Hawkeye Olympians

July 26, 2012

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide. Today’s installment is a part of a “Best of” series being drawn from the 2011-12 athletics year.

IOWA CITY, Iowa — The opening ceremonies at the 2012 London Olympics are days away for four athletes with ties to the University of Iowa. Current sophomore Heather Arseth and former Hawkeyes Dragos Agache, Kineke Alexander and Diane Nukuri are set to compete on the world’s biggest stage.

Agache, who will swim for Romania, will be the first UI competitor up in London, competing in the 100 breaststroke June 28 at the Aquatics Centre, a permanent venue constructed for the Olympics. Arseth, the only current Hawkeye in London, will swim in the 200 freestyle event July 30. She is competing for the country of Mauritius.

Alexander, competing for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, will run in her second Olympic games, having made her debut in 2008 in Beijing. She will compete in the 400 meters Aug. 3 at Olympic Park.

Nukuri will round out the Hawkeye competitors, running in the marathon on Aug. 5. She will run for the country of Burundi. The event starts and finishes in The Mall and takes them on a route by the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace.

Below is a run-down of the Hawkeye Olympians’ careers in Iowa City.

Dragos Agache – Romania
Swimming and Diving
100 breast – July 28

Competed for the Hawkeyes from 2005-07… twice was the recipient of the Armbruster/Patton Team MVP Award… school record holder in the 100 breaststroke… qualified for the 2006 NCAA Championships, competing in the 100 and 200 breaststroke.

Heather Arseth – Mauritius
Swimming and Diving
200 freestyle – July 30

Currently a sophomore on the Iowa swimming and diving team… set the school record as a member of the 200 freestyle relay at the Big Ten Championships during her freshman season… posted 20 top-four finishes and nine relay titles in 2011-12.

Kineke Alexander – St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Track and Field
400 meters – Aug. 3

2008 Olympian in the 400 meters… competed at Iowa from 2005-08… 2006 indoor NCAA champion in the 400 meters… eight-time All-American, the most in school history… only Hawkeye to earn eight All-America honors in the same event… five-time Big Ten champion and five-time all-region honoree… two-time Midwest regional champion.

Diane Nukuri – Burundi
Track and Field
Marathon – Aug. 5

2000 Olympian in Sydney… competed at Iowa from 2006-08… 2007 Honda Award finalist in cross country… three-time All-American… three-time all-region honoree… two-time NCAA Midwest regional cross country champion… two-time Midwest Regional women’s cross country runner of the Year… 2007 Big Ten cross country champion and women’s cross country Athlete of the Year… set school 3,000 (9:47), 4,000 (13:14), 5,000 (15:55) and 6,000-meter (19:37) cross country records… set outdoor track school records in 3,000 (9:18.82) and 10,000 meters (33:17.01), and as part of 6,400-meter relay (19:15.42)… set indoor school record as part of distance medley relay (11:20.11)… won Big Ten outdoor 5,000-meter title in 2008.