April 26, 2011
- Big Ten Championships – Iowa City, Iowa
- Download your Iowa Hawkeye iPhone app!
- Iowa and the Big Ten Network
- Big Ten Network: Free Hawkeye Video
- 24 Hawkeyes to Watch
The University of Iowa Track and Field team travels to Des Moines, Iowa, to compete in the 102nd Drake Relays at Drake Stadium Thursday-Saturday. The Hawkeyes open the relays Thursday at 4:40 p.m. with the women’s 4xmile Relay. Preliminary heats in 10 races will begin at 8 a.m. Friday morning. Finals in 12 running events are slated for the afternoon session, beginning at 12:15 p.m. The Saturday session will begin at 8 a.m.The Saturday afternoon session, which features finals in 36 races and seven field events, begins at 12:30 p.m. with the men’s triple jump.
LET’S START WITH THE WOMEN’S 4XMILE
The Hawkeye women set a Drake Relays 4xmile record last season en route to a second place finish. Betsy Flood, Amanda Hardesty, Lauren Hardesty and McKenzie Melander finished in 19:05.63, but Minnesota edged the Hawkeyes down the stretch to capture the title and claim the new event record. Iowa is a favorite to contend for the title Thursday at 4:40 p.m.
BIG TEN BIG DOGS
Four Hawkeyes lead the conference in their respective events. Justin Austin (20.87, 200 meters), Matt Byers (245-8, javelin), Ethan Holmes (51.05, 400 hurdles) and Bethany Praska (2:05.46, 800 meters) own the Big Ten’s top spots. Byers’ mark is a conference record. Praska’s time is a school record.
BEFORE WE CLEAR THE STADIUM
The men’s 4×4 team will compete for a Relays title at 4:10 p.m. in the final event of the Friday afternoon session. Steven Willey, Chris Barton, Erik Sowinski and Patrick Richards placed second in 3:05.73 at last year’s event. It was the quartet’s first appearance in a season that ended with a seventh place finish at the NCAA Championships.
4×1 AT THE RELAYS
Iowa’s 400-meter relay team earned a first place finish at the 2009 Drake Relays and a sixth place finish last season. Iowa’s 2009 team included D’Juan Richardson, Zeke Sayon, Patrick Richards and Paul Chaney. The quartet won with a time of 40.71.
A PAIR OF TOP 5s
Freshman Ashley Liverpool and senior Bethany Praska rank second and fourth, respectively, among the Big Ten’s 400 meter competitors. They are the only teammates ranked in the conference’s top five. Liverpool’s time of 53.87 ranks fourth in Iowa school history and Praska’s 54.01 mark ties for fifth.
WHEN THE SCHOOL RECORD ISN’T ENOUGH
Sophomore Matt Byers broke a nine-year old javelin school record at the LSU Invite (April 2). Byers registered a toss of 245-8 (74.89) to best Bill Neumann’s 2002 school record (244-8), which also happened to be the Big Ten record. Byers won the Big Ten javelin title as a freshman last season and currently ranks No. 6 in the country.
LOCAL CHAPTER IN THE RECORD BOOK
Iowa City native Majesty Tutson climbed to the top of the school record list with a discus toss of 166-10.5 (50.87) at the Sun Angel Classic April 9. Tutson’s discus performance ranks fifth among Big Ten performers and 37th nationally. Tutson also ranks eighth in Iowa program history in the hammer throw.
HOLMES ON HURDLES
Sophomore Ethan Holmes owns the conference’s top mark in the 400 hurdles and ranks third in the 110 high hurdles. Holmes captured a first place finish in the 400 hurdles at the Musco Twilight Meet (4/23), turning in a personal-best 51.05, the eighth best performance in program history. His 400m hurdles time ranks No. 14 nationally.
BETHANY GETTING HISTORICAL
Senior Bethany Praska has made the most of her senior campaign. The Longmont, Colo., native set the 800 meter outdoor school record at the War Eagle Invitational with a 2:05.46 performance. Praska set the indoor 800 meter school record and captured a Big Ten 800 meter title during the indoor season. She also earned All-American honors following a seventh place finish at the NCAA Championships.
The men’s 4×1 team ranks No. 2 in the Big Ten and 16st nationally with a 39.86 mark. Tevin-Cee Mincy, Zeke Sayon, Paul Chaney and Justin Austin own the third fastest mark in program history.
4×4 DOIN’ WORK
The women’s 4×4 team – Bethany Praska, Tiffany Hendricks, Ashley Liverpool and Nicole Erickson – rank second in the Big Ten and 20th nationally with a 3:36.52 mark. That time trails the school record by just .26 seconds.
WILLEY OR WON’T HE?… HE WILL
Senior All-American and defending Big Ten 400 meter champion Steven Willey captured a first-place finish in his outdoor season debut at the Sun Angel Classic. Willey’s 46.48 performance currently ranks third among Big Ten competitors and 29th nationally. His effort ranks seventh among Iowa’s all-time top performers.
HIGH MARKS IN THE 110-HIGH HURDLES
Sophomores Jordan Mullen and Ethan Holmes rank second and third, respectively, among the Big Ten’s 110m hurdles leaders. Mullen placed second (13.79) and Holmes fourth (14.02) at the War Eagle Invitational April 16 to climb to fourth and sixth, respectively, on Iowa’s top performers list. The duo recently claimed the top two spots at last weekend’s Musco Twilight Meet. Mullen (13.97) edged Holmes (14.21) for the title.
Junior Erik Sowinski and senior Adam Hairston rank third and eighth, respectively, amongst Big Ten competitors in the 800 meters. Sowinski ran 1:48.15 while capturing first place at the LSU invitational (4/2) and Hairston ran 1:49.53 to place fifth at the Sun Angel Classic (4/9). Sowinski’s time ranks 11th nationally. He and Hairston rank third and fourth, respectively, on Iowa’s 800m all-time performers list.
BIG TEN OUTDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
The University of Iowa will host the Big Ten Outdoor Track and Field Championships May 13-15 at the Cretzmeyer Track in Iowa City, Iowa. Visit the Championships page on hawkeyesports.com for complete meet information.
HEAD COACH Larry Wieczorek
Larry Wieczorek is in his 24th season as head men’s cross country coach and his 15th season as head men’s track and field coach at the University of Iowa. He served as an assistant track and field coach for 12 years before taking the helm in 1997.
HEAD COACH Layne Anderson
Layne Anderson is in his third year as head coach of the University of Iowa women’s cross country and track and field teams. He has served as the Hawkeyes’ head women’s cross country coach for the past seven seasons, and was the interim head women’s track and field coach in 2008.