March 8, 2011

Complete release with all-time leader board in PDF format

The men’s and women’s track and field team is sending 10 competitors to the NCAA Indoor Championships this weekend in College Station, Texas. Iowa will be represented in seven individual events and one relay race.

The two-day event is set to take place March 11-12 in the Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium on the campus of Texas A&M. Events will begin Friday at 10 a.m. and run through Saturday night with the awards ceremony at 7:50 p.m.

Hawkeye competitors include Justin Austin (200m), Tory Doris (triple jump), McKenzie Melander (mile), Jordan Mullen (60m hurdles), Bethany Praska (800m), Erik Sowinski (800m), Jeff Thode (mile) and the 1,600-meter relay team (Patrick Richards, Ethan Holmes, Sowinski, Steven Willey).

ESPN2 will show a tape delay of the event on March 16 at 2:30 p.m. Eastern. ESPN3 will webstream the event on Friday, March 11 from 4-8:40 p.m. and Saturday, March 12 from 4-7:50 p.m. The remainder of the event will be streamed live on

Live results are available at the Iowa Track & Field schedule page on

Iowa’s 10 NCAA qualifiers have combined to set 11 school records this indoor season. The new records include the 60m and 200m (Austin), the 600 meters (Willey) the men’s and women’s 800 meters (Sowinski, Praska), the men’s and women’s mile (Thode, Melander), the 3,000 meters (Thode), the 60-meter hurdles (Mullen), the triple jump (Doris) and the men’s mile relay (Richards, Holmes, Sowinksi, Willey).

McKenzie Melander earned an at-large big to the NCAA Championships with a school record breaking performance last week.

The Hawkeyes have crowned 13 NCAA Champions in program history. The most recent Champion was Kineke Alexander in the 400-meter dash as a sophomore in 2006. Alexander posted a 52.16 in the race, becoming Iowa’s fourth all-time individual champion and the first Hawkeye sprinter champion.

Previous Hawkeye National Champions:
Kineke Alexander – 400 meters (2006)
Bashir Yamini – Long Jump (1998)
Tracy Dahl – 5,000 meters (1992, 1993)
Nan Doak – 10,000 meters (1985)
Fred Ferree – Mile Relay (1967)
Carl Frazier – Mile Relay (1967)
Mike Mondane – Mile Relay (1967)
Jon Reimer – Mile Relay (1967)
Deacon Jones – Two Miles (1957)
Rich Ferguson – Two Miles (1953)
George Sailing – 120 meter hurdles (1932)
Ed Gordon – Long Jump (1929, 1931)
Eric Wilson – 220 meters (1923, 1921)

SO, Justin Austin – 200 meters
A sophomore transfer student-athlete from Kentucky, Austin joined the Hawkeyes in the fall and has sprinted through the Iowa record books ever since. Austin automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships after posting a 20.83 200 meters at the Razorback Invitational. He is also a Big Ten Champion and school record holder in the event. The Milwaukee, Wis. native also set the school record in the 60 meters. Austin sprinted to a 6.69 finish in the preliminary run of the event at the Big Ten Championships. He has set the 60m record three times this season, initially setting it at 6.72 at the Jack Johnson Classic.

“Justin had a record setting season,” said Head Coach Larry Wieczorek. “I’ve always been impressed when an athlete can become a Big Ten champion. So that is one thing we can say forever about Justin Austin, he is a Big Ten champion.”

JR, Troy Doris – triple jump
A junior from Bollingbrook, Ill., Doris joined the Hawkeyes after competing for the College of DuPage for two seasons. Doris crushed the school record in the triple jump competition at the Razorback invitational. The spring-legged junior leapt 54 feet, nearly two feet past the previous record. Doris secured himself a place at the NCAA Championships by surpassing the automatic qualifying mark of 16.10 meters.

Troy Doris, Iowa records and NCAA automatic qualifier,” said Wieczorek. “We refer to those guys as Big Ten champions. They’re fraternity brothers. If you’re a Big Ten Champion, it’s something that someone coast to coast would understand. I think that’s a very high honor, and Troy Doris is a Big Ten Champion.”

JR, McKenzie Melander – Mile
A junior from Apple Valley, Minn., Melander is set to run the mile at the championships this weekend. Melander placed third at the Notre Dame qualifying event with a school record time of 4:39.78. Melander is the first Iowa’s women’s miler to post a sub-4:40.00 time. The distance runner narrowly missed the automatic qualifying mark of 4:38.90, but earned an at-large bid to the elite competition.

“McKenzie, in training, has worked every bit as hard as anybody in our program,” said Anderson. “She has always been a little bit off for whatever reason, but I’ve really talked to her about believing her time will come and to seize the moment when she has the opportunity. It is really exciting she did just that last weekend. To break the school record that has been on the books for 22 years and become the first Iowa woman to run a sub-4:40.00 time will really go down in the history books. It is certainly well deserved.”

SO, Jordan Mullen – 60-meter hurdles
A sophomore from Atlantic, Iowa, Mullen posted a qualifying time of 7.75 in the 60-meter hurdles at the Jack Johnson Classic, Jan. 22. Mullen’s school record time in the event was just .05 seconds shy of an automatic bid to the Championships, but was good enough to punch a ticket to College Station when the final tournament field was announced.

“Jordan is another school record holder,” said Wieczorek. “He’s a guy that just keeps going, an aggressive guy that just attacks the hurdles. His best is yet to come.”

Erik Sowinski will compete in two NCAA events this weekend.

SR, Bethany Praska – 800 meters
A senior from Longmont, Col., Praska qualified for the NCAA Championships with a time of 2:05.36 in the 800 meters at the Iowa State Last Chance Qualifier event. Praska set the school record in the event on the same track earlier in the season, running 2:06.20 at the ISU Classic Feb. 12. The senior earned her first Big Ten title in the 600 meters at the 2011 indoor championships Feb. 26-27. Praska posted a 1:28.14 time in the race to earn the gold.

“Bethany came in as a sprinter and through a lot of hard work and determination become an elite middle distance runner,” said Head Coach Layne Anderson. “It’s not an easy task. She’s worked very, very hard and she and Coach (Clive) Roberts have done a tremendous job getting her to this point. She deserves a great deal of credit.”

JR, Erik Sowinski – 800 meters
A junior from Waukesha, Wis., Sowinski will be running the 800 meters this weekend. Sowinski qualified for the Championships by posting a school record and automatic qualifying time of 1:47.98 at the Huskie Invite, Feb. 12. Sowinski previously held the school record in the 600 meters as well. The middle distance runner set the mark at 1:18.05 at the Big Ten Championships in 2009, but teammate senior Steven Willey broke the record this season. An All-American in 2010 for his role on the team’s 1,600-meter relay team, Sowinski will also be running on the 1,600-meter relay team at the NCAA Championships.

Erik Sowinski, school record holder, NCAA automatic qualifier, academic All-American,” Wieczorek said. “He’s everything you’d want in a student-athlete.”

SO, Jeff Thode – Mile
A sophomore from Schaumburg, Ill., Thode was the first Iowa runner in school history to post a sub-four minute mile. Thode broke a 29-year old school record in 2010 when he ran a 4:03.07 mile at the NCAA Qualifier event. He posted a time of 4:02.00 at the Big Ten Championships and then broke through the four-minute-mile barrier at the Notre Dame NCAA Qualifying event, running the race in 3:58.72. Thode also holds the school record in the 3,000 meters, a race he ran for the first time in his career when he posted the fastest time in program history at 8:00.38.

“The first sub-four-minute-miler in Iowa history,” said Wieczorek. “That is a tremendous achievement. He’s an NCAA qualifier, but the highest thing I can say about him is that he is the first sub-four-minute miler in the history of the University of Iowa.”

The men’s 1,600-meter relay used a school record performance at the Iowa State Last Chance Qualifier to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Indoor Championships. Junior Patrick Richards, sophomore Ethan Holmes, Sowinski, and senior Steven Willey ran the race in 3:06.66, a new school record, and the ninth fastest time in the NCAA.

“They are school record holders,” Wieczorek said. “Coach Woody has prepared them to become All-Americans and compete for the NCAA title.”