May 17, 2009
COLUMBUS, OH — Hawkeye senior Renee White made her final attempt count Sunday afternoon, winning the Big Ten women’s outdoor triple jump with a school and meet record-breaking leap of 43-10 3/4. The Hawkeye women finished the final day of the three-day Big Ten Championships in Columbus, OH in 10th place with 31 points, while the Iowa men placed seventh with 69. Penn State won the women’s team title with 139, while Minnesota won the men’s team race with 130.
White have the Hawkeyes an outstanding start Sunday, winning her second career Big Ten triple jump title. Her mark broke the Big Ten meet record of 41-8 set in 1997 by Michigan’s Tania Longe and White’s own school record of 43-10 that she set last season. White beat runner-up Casey Taylor of Michigan by over nine inches, and her winning mark was over two feet more than her previous season best in that event. The senior from Portmore, Jamaica, is the first Hawkeye in women’s school history to win an outdoor conference title in the triple jump. White, who won the 2008 Big Ten indoor triple jump title, is the seventh two-time Big Ten champion in women’s school history.
“Renee’s performance was one of our highs of the meet”, said Head Women’s Coach Layne Anderson. “To jump a personal best, win the event and set the Big Ten meet record on her final attempt was a major accomplishment. Rhonda-Kaye Trusty also turned in some strong performances for us in the sprint events. We had a lot of young kids that ran well and while they competed hard, we came up short in some areas.”
Also scoring points for the Hawkeye women Sunday were Trusty, who placed fourth in the 100 (11.85) and 200 meters (24.11), and sophomore Karessa Farley, who placed fourth in 100-meter hurdles (13.56). Farley, Trusty, White and sophomore Kara-Aretha Graham ran on the 400-meter relay that placed sixth in 46.30.
The Hawkeye men posted several top-eight finishes Sunday to add to their team point total, but a disqualified relay and some missed opportunities resulted in a seventh-place finish.
“Our guys fought hard today,” explained Head Men’s Coach Larry Wieczorek. “We did a lot of good things throughout the championships to give ourselves a shot at a top-half team finish, but we left some points out there. The good thing is our young guys will be back for the future and they showed us a lot of effort over the last three days. Paul Chaney, Jr., did a terrific job for us coming off of spring football less than a month ago, and Adam Hairston has been a consistent top-three finisher in the 800 meters, which I think has become one of the toughest races in the Big Ten.”
Hairston led the Iowa men’s Sunday placewinners, finishing second in the 800 meters (1:50.16). Senior John Hickey placed third in the shot put (59-9 1/2) in his final Big Ten event. Chaney, Jr. placed third in the 100 meters (10.59), fourth in the 200 meters (21.17), and anchored the 400-meter relay of freshman D’Juan Richardson, sophomore Zeke Sayon and freshman Patrick Richards to place third in 40.85. Sayon also placed fifth with a season-best 10.72 in the 100 meters.
Iowa’s three finalists in the 400-meter hurdles produced points as junior Ray Varner placed third (51.16), sophomore Conor Elmitt placed seventh (54.41) and Richardson placed eighth (54.42). Sophomore Steven Willey placed sixth in the 400 meters (47.23), and sophomore Josh Bean placed eighth in triple jump with a season-best 48-9 1/2 to round out Iowa’s top-eight finishers.
The 1,600-meter relay of Willey, sophomore Chris Barton, freshman Erik Sowinski and Varner brought the third-fastest time in the Big Ten to Columbus, but was disqualified after the race for impeding another team’s runner after a baton exchange.
Iowa will continue post-season competition at the NCAA Midwest Regional, May 29-30, at Norman, OK. The 20 Hawkeyes who have qualified for the event will compete to advance to the NCAA Outdoor Championships, which are set for June 10-13 at Fayetteville, AR. The regional, which will be held at the University of Oklahoma’s John Jacobs Track and Field Complex, features 39 schools from Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming. The top five regional finishers in each individual event and the top three relays will automatically advance to the NCAA Championships.