Jan. 23, 2010
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IOWA CITY, IA — The University of Iowa track teams completed this weekend’s competition at the Jack Johnson Invite in Minneapolis, MN, and the Razorback Invitational in Fayetteville, AK. The men’s team had four individuals earn NCAA provisional qualifying times, with sophomore Erik Sowinski qualifying in the 800 meters (1st, 1:50.09) and in the 1,600-meter relay, along with junior Steven Willey, freshman Kevin Dibbern, and senior Ray Varner (3rd, 3:10.35). This is the second year in a row that Sowinski, Willey, and Varner all provisionally qualified for the 1,600-meter relay.
Iowa saw a multitude of top five finishes this weekend for both the men’s and the women’s teams. Sophomore Ryan Lamparek came in second in the shot put (55-4 1/4, 16.87m) and fifth in the weight toss (57-9 3/4, 17.62m), while sophomore teammates Matt Banse (53-7 3/4, 16.35m) and Nick Brayton (51-5 3/4, 15.69m) finished fourth and fifth in the shot put, respectively. Junior Brian Marchese placed second in the mile (4:13.45) with freshmen cross-country standout Jeff Thode not far behind (4th, 4:15.90). Freshman Kyle Reid finished very strong in the Heptathlon, shooting to a fifth place finish, behind strong Saturday performances in the pole vault (2nd, 15-5 3/4, 4.72m) and 1,000 meters (2nd, 2:46.80).
The women’s 1,600-meter relay team performed well also, finishing second with a time of 3:50.25. The team consisted of juniors Tiffany Hendricks, Bethany Praska, Kara-Aretha Graham, and sophomore Kelsey Mims. Praska also finished second in the 600 meters (1:33.21). Senior Caleigh Bacchus won the high jump for the second time this season (5-8 1/2, 1.74m). Iowa finished with six of the top seven spots in the women’s mile, with junior Amanda Hardesty leading the group (2nd, 4:54.22) and sophomore Betsy Flood finishing less than a second behind (3rd, 4:54.46).
“We were good in spots, such as our relay team and the 600 meters,” said Women’s Head Coach Layne Anderson. “I still don’t think we’re firing on all cylinders yet, and that will be the goal going forward to improve on that. We need to get more of our athletes performing to their potential.”
Iowa will have a week off from competition before heading to South Bend, IN, for the Meyo Invite on Friday, Feb. 5 at the University of Notre Dame.