May 15, 2010
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Iowa City, IA – The University of Iowa track and field teams set themselves up for numerous scoring opportunities for Sunday following Saturday’s preliminary action at the 2010 Outdoor Track and Field Big Ten Championships. Iowa earned 16 scoring opportunities for Sunday, including two relay teams. The men’s and women’s teams are currently in 10th place with Minnesota’s squads at the top of the leader boards.
Both the men’s and the women’s 400-meter relay squads will head to Sunday’s finals. The women’s team of juniors Karessa Farley, Kara-Aretha Graham, senior Rhonda-Kaye Trusty and freshman Raven Moore earned the fifth seed finishing with a season-best 45.60. The men’s squad won their heat and earned the top seed with at 40.54. The squad of sophomores D’Juan Richardson, Stephen Bee, Patrick Richards and junior Zeke Sayon came into this weekend ranked fourth in the Big Ten.
Trusty will have her hands full Sunday. In addition to the 4×1 relay, she qualified for the 100 (11.81) and 200-meter dash (23.74), earning a collegiate-best mark in Saturday’s 200-meter prelim that moves her to sixth all-time at Iowa. Relay teammate Moore barely missed the 100-meter cut by one-tenth of a second (11.95).
Richards will also be juggling multiple events on Sunday, qualifying for the 400 (47.16) and 200-meter dash (21.54) finals in addition to the 4×1 relay. Junior Steven Willey will join Richards in both events, earning second-seeded spots in Saturday’s 200 (21.23) and 400-meter (46.86) prelims. Willey and Richards came into this weekend ranked second and third in the Big Ten, respectively. Junior Chris Barton will round out a trio of Hawkeyes heading into Sunday’s 400-meter finals, as he qualified with a season-best 47.57.
Iowa’s formidable women’s distance runners showed their strength Saturday, qualifying three student-athletes for Sunday’s finals. Sophomore Betsy Flood and junior Lauren Hardesty recorded identical times at 4:23.80, both collegiate-bests that tie them at sixth all-time at Iowa. Sophomore McKenzie Melander earned a collegiate-best time of 4:25.40, which puts her at 10th in Iowa history and earns her a sixth seed in Sunday’s finals. Junior Amanda Hardesty barely missed the qualifying cut by seven-tenths of a second (4:27.52).
Senior Ray Varner leads the Big Ten in the 400-meter hurdles and will have a title shot Sunday.
Senior Ray Varner leads the Big Ten in the 400-meter hurdles and is ranked eighth nationally, and he will get a chance to earn a Big Ten title Sunday along with Richardson, with Varner clocking in Saturday at 51.69 and Richardson hot on his heels at 52.64.
The Hawkeyes other two point opportunities on Sunday will be with sophomore Erik Sowinski in the 800 meters and Sayon in the 100-meter dash. Sayon currently leads the Big Ten in the 100-meter dash, and Sowinski ranks third in the Big Ten and 19th nationally.
Saturday saw its fair share of final events as well. Sophomore Jeffery Herron earned points in two events Saturday, placing second in the long jump (24-1 3/4, 7.36m) and eighth in the high jump (6-9, 2.06m). His high jump is a collegiate-best, and his season-best mark in the long jump (24-9, 7.54), set at the Musco Twilight XI, currently leads the Big Ten. Sophomore Nick Brayton put points on the board for Iowa in the discus, placing seventh with a distance of 161-7 (49.26m).
Senior Dan Rolling and freshman Missy Miller wrapped up the combined events Saturday, with Rolling finishing ninth in the decathlon (6,781) and Miller tenth in the heptathlon (4,227). Miller earned collegiate-bests in all three of Saturday’s events.
Sunday’s running finals and the remaining field events set to kick off at 10 a.m. CDT. You can follow the action with the live results link on the Track and Field schedule page on www.hawkeyesports.com.