Sowinski Breaks Own School Record, Flood Provisionally Qualifies

Feb. 13, 2010

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AMES, IA – Day two of the Iowa State Classic proved eventful for the University of Iowa track and field squads. Sophomore Erik Sowinski beat his own school record in the 800 meters, winning with a provisional-qualifying time of 1:48.90. Sowinski set the previous school record in the 800 meters at last weekend’s Meyo Invite in Notre Dame, IN. Sophomore Betsy Flood became the first member of the women’s team to provisionally qualify this season, placing third in the women’s mile at 4:46.09. Her time is a collegiate-best and ranks fifth all-time at Iowa. This brings Iowa’s total NCAA qualifiers this season to six.

Junior Steven Willey met the provisional qualifying mark for the 400 meters for the second week in a row with a collegiate-best 47.15 second-place finish. This moves him up to third all-time in the 400 meters at Iowa. Senior Adam Hairston also provisionally qualified for the second week in a row, placing fifth in the 800 meters at 1:49.26, a collegiate-best that ranks second all-time. The men’s 1,600-meter relay team of Sowinski, Willey, freshman Kevin Dibbern and senior Ray Varner hit the provisional qualifying mark for the third time this season, winning the event with a season-best 3:09.83.

“It was a terrific weekend for both teams,” said Men’s Head Coach Larry Wieczorek. “There were great performances all around, on the track and on the field. Sowinski broke the school record yet again, had some good qualifying performances, and capped the weekend off strong with a win in the 4×4 relay.”

Junior Nick Kuczwara barely missed the provisional qualifying mark in the 800 meters, finishing eighth at 1:50.84. However, this mark is a career-best and ranks him third all-time at Iowa, right behind Sowinski and Hairston. Freshman cross country standout Jeff Thode earned a collegiate-best in the mile, placing fourth at 4:06.89. This mark puts him fourth all-time in that event. Senior Rhonda-Kaye Trusty placed fifth in the 60-meter dash with a collegiate-best 7.57 that leads the team and ties her for fifth in the Iowa record books. Sophomore Jeffery Herron placed fourth in the high-jump at 6-11 (2.11m), tying walk-on Brandon Oest’s mark from Friday which leads the team and ranks seventh all-time at Iowa. Junior Tiffany Hendricks came away with a title in the non-seeded 400 meters, winning with a collegiate-best 56.84. Senior Caleigh Bacchus placed second in the high jump at 5-8 (1.73). Junior Lauren Hardesty placed second in the mile with a collegiate-best 9:41.05.

“I thought we had a tremendous weekend,” said Women’s Head Coach Layne Anderson. “Flood had an outstanding performance to qualify in the mile and we had quite a few lifetime bests and top ten performances. Plenty of people were placing high in events so we were definitely competitive all around.”

Iowa returns home next weekend for the Iowa Invitational on Friday, Feb. 19. Events are slated to begin at 5:00 p.m. CST.

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