Iowa Opens with New Year's Classic

Jan. 11, 2012

New Year’s Classic Schedule of Events

The University of Iowa Track and Field team opens the 2012 indoor season hosting the New Year’s Classic on Saturday at the UI Recreation Building. Field events are scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. and running events are set to start at 2:15 p.m. Admission to the event is free. The New Year’s Classic features teams from Western Illinois, Truman State, Bradley, and Loyola.

A year after finishing eighth at the NCAA Indoor Championships, the highest finish in program history, the Hawkeye men debuted at No. 16 in the USTFCCCA preseason poll. Six Hawkeye men earned first team All-America honors at the 2011 championships, including Erik Sowinski, who earned two All-America honors following fourth place finishes in the 800 meters and 1,600-meter relay. Other first team honorees included Steven Willey, Justin Austin, Ethan Holmes, Jeff Thode, Troy Doris and Patrick Richards. Jordan Mullen earned second team honors

The Hawkeyes will compete in nine regular season events prior to attacking the championship portion of their schedule at the Big Ten Championships, Last Chance Meet and NCAA Championships.

Iowa will host two home meets at the University of Iowa Recreation Building. The New Year’s Classic is set for this Saturday and the Iowa Invitational will take place on Feb. 17th.

The 2012 Big Ten Indoor Championships will take place in Lincoln, Neb., on the campus of the University of Nebraska Feb. 24-25. The Hawkeyes will compete throughout the season to qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships, scheduled for March 9-10 in Boise, Idaho.

All-American McKenzie Melander returns for the Hawkeyes in 2012. The Apple Valley, Minn., native finished 15th in the one-mile at the 2011 NCAA Indoor Championships. The Iowa men return a host of All-Americans, including Justin Austin, Troy Doris, Ethan Holmes, Patrick Richards, Erik Sowinski, Jeff Thode and Jordan Mullen. Richards, Holmes, and Sowinski were members of Iowa’s 4X400 Big Ten Indoor Championship relay team. Doris (triple jump), Austin (200 meters), Mullen (60-meter hurdles), and Thode (mile) each had top 10 finishes at the 2011 NCAA Indoor Championships. Sowinski also finished fourth in 800 meters.

Twenty-nine true freshmen could make their Hawkeye debut at the New Year’s Classic. The women’s roster features 15 true freshmen, including newcomer Khanishah Williams. The Burlington, Iowa, native was the 2011 high jump and 100-meter hurdle state champion. Freshman Kayla Beattie is also expected to score big points for the Hawkeyes this season and could see the track for the first time on Saturday. Beattie ran to a first place finish in the 5,000-meters in the Pan American Junior Championships, and was named to the USA TODAY All-USA high school track and field team.

The Hawkeye men’s roster features 14 true freshmen, including Gabe Hull. Hull took the discuss title at the 2011 Pan American Junior Championships, and was also named to the USA TODAY All-USA high school track and field team.

Iowa will travel to Lincoln, Neb., to compete in the Adidas Classic on Jan. 21.