Feb. 28, 2010
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IOWA CITY, IA – The University of Iowa track teams wrapped up day two of the 2010 Indoor Big Ten Championships Sunday, with the men’s squad finishing in fifth place with 56 points, while the women placed ninth with 36. The respective host teams came out on top, with Minnesota earning the men’s title with 160.5 points and Penn State winning the women’s with 111.
Seniors Dan Rolling and Frank Prill finished up the heptathlon events Sunday, earning 10th (5,205 points) and 15th place (5,015 points) finishes, respectfully. Rolling’s total is a new school record, while Prill now ranks third all-time at Iowa. They are only the second and third athletes in Iowa history to break the 5,000 point mark, after Ryan Niver in 2008.
Freshman Jordan Mullen placed fifth in the 60-meter hurdles (8.02), a collegiate-best that ranks third all-time at Iowa. Junior Graham Valdes 6-11 (2.11m) sixth-place finish in the high jump ties his collegiate-best, which ranks seventh in the Iowa record books. Sophomore Ryan Lamparek now ranks seventh all-time at Iowa in the weight throw, following his eleventh-place 60-5 1/4 (18.42m) toss Sunday. Iowa capped off Sunday well, with a second-place finish in the 1,600-meter relay (3:12.00) with the team-leading foursome of junior Steven Willey, senior Ray Varner, freshman Kevin Dibbern, and sophomore Erik Sowinski.
“I think fifth place is a terrific finish,” said Men’s Head Coach Larry Wieczorek. “To get in the upper half of the Big Ten is great, but I think we can be even better. We had a lot of great performances. Rolling’s school record in the heptathlon was great. I’m really happy with our team’s performance. To make an analogy, when you finish fifth in the Big Ten in football, that means you’re still going to a good bowl game, so that’s how I feel about our team.”
At Penn State, the women’s milers performed well, all earning collegiate-bests. Junior Lauren Hardesty’s fourth-place finish (4:41.97) ranks third all-time at Iowa and is a provisional qualifying mark. This is the second event Hardesty qualified for this weekend, having met the provisional mark as part of Saturday’s distance medley relay team. Sophomores Betsy Flood (4th, 4:42.70) and McKenzie Melander (7th, 4:47.17) helped earn points for Iowa, with Flood meeting the provisional qualifying mark in the mile for the second time this season. Junior Bethany Praska performed well in Sunday’s 600-meter finals (4th, 1:29.35), earning a collegiate-best mark that ranks second all-time at Iowa. Senior Caleigh Bacchus’ high jump finish (5th, 5-9 1/4, 1.76m) and freshman Kelsey Taylor’s weight throw finish (19th, 53-7 3/4, 16.35m) both rank fourth all-time at Iowa.
“It’s a shame our effort didn’t reflect in our results,” said Women’s Head Coach Layne Anderson. “We are definitely better off than last year. I feel like we have taken a step in the right direction. Other teams are improving at the same time, making it harder to close the gap, but I feel like we’re getting close and closer with each season. We just have to get back to work. I’m looking forward to what our athletes can do at NCAA’s.”
The Hawkeyes will have one last weekend to earn qualifying marks before the NCAA Championships. The squads will split between two meets this weekend, with the women heading to Ames, IA, for the NCAA Qualifier, Saturday Mar. 6 and the men heading to South Bend, IN, for Notre Dame’s Alex Wilson Invite on Mar. 5 and 6. Events in Ames are slated to start at 10:30 a.m. CST. Friday events at Notre Dame will begin at 6:00 p.m. and Saturday events will begin at 9:00 a.m.