Feb. 27, 2010
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IOWA CITY, IA – The University of Iowa track teams completed day one of the 2010 Indoor Big Ten Championships Saturday. The men’s championships were at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN, while the women traveled east to Penn State University in State Park, PA. At the end of day one, the men find themselves in eighth place with seven points, and the women are in tenth with six points. Minnesota is in the lead for both the men’s and women’s, with 49.5 and 41 points, respectively.
The women’s distance medley relay team helped get points on the board for Iowa, finishing third at 11:25.01. The team, consisting of freshmen Betsy Flood, McKenzie Melander, and juniors Tiffany Hendricks and Lauren Hardesty, earned a provisional qualifying mark that ranks third all-time at Iowa. This brings Iowa’s total NCAA qualifiers this season to ten. The men’s distance medley relay also helped earn points for Iowa, with seniors Ray Varner, Adam Hairston, junior James Paul, and freshman Jeff Thode placing fourth at 9:52.71, a mark that ranks sixth all-time at Iowa. Sophomore Ryan Lamparek also added points to Iowa’s total, placing seventh in the shot put with a collegiate-best 56-10 (17.32m).
The majority of Saturday’s events were preliminaries for Sunday’s finals, and Iowa put themselves in plenty of spots to score. The men have nine individuals heading to Sunday’s finals and the women have six.
Junior Bethany Praska won the preliminary 600 meters (1:30.05) with a collegiate-best mark that ranks second all-time at Iowa. Junior Karessa Farley earned a season-best finish in the 60-meter hurdles at 8.33, hitting the provisional qualifying mark for the second week in a row. Freshmen Betsy Flood (5th, 4:47.31), McKenzie Melander (7th, 4:47.91) and junior Lauren Hardesty (9th, 4:48.70) will all move on to Sunday’s finals in the mile, with Melander and Hardesty earning collegiate-best marks in Saturday’s prelims. Senior Rhonda-Kaye Trusty (8th, 7.55) will move on to Sunday’s finals in the 60-meter dash.
The men will send three individuals in the 400 meters: junior Steven Willey (2nd, 47.82), senior Ray Varner (5th, 49.26), and freshman Kevin Dibbern (8th, 48.97). Sophomore D’Juan Richardson will compete in two events Sunday, qualifying in both the 60 (3rd, 6.86) and 200-meter dash (8th, 21.97). Sophomore standout Erik Sowinski will compete Sunday in the 600 meters (2nd, 1:18.38) as will junior Nick Kuczwara (7th, 1:20.13). Iowa’s other qualifiers include senior Adam Hairston in the 800 meters (4th, 1:51.82), freshman Jordan Mullen in the 60-meter hurdles (3rd, 8.05), and freshman Jeff Thode in the mile (5th, 4:05.81).
“I thought we got a lot of positive things accomplished today,” said Women’s Head Coach Layne Anderson. “There were some great individual performances that put us in a great position to score tomorrow.”
“It was a terrific first day,” said Men’s Head Coach Larry Wieczorek. “Most everyone we thought could qualify did. We only scored in two events today, but we have a lot of qualifiers and we’re looking to have a good second day.”
The 2010 Indoor Big Ten Championships will conclude Sunday, with events at Penn State to begin at 10 a.m. CST and Minnesota to begin at 10:20 a.m.