May 8, 2012
- Big Ten Championships
- 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 Madison, Wis., to compete at the 2012 Big Ten Championships on Friday-Sunday. The event will be held at the Dan McClimon Memorial Track Complex on the campus of the University of Wisconsin.
All-session tickets are available for $20 at UWBadgers.com. Single-session tickets are available for $10 at the gate.
BTN will air the Big Ten Championships on a tape delay beginning at 11 a.m. May 20. Mike Wolf, Craig Virgin, Rebecca Haarlow and Kenny McReynolds will have the call.
Live results are available on the track and field schedule page at hawkeyesports.com.
IN THE RANKINGS
The men’s track team is ranked 21st in the USTFCCCA national rankings. The Big Ten has five schools ranked in the top 25, including Indiana (8), Wisconsin (15), Nebraska (17), Iowa (21) and Minnesota (25). Only one Big Ten women’s team cracked the top 25. Ohio State is ranked No. 24.
2011 Big Ten Coach of the Year Larry Wieczorek led the Hawkeyes to their first conference championship in 44 years last season. The Hawkeye men captured three individual titles (Justin Austin, 200m; Matt Byers, javelin; Troy Doris, triple jump) and earned medals in 11 events while setting a program record for total points at the outdoor conference championships (125.5). Minnesota placed second with 123 points. The Hawkeye women will defend their 1,600-meter relay title in 2012. Last year’s 800m champion Bethany Praska was lost to graduation.
AUSTIN SHINES ON CONFERENCE STAGE
Junior Justin Austin was named Big Ten Track Athlete of the Year and Athlete of the Outdoor Championships in 2011. Austin contributed 21 points to Iowa’s school-record point total. He broke a 28-year old school record en route to his 200 meter Big Ten title (20.46) and captured a third place finish in the 100 meters with a school record performance of 10.21. He also anchored the 400-meter relay to a fourth place finish. Austin currently ranks fourth in the conference in the 100m (10.40) and 11th in the 200m (21.21).
BYERS THE FAVORITE FOR A THREE-PEAT
Junior Matt Byers enters the championship field as the top-seed in the javelin. Byers’ season best throw of 223-3 (68.06m) ranks first in the Big Ten and 35th nationally. Byers is the two-time defending champion in the event and will attempt to become the fifth Hawkeye in school history to win an outdoor championship in the same event three times. Pat McGee was the last Hawkeye to perform the feat. McGee won the 400-meter hurdles in 1986, 88-89.
ATOP THE BIG TEN
The Hawkeyes have 14 athletes ranked among the top five in the Big Ten. Those athletes include top ranked Matt Byers (javelin), Troy Doris (triple jump), Jeffery Herron (high jump), McKenzie Melander (5,000m), and Eric Sowinski (800m).
Sowinski also ranks fifth in the 400m. Justin Austin (3rd; 100m), Dan Davis (3rd; 110m hurdles), Ethan Holmes (3rd; 110m hurdles and 3rd; 400m hurdles), Gabe Hull (2nd; discus), Ashley Liverpool (2nd; 400m), Jordan Mullen (2nd; 110m hurdles), Megan Ranegar (5th; 5000m), Mareike Schrulle (2nd; 5000m), and Graham Valdes (5th; high jump) are also ranked in the conference’s top five.
The Hawkeyes’ 4×400-meter relay team enters the conference championships the defending champions and the No. 4 seed in 2012. Nicole Erickson and Ashley Liverpool return for the defending champions. Junior Hannah Simonson and freshman Victoria Sack replace graduated seniors Tiffany Hendricks and 800m Big Ten Champion Bethany Praska. This year’s top time of 3:37.57 is one second behind last year’s winning time of 3:36.51.