Hawkeyes Qualify 16 for Sunday Finals

May 14, 2011

Complete Results Through Saturday

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Sixteen members of the University of Iowa track and field team have advanced to the finals of the 2011 Big Ten Championships following premilinary competition Saturday at Cretzmeyer Track in Iowa City. Seven Hawkeye men will chase multiple Big Ten titles, including sophomore Justin Austin, who qualified for the finals in three events.

Austin will race for the men’s 200 meter title. Austin enters the finals as the No. 1 seed, following his 20.96 effort in the prelims. Teammates Richards (21.89) and Willey (21.64) also qualified for the 200 finals.

Austin also enters the 100 meter finals as the top seed. The Milwaukee, Wis. native qualified with a 10.41 mark in the preliminary run, the seventh fastest performance in program history. Senior Zeke Sayon also advanced to the 100 finals with a time of 10.72.

Austin, freshman Tevin-Cee Mincy, Sayon and Richardson also qualified for the 400-meter relay finals with a 40.39 mark.

For the second consecutive year, seniors Steven Willey and Chris Barton and junior Patrick Richards advanced to the 400 meter finals after dominating the preliminary race. Willey and Barton both won their respective heats with times of 47.30 and 47.84, while Richards placed second at 48.08. Willey, the 2010 400-meter conference champion, will defend his title Sunday afternoon at 3:35 p.m. CT.

Freshman Ashley Liverpool earned a place in tomorrow’s 400 meter finals following her 55.59 effort. She’ll race for the Big Ten title at 1:40 p.m. Tiffany Hendricks also punched her ticket to the finals with a 59.90 finish in the 400 meter hurdles.

Senior Bethany Praska advanced to the 800 meter finals with a time of 2:08.39. The Longmont, Col. native holds the school record in the event in both the indoor and outdoor event. Praska was named a Big Ten Indoor Champion in the 600 meters in February. She’ll compete for a conference championship at 2:03 p.m.

Freshman Ethan Holmes earned the No. 1 seed in the 110-hurdles finals following a 13.94 performance, narrowly missing his collegiate best time of 13.93. The Clinton, Iowa, native will join teammate D’Juan Richardson in the 400-meter hurdles finals. Holmes advanced with a time of 52.11 and Richardson clocked a 53.02.

Juniors Jeffrey Herron and Nick Brayton scored points for the team in the men’s field events. Herron finished fifth overall in the long jump with his best leap of 23-4 ½ (7.12m) and fifth overall in the high jump with a mark of 6-8 ¼ (2.04m). Brayton placed seventh in the discus with a season-high toss of 164-2 (50.05).

Sophomore Jeff Thode will aim for a Big Ten title in the 1,500 meters at 1:15 p.m. Thode qualified with a mark of 3:50.77. He holds the Cretzmeyer Track facility record in the event.

Distance runners Lauren Hardesty and McKenzie Melander will run for the women’s 1,500 meter title Sunday at 1:05 p.m. Hardesty crossed the finish line in 4:27.68. Melander finished in 4:28.02.

Senior Adam Hairston and junior Erik Sowinski earned a trip to the 800 meter finals. Sowinski finished in 1:49.38 and Hairston crossed the line in 1:49.81. They’ll aim for the conference title at 2:08 p.m.

Senior Hannah Roeder finished ninth the 3k Steeplechase with a career best time of 10:39.83.

Freshman Amanda Stahle scored for Iowa in the women’s javelin, the final event of the night. Stahle took eighth in the event with a mark of 123-10 (37.74m).

Competition resumes tomorrow morning at 11 a.m. with the women’s triple jump. Events on the track are set to start at 12:45 p.m. with the women’s and men’s 4×100-meter relay finals.