Hawkeyes Among Best in the Nation

Jan. 25, 2010

IOWA CITY, IA — Following this weekend’s action at the Razorback Invitational in Fayetteville, AK, a select group of University of Iowa runners find themselves ranked nationally in their respective events. Highest among them is sophomore Erik Sowinski, who’s provisionally qualifying 800-meter time of 1:50.09 ranks fourth in the NCAA Division-I. The men’s 1,600-meter relay team, which includes Sowinski, junior Steven Willey, freshman Kevin Dibbern, and senior Ray Varner, is ranked seventh in D-I following a provisionally qualifying, third-place finish of 3:10.35.

Despite Sowinski’s young career, he has already proven himself a true competitor. In his freshmen indoor season, he set the school record for the 600 meters (1:18.05) and led the team in the 800 meters (1:51.39), a time which was a personal best and ranked fifth all-time at Iowa. This past weekend’s 800-meter performance ranks second all-time at Iowa, behind fellow teammate Adam Hairston’s 2008 mark of 1:49.63. In the 2009 outdoor season, Sowinski, Willey, and Varner all regionally qualified for the 1,600-meter relay.

This past weekend, Hairston was running the 800 meters with Sowinski, and despite just missing the provisional qualifying mark by less than half a second, his 1:50.90 finish is good enough to rank him 14th among Division-I athletes. Willey and Varner both find themselves among the nation’s best in the 400 meters, ranking ninth (47.59) and 28th (48.13), respectively.

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.