brayton’s best discus throw of 180-11 ranks second in the conference and sixth in the region, while Lamparek’s best throw in that events ranks third and ninth, respectively. Farley’s 13.44 in the 100-meter hurdles ranks second in school history, third in the Big Ten and fifth in the region. She also ran on the team-leading 400-meter relay (46.89) that ranks seventh in the Big Ten. Sayon, Richards and Richardson ran on the regional-qualifying 400-meter relay that ranks third in the Big Ten and 15th in the region.

HAWKEYES IN BIG TEN OUTDOOR HISTORY — The Iowa men’s team has won two Big Ten outdoor team championships (1963, 1967) and 167 conference titles – 55 in individual running events, 40 in field events and 72 in relays – since the first meet was held in 1901.

Iowa’s last Big Ten champion in a men’s outdoor individual track event was Micah VanDenend (10,000 meters) in 2007, while its last individual men’s field event champion was senior Ryan Kelly (high jump) in 2008. The last Hawkeye men’s relay to win a conference title was the 400-meter relay of Juan Coleman, Adam Kunkel, Russell Peterson and Tim Dodge in 2001.

Four former Hawkeyes hold a spot in the conference record books – two hold overall records and two hold Big Ten meet records. Anthuan Maybank holds the overall men’s long jump record of 27-1, which he set in 1993, and Bill Neumann holds the overall men’s javelin record of 244-8, which he set in 2002. In 1997, Bashir Yamini tied the Big Ten meet long jump record of 26-8 1/4, set in 1935 by Ohio State’s Jesse Owens. Jon Reimer holds the retired conference meet 330-yard hurdles record of 36.1, set in 1965.

The Hawkeye men’s team has had four student-athletes earn conference individual outdoor track honors. Pat McGhee is the lone Hawkeye to earn two awards in the same season, being Male Athlete of the Year and Athlete of the Championships in 1989. Other outdoor honorees were Anthuan Maybank (1993 Athlete of the Year), Jeremy Allen (1998 Freshman of the Year) and Tim Dwight (1999 Athlete of the Championships).

The Iowa women’s squad has yet to win a Big Ten outdoor team title, but has crowned 29 conference champions since the first meet in 1982 – 13 in individual running events, four in field events and 12 in relays.

Iowa’s last Big Ten outdoor champions in a women’s individual track event were Meghan Armstrong (10,000 meters) and Diane Nukuri (5,000 meters) in 2008, while its last women’s field event individual champion was Peaches Roach (high jump) in 2007. The last Hawkeye women’s relay to win an outdoor conference title was the 1,600-meter relay of Aisha Hume, Nicole Charles, Sarah Steffen and Shellene Williams in 2003.

Former Hawkeye Aisha James holds the women’s Big Ten overall long jump record with the 22-3 leap she recorded in 2003.

Two Hawkeyes have earned Big Ten Outdoor Freshman of the Year honors. They are Erica Broomfield (1998) and Peaches Roach (2004). Iowa’s highest finish at the conference outdoor meet was third (89 points) in 2004.

2008 BIG TEN OUTDOOR REVIEW — The Hawkeye women’s team crowned two individual champions, while the men’s team won one event at the 2008 Big Ten Outdoor Championships in Champaign, IL. The women’s team placed sixth with 73 points, while the men’s squad placed eighth with 68. Michigan won its first men’s title since 1983, and its 31st in school history, with 129 points. Penn State won its first women’s title since 2004, and its second in school history, with 151.

Hawkeye senior distance runners Meghan Armstrong and Diane Nukuri took home titles for the women, while junior high jumper Ryan Kelly won a conference title for the men.

Armstrong collected her second career Big Ten title when she won the last event of the first day – the 10,000 meters – in a facility record-setting 33:49.03. The Tualatin, OR, native also won the conference indoor 3,000 meters. She was the sixth two-time conference champion in school history, and Iowa’s first Big Ten 10,000-meter champion since Jennifer Brower in 1992. Armstrong also placed third in the 5,000 meters (16:28.71).

Nukuri won her first conference track title in the 5,000 meters (16:24.21). She is only the third Hawkeye to win a Big Ten title in that event. Nan Doak (1982) and Tracy Dahl (1992) were Iowa’s other winners. Nukuri also placed third in the 10,000 meters (34:07.50).

The top four men’s high jump placewinners each cleared the winning and regional-qualifying height of 6-10 3/4, but Kelly recorded no misses at that height to win the conference title. He was Iowa’s fifth Big Ten outdoor high jump champion, and the first since Bill Hansen in 1976. Hawkeye senior Jeremy Petsche placed fourth in that event with a collegiate-best 6-10 3/4 to also qualify for the regional meet.

Seniors Tammilee Kerr, Kineke Alexander, Shane Maier and Jessica Schmidt, juniors A.J. Curtis, Renee White and Racheal Marchand, and sophomore Adam Hairston also gave strong performances at the three-day meet.

Kerr placed fourth in the hepathlon and javelin. Her heptathlon point total of 5,532 broke the school record of 5,417 she had set earlier in the season, and automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships. She was in sixth place in the seven-event competition going into Saturday’s final three events. She won the javelin (161-8), placed second in the 800 meters (2:27.49) and fourth in the long jump with a collegiate-best 19-4 1/4 to finish fourth. Kerr then went on to place fourth in the javelin with a throw of 163-5, which improved her previous regional-qualifying and collegiate-best mark she threw during the heptathlon.

Schmidt placed fourth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a collegiate-best 10:27.18, which broke the school record of 10:34.50 set by Sarah Arens in 2004.

Maier placed second in the discus (174-7) and fifth in the shot put (59-4 1/4, while Curtis placed third in the shot put (59-8 1/4) and fifth in the discus (171-7). Hairston placed third in the 800 meters with a season-best 1:50.68, which was only .6 seconds off the winning time.

Marchand placed fourth in the 10,000 meters with a NCAA provisional qualifying and collegiate best 34:11.48, and fifth in the 5,000 meters (16:40.03). White (triple jump) and Alexander (400 meters) also posted fourth-place finishes. White’s wind-aided mark of 42-8 1/4 broke the school record of 42-4 she set earlier in the season in that event.

Also scoring points for the Hawkeyes were senior Ryan Niver, junior Andy Napier and sophomores Jesse Luciano, Ray Varner and Caleigh Bacchus. Napier was runner-up in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, running a collegiate-best 8:58.21. He was the fifth Hawkeye in school history to break the nine-minute mark in that event. Luciano ran the 10,000 meters for the first time in his Hawkeye career, placing fourth with a team-leading 30:19.92. Niver placed seventh in the decathlon with 6,712 points. Bacchus placed sixth the high jump with a collegiate-best 5-7 1/4, while Varner placed eighth in the 400-meter hurdles (1:05.70).

The men’s 400-meter relay of seniors Max Milder, Aaron Reed and Lee Elbert and freshman Brandon McSkimming placed fourth with a season best 40.98. The men’s 1,600 meter relay of freshman Steven Willey and Chris Barton, and sophomores Zach Splan and Varner placed fifth (3:11.39). The women’s 1,600-meter relay of freshman Bethany Praska and Tiffany Hendricks, and seniors Monica Mims and Alexander placed sixth in 3:44.21, while the 400-meter relay of sophomore Rhonda-Kaye Trusty, White, Kerr and Hendricks placed eighth (47.29).

LAST TIME OUT — The Hawkeyes split action between the Illinois Invite at Champaign, IL, and the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational, at Stanford, CA. The Hawkeyes crowned a combined nine event champions and saw five regional qualifying performances.

At Illinois, junior Paul Chaney, Jr. won the 100 (10.51) and the 200-meters (21.14), both with collegiate bests and regional qualifying times. Junior Ray Varner came out with another regional qualifying showing in the 400-meter hurdles (51.29), winning that event. The men’s 1,600-meter relay team also worked together for another regional qualifying mark (3rd, 3:09.40). Senior John Hickey won the shot put (60-1 3/4) with a season best regional qualifying toss. Other event winners for the men include sophomore Brian Marchese in the 1,500 meters (3:52.19), sophomore James Paul in the 3,000 meters (8:34.81), and junior Zachary Schimp in the javelin (188-3 1/2).

Sophomore Karessa Farley ran a gem in the 100-meter hurdles (2nd, 13.44), cruising to a collegiate best and regional qualifying performance. That time ranks second all-time in women’s school history. Senior Mandy Chandler won the women’s hammer throw (158-4 3/4) with a collegiate-best toss that ranks fourth in school history. Freshman Brooke Eilers came out on top in an Iowa-heavy 1,500-meter run (1st, 4:35.29), with junior Hannah Roeder (2nd, 4:35.78)and sophomore Amanda Hardesty (3rd, 4:37.92) completing the sweep.

Iowa had three distance runners in west-coast action at Stanford’s Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational as well, with senior Andy Napier in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (18th, 9:18.95), and senior Eric MacTaggart (19th, 14:18.12) and graduate student Sarah Spencer Perry (20th, 17:48.19) in the 5,000 meters.

VARNER NAMED BIG TEN TRACK ATHLETE OF THE WEEK — Junior Ray Varner was been named the Big Ten’s Men’s Co-Track Athlete of the Week April 8, sharing honors with Purdue’s Josh Hembrough. It was Varner’s first weekly honor, and Iowa’s first track athlete honored since Andy Napier in 2008.

Varner earned accolades for his two regional qualifying performances at Auburn’s Tiger Track Classic. The Wadsworth, IL, native posted a third place finish in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 51.82. Later in the meet, Varner anchored Iowa’s 1,600-meter relay team, helping them to a fifth-place finish of 3:09.70. The other members of the regional-qualifying relay team were sophomore Steven Willey, freshman Patrick Richards and sophomore Chris Barton.

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 RECRUITS — 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 bests 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.

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

LUCIANO, CROSS COUNTRY TEAMS EARN HONORS — The Iowa cross country teams were named to the 2008 U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) all-academic team in March. Hawkeye junior Jesse Luciano also received individual all-academic honors.

The Iowa women’s team, who earned the honor for the sixth-straight season, had a combined GPA of 3.328 and is one of 162 teams to earn the award. The men’s team earned a team grade point average of 3.285 and is one of 110 teams to earn the award. For a team to be considered for the USTFCCCA all-academic team award, they must have competed and compiled a team score at an NCAA Regional Meet. The team must also have a minimum 3.00 team cumulative grade point average.

Luciano is one of 40 men’s cross country student-athletes to earn USTFCCCA all-academic honors. An accounting major from Villa Park, IL, he placed 15th at the NCAA Midwest Regional (31:32.55) and 43rd at the NCAA Championships (30:17.8). He has been named to the team for the second straight year. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must carry a minimum 3.25 cumulative grade point average and must finish in the top 15 (or top 10%) of the field at their respective NCAA regional meet or attain all-American status at the NCAA Championships.

The men’s cross country team was also among the NCAA Division I intercollegiate athletics programs singled out in April by the NCAA for ranking in the top 10 percent among their peers in the NCAA’s 2008 Academic Progress Rate. Every NCAA Division I institution calculates an APR for each athletics team each academic year. The APR provides a real-time look at a team’s academic success each semester or quarter by tracking the academic progress of each student-athlete. The APR includes eligibility, retention, and graduation in the calculation and provides a clear picture of the academic culture in each sport. The NCAA honored 767 Division I teams that earned multi-year APR scores in the top 10 percent of all squads in their respective sports, about 11.8 percent of all 6,484 Division I teams. Last year, 11.4 percent were recognized.

Head Coach Larry Wieczorek’s squad was one of 35 men’s cross country programs to rank among the Top 10 in APR among its peers and was joined by Michigan as the only Big Ten Conference programs included in that elite list.

NEXT COMPETITION — The Hawkeyes will send student-athletes who meet the qualifying standards to the 2009 NCAA Midwest Regional, May 29-30 in Norman, OK. All events will be held at the University of Oklahoma’s John Jacobs Track and Field Complex. All-session tickets are $15 for adults, and $10 for youth, students and seniors (ages 55 and above). Single session tickets are $10 for adults, and $7 for youth, students and seniors (ages 55 and above). Tickets are available at or the University of Oklahoma Athletics Ticket Office at 800/456-4668.

The Midwest region will feature 39 schools from Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming. The top five finishers in each individual event and the top three relays from each of the four regionals will automatically advance to the NCAA Championships, to be held June 10-13 in Fayetteville, AR. The other three regions are the West (40 men’s teams, 42 women’s teams), the Mideast (78 men’s teams, 81 women’s teams) and the East (110 men’s teams, 112 women’s teams).

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