Feb. 6, 2010
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IOWA CITY, IA – In an eventful second day of competition for the University of Iowa track and field teams, numerous Hawkeyes earned collegiate best times and found their way into the record books. Sophomore Erik Sowinski now holds the school record for the 800 meters following his second place finish of 1:49.21 at the Meyo Invite in Notre Dame, IN. This is also the second time this season Sowinski has ran a provisional qualifying mark in the 800 meters. The former record-holder, senior Adam Hairston, finished right behind Sowinski (3rd, 1:49.64) with a collegiate-best provisional qualifying finish that beats his old mark to place him second all-time at Iowa. Junior Steven Willey also provisionally qualified in the men’s 400-meter dash with a third-place finish of 47.22, which ranks fourth all-time at Iowa.
Sowinski also holds the school record in the 600 meters, a mark he set in the 2009 indoor season at 1:18.05. He is the only active Hawkeye to hold two school records. Hairston’s qualifying finish makes him the fifth individual of the team to provisionally qualify for the NCAA tournament this season. Willey met the provisional qualifying standard earlier this season as part of the 1,600-meter relay team.
Sowinski and Willey also helped his provisional qualifying 1,600-meter relay team to earn a season-best performance (3rd, 3:09.85), beating their provisional qualifying time from the Razorback Invitational earlier this season. Freshmen Kevin Dibbern, and senior Ray Varner were the other two members of the team.
“Today was a really great day for our guys,” said Men’s Head Coach Larry Wieczorek. “With Sowinski’s school record in the 800, Hairston qualifying, and plenty of people putting themselves in the top-ten all-time, it was definitely a step in the right direction for this program.”
Freshman Jordan Mullen ran a collegiate-best time in the 60-meter hurdles (8.03) places him third all-time at Iowa in that event. Redshirt Freshman Nick Holmes’ 3,000-meter finish of 8:15.48 is a collegiate-best, and is good enough to rank sixth among Iowa’s all-time leaders. Iowa’s women’s distance squad earned three new spots in the record books as well. Sophomore McKenzie Melander now ranks eighth all-time in the mile (4:50.42), and junior Amanda Hardesty and sophomore Betsy Flood rank seventh (9:30.17) and eighth (9:32.09) in the 3,000 meters, respectively.
Members of the track teams were also competing at the Husker Invitational in Lincoln, NE. Two Hawkeyes came away with titles on Saturday, with junior Bethany Praska winning the 800 meters (2:11.85) and junior Nick Kuczwara winning the 1,000 meters (2:25.84). Both times are collegiate-bests, and Praska’s finish ranks sixth all-time at Iowa. Senior Caleigh Bacchus earned a new collegiate-best in the high jump (3rd, 5-8 3/4, 1.75m) which ranks fourth in the Iowa record books. Senior Rhonda-Kaye Trusty earned a collegiate-best in Friday’s 200-meter preliminaries, but managed to beat that time in today’s finals to put her new collegiate-best time at 24.42, which ranks seventh all-time at Iowa.
“I thought we had an outstanding day at both meets,” said Women’s Head Coach Layne Anderson. “I think we had a lot of great individual performances and people running with their top effort so I believe we’re on the right track.”
Iowa will split competitors yet again this coming weekend, dividing the team between the Cyclone Classic in Ames, IA, on Feb. 12 and 13, and the Husky Invite in Seattle, WA, on Feb. 13.