Hawkeyes Announce 2011 Recruiting Class

April 13, 2011

IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Iowa women’s track and field team has announced its 2011 recruiting class. The team welcomes six student-athletes to the team from all over the map.

Annemie Smith joins the team as a thrower. Smith, a George, South Africa native, boasts a personal best hammer throw mark of 187-5. The Hawkeye newcomer was named the South Africa junior and senior national champion in 2010 and 2011. She is the South African world record holder in the hammer throw and competed internationally at the world junior championships in Moncton, Canada in 2010.

“Annemie will be a major addition to our throws program and continue our efforts to develop that event area in our program,” head coach Layne Anderson said. “She is an exceptional student and a tremendous young lady. Coach Cappos deserves a tremendous amount of credit for locating Annemie and working closely with her throughout the entire recruiting process.”

Kayla Beattie, a Woodstock, Ill. native, joins the Hawkeyes as an elite distance runner. Kayla set the Illinois state all-time record on the Historic Detweiller Cross Country Course in 2010 with a three mile time of 16:22.00. Beattie placed 12th at the Footlocker National Cross Country Championships. The senior, who will graduate first in her class of 278 in the spring, also set new state records in the indoor 3,200 (10:15.00) meters and 1,600 meters (4:51.00) at the Prep Top Times meet.

“The addition of Kayla to our program brings an immediate front running presence to an outstanding group of returning distance runners,” Anderson said. “She enhances our potential at both the Big Ten and NCCA level this fall. For all her outstanding credentials, she is an even better young lady and a perfect addition to our group. I am looking forward to the opportunity to work with Kayla as she pursues her academic and athletic goals as an Iowa Hawkeye.”

Khanisha Williams, a native of Burlington, Iowa, comes to Iowa to compete as a high jumper and multi event athlete. In addition to her outstanding track abilities, Williams has also enjoyed success in basketball and volleyball throughout her high school career. Her athletic versatility has contributed to a career best height of 5-10 in the high jump.

“Coach Smith worked diligently throughout the recruitment process and identified Khanisha early on as a priority for our program,” said Anderson. “She is a very outgoing young lady, and there is no doubt that in addition to her tremendous athletic talent she will bring great energy to our program. Khanisha Williams is a name to watch for the future as we feel strongly that her raw athletic talent creates so much potential for her as a collegiate athlete. She will compete for a Big Ten high jump title her freshman year.”

Mareike Schrulle, an Arnsberg, Germany native, joins the Hawkeye roster as a distance runner. Schrulle graduated from German Sport University and will continue her education at Iowa as she pursues a Sports Management graduate degree. She competed in the 2009 European U23 Cross Country Championships, placing 12th overall. Mareike’s lifetime bests are 9:25.62 in the 3k, 10:25.62 in the 3k steeple chase and 16:28.16 in the 5k.

“The addition of Mareike to our program adds depth to an outstanding returning group,” Anderson said. “Mareike has competed successfully at a high level for Germany internationally. She has done the type of training from a mileage and intensity perspective that it takes to make an immediate impact at the collegiate level. It will be exciting to see her in a Hawkeye uniform this fall, and to see how much she develops her talents over the next few years.”

Victoria Sack, another Germany native, is a long-sprinter and middle distance runner. Sack competed on the German National team last summer. Her career best time in the 400 meters is 55.42. She placed third at the 2010 German Youth Championships in the 400 meters.

“We see a tremendous upside in Victoria with her outstanding speed and a willingness to move up in distance to 600m and 800m,” said Anderson. “With the graduation of Bethany Praska this spring, and her development under coach Robert’s direction, we anticipate Victoria will fill the role vacated by Bethany and compete with the best in the Big Ten.”

Maisie Vachuska, a Chicago, Ill. native, brings a wide range of running talent to Iowa’s team. Vachuska was a three-time Illinois state qualifier in cross country from 2007-09 and a national qualifier in the 800 meters. Maisie is expected to be a valuable addition to Iowa’s middle distance core with the ability to be competitive in the 400 meters to the three miles.

“One of the greatest things about Maisie, is her strong desire to pursue her academic and athletic goals at the University of Iowa,” Anderson said. “She comes from an outstanding high school program and has a willingness to work hard to pursue her goals. It will be exciting to watch her grow athletically, and to be a part of her future successes.”

“This recruiting class fills a lot of needs in our program,” said Anderson. “The coaching staff has once again done a super job in identifying talent and recruiting great people to be a part of the Hawkeye Family. One very exciting thing about this group, is the ability of most to compete at the Big Ten level immediately. Not only are these young ladies extraordinary athletes, but they are outstanding students and women of great character. We anticipate this group adding in many positive ways to our core group for 2011-12 and helping the Hawkeyes in our quest to move forward at the Big Ten and NCAA levels. We feel strongly that this group has future Big Ten champions and NCAA All-Americans.”