March 7, 2013
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa track and field program announced today that 23 recruits have signed national letters of intent to attend the University of Iowa. Fourteen women and nine men will join the Hawkeyes in the fall of 2013.
“This is probably the best year we have had from a recruiting standpoint,” said Clive Roberts, Iowa’s director of recruiting. “We have been able to attract some quality individuals that are not only going to add tremendous depth, but also move us forward as a program for years to come.”
The 14 Hawkeye women include sprinters Alexis Hernandez and Elexis Guster; middle distance runners Katharina Trost and Mahnee Watts; distance runners Katie Adams, Kelly Breen, Courtney Bruns, Alana Jones, Cambria Tudor, Tess Wilberding and Samantha Zishka; throwers Alexa Hunt and Claire Nolan; and high jumper Madison Rouw.
“It was very important to put together a good recruiting class this year, because we will graduate some of the best athletes in our history before next season. I think we were really pleased with the class that we have. We have some outstanding talent from in-state and around the country in a variety of events. Some of these athletes are going to come in and make an immediate impact for our program.”
“It’s a good young class that fits a lot of needs,” said head coach Layne Anderson. “I think it’s a well-rounded class. These are kids that are proven winners at the state level. We have a nice mix of kids with developmental talent and kids that can come in and help right away.”
The nine Hawkeye men include distance runners Ben Anderson, Kevin Docherty, Quentin Shaffer and Josh Sindelar; middle distance runner Jared Ganschow; sprinter Vincent Saucer Jr.; hurdlers Connor Janu and Aaron Mallett; and multi-event athlete Alec Cranford.
“It was very important to put together a good recruiting class this year, because we will graduate some of the best athletes in our history before next season,” said Larry Wieczorek, Iowa’s director of track and field. “I think we were really pleased with the class that we have. We have some outstanding talent from in-state and around the country in a variety of events. Some of these athletes are going to come in and make an immediate impact for our program.”
Ben Anderson || Distance || Valley High School (Clive, Iowa)
5,000 Meters – 15:02
3,200 Meters – 9:25
1,600 Meters – 4:25
Notes on Anderson: state, district and conference cross country champion his junior season… conference and district cross country champion his senior season… track and field state runner-up in the 3,200 meters his junior year… placed third in the 1,600 meters at the 2012 state meet.
What Wieczorek says about Anderson: “He is one of the top cross country kids in recent years in the state of Iowa. I think he is going to come in and help the program right away.”
Alec Cranford || Multi-Events || Dana Hills High School (Dana Point, Calif.)
Decathlon: 6,460 points
Notes on Cranford: set the Ocean Cities decathlon total meet record (6,460 points) as a junior… finished sixth at the Nike Invitational in the 400 meters (48.97) as a sophomore… named most improved athlete as a sophomore… earned South Coast all-league honors in the 200 and 400 meters as a sophomore… was recruited to play defensive back in college… named to Tom Lemming’s Prep All-American class of 2013.
What Roberts says about Cranford: “I think he is going to be a great addition to the program. He is going to come in and be a multi-event guy for us.”
Kevin Docherty || Distance || Saint Paul High School (Saint Paul, Minn.)
5,000 Meters – 15:17
3,200 Meters – 9:23.35
1,600 Meters – 4:17.73
800 Meters – 1:58.87
Notes on Docherty: two-time all-state and three-time all-conference honoree in cross country… three-time team MVP in cross country… earned a sixth-place finish at the 2011 cross country state meet… finished seventh in the 2012 cross country state meet… two-time all-conference selection in track… finished sixth in the 1,600 meters at the 2012 state meet.
What Wieczorek says about Docherty: “Kevin is one of the top athletes in the state of Minnesota. He is an Iowa legacy with both of his parents having run for the Hawkeyes. He is a kid that loves what he is doing. He is in it for the long haul, and I think he is going to be one of those guys that is even better in college than he was in high school.”
Jared Ganschow || Sprints || Clear Creek-Amana High School (Tiffin, Iowa)
100 Meters – 11.11
200 Meters – 22.29
400 Meters – 48.60
Notes on Ganschow: state runner-up in the 200 and 400 meters his junior year… 4X400-meter relay state champion in 2011… finished fourth in the 100 meters at the 2011 state meet.
What Roberts says about Ganschow: “He is going add tremendous depth at the 200 and 400 meters for us down the line.”
Connor Janu || Hurdles || Spring Lake Park High School (Blaine, Minn.)
110-Meter Hurdles – 14.55
300-Meter Hurdles – 37.94
Notes on Janu: currently ranked No. 1 in Minnesota in the 110 and 300-meter hurdles… state runner-up in the 300-meter hurdles… placed second at state in the 110-meter hurdles… conference champion in the 110-meter hurdles, 300-meter hurdles and 4X200-meter relay… sectional champion in the 110-meter hurdles, 300-meter hurdles and 4X200-meter relay.
What Roberts says about Janu: “He is a great combo hurdler. I know Coach Woody worked very hard to get him. He is going to be a kid similar to Ethan Holmes. He is going to be able to come in and compete in both hurdles events.”
Aaron Mallett || Hurdles || McCluer North High School (St. Louis, Mo.) Personal Bests:
110-Meter Hurdles – 13.88
300-Meter Hurdles – 37.94
Notes on Mallett: state champion in the 110-meter hurdles and state runner-up in the 300-meter hurdles his junior year… placed sixth at the state meet in the 110-meter hurdles his sophomore year… two-time conference champion in the 110-meter hurdles… conference champion in the 300-meter hurdles his junior year… all-state selection his junior year… two-time all-conference selection… team captain his junior year.
What Roberts says about Mallet: “He is currently the No. 3 hurdler in the nation in the 60-meter hurdles. He is a great combo hurdler. He is a five-star kid for us, and a kid that we will expect to come in and contribute right away.”
Vincent Saucer, Jr. || Sprints || Oaks Christian High School (Westlake Village, Calif.) Personal Bests:
100 Meters – 10.54
200 Meters – 21.42
Notes on Saucer: ranked third in California in the 100 meters… ranked sixth in the state in the 200 meters.
What Roberts says about Saucer: “He is a 100 and 200 meter sprinter. Justin Austin is going to be done after this season, so we believe Vinny will come in and fill that void.”
Quentin Shaffer || Distance || Prospect High School (Mount Prospect, Ill.)
3,200 Meters – 9:17
3 Mile – 14:14
Notes on Shaffer: cross country state runner-up his senior season… sectional, regional and conference cross country champion his season year… 3,200 meter sectional champion in track and field his junior season.
What Roberts says about Shaffer: “Quentin is one of those kids that has blossomed late. He is a fantastic addition from Illinois. He will be a really good mid-distance and distance runner for us. He is going to be a guy that I think will surprise a lot of people.”
Josh Sindelar || Distance || Council Bluff St. Albert (Council Bluffs, Iowa)
5,000 Meters – 16:08
3200 Meters – 9: 52
1600 Meters – 4:34
800 Meters – 2:04
Notes on Shaffer: 2012 cross country state champion.
What Wieczorek says about Sindelar: “He is one of the top kids in the state of Iowa. He will have a great impact in our distance running program.”
Katie Adams || Distance || Marengo High School (Marengo, Ill.)
1,500 Meters – 4:39
1,600 Meters – 4:56
3,200 Meters – 10:57
3 Mile – 17:03
5,000 Meters – 17:41
Notes on Adams: three-time all-state selection… four-time all-conference and NW Herald Cross Country first team selection… NW Herald Cross Country Runner of the Year her senior year… three-time cross country conference champion… two-time all-conference selection in track… 1,600 meters state champion in 2012… state runner-up in the 1,600 meters her sophomore year and 3,200 meters her junior year… 1,600 meters conference champion her freshman year… three-time 3,200 meters conference champion.
What Roberts says about Adams: “She is a good kid out of Illinois. I think she is going to be one of those kids that surprises a lot of people. She was one of the `big gets’ for us on the distance side of things.”
Kelly Breen || Distance || Fremd High School (Palatine, Ill.)
3 Mile – 17:13
1,600 Meters – 5:12
3,200 Meters – 11:05
Notes on Breen: two-time all-state and three-time all-sectional, all-regional, and all-conference honoree in cross country… three-time cross country team MVP… sectional champion in the 3,200 meters in track her junior year… two-time track and field all-conference selection.
What Anderson says about Breen: “”She has tremendous potential, and she will add some great depth to our distance program.”
Courtney Bruns || Distance || West Branch High School (West Branch, Iowa)
Personal Bests: 3,000 Meters – 10:12.73
Notes on Bruns: 3,000 meters state champion (10.15.23)in 2012… placed sixth in the 3,000 meters at the 2012 Drake Relays… finished 12th in the 3,000 meters at the 2011 state meet.
What Anderson says about Bruns: “She is a young lady that has tremendous potential across all seasons. She will be an outstanding cross country runner. She can certainly add to our long distance program.”
Elexis Guster || Sprints/Hurdles || Berkmar High School (Atlanta, Ga.)
100 Meters – 12.23
200 Meters – 24.53
300-Meter Hurdles – 43.40
400 Meters – 55.29
Notes on Guster: regional champion in the 400 meters as a sophomore and 300-meter hurdles as a junior… school record holder in the 100, 200 and 400 meters, and 300-meter hurdles… broke the 100 meter and 200 meter school records as an eighth grader… played prep volleyball.
What Roberts says about Guster: “She has a tremendous upside. She is going to come in and run the 400 meters and the 400-meter hurdles for us. She will be a huge addition for us in the relays.”
Alexis Hernandez || Sprints || Mount Carmel High School (San Diego, Calif.)
200 Meters – 24.41
400 Meters – 55.42
Notes on Hernandez: three-time all-league selection… two-time team MVP… placed 8th at the State Meet in the 400 meters her junior year.
What Roberts says about Hernandez: “She is one of the better kids in California. She is going to be a 200 and 400-meter girl for us, and she will run in the 4X4. She is an awesome get for us. It is going to really bolster that quarter-mile group.”
Alexa Hunt || Throws || Roosevelt High School (Des Moines, Iowa) Personal Bests:
Shot Put – 44-10 (13.66m)
Notes on Hunt: 2012 state champion in the shot put… 2012 Drake Relays shot put state champion.
What Roberts says about Hunt: “She is a state champion here in Iowa. She is going to be a great addition to the throws for us. One of our goals every year is to try and get the best kids out of Iowa, and getting her is definitely big for us.”
Alana Jones || Distance || Laguna Hills High School (Laguna Hills, Calif.)
800 Meters – 2:16
1,600 Meters – 4:57
3,200 Meters – 10:41
3 Miles – 17:29
5,000 Meters – 18:06
Notes on Jones: placed fifth at the 2012 cross country state championships.
What Anderson says about Jones: “She is one of the top distance runners in the state of California for her class. She is a young lady with a big upside. She has the ability to help us significantly in cross country and track, running anything from the mile on.”
Claire Nolan || Throws || Taylorville High School (Taylorville, Ill.)
Personal Bests: 44-4 (13.51m)
Notes on Jones: placed third in the shot put at the 2012 state meet.
What Roberts says about Nolan: “She is going to add some quality depth to our throws area. We expect some pretty good things out of her. We expect her to be a valuable asset in the shot put and discus.”
Madison Rouw || High Jump || Waukee High School (Clive, Iowa)
High Jump – 5-6 (1.67m)
100-Meter Hurdles – 14.88
Notes on Rouw: state champion in the high jump her junior year… state champion in the shuttle hurdle relay her sophomore and junior year… placed third in the state meet in the 100-meter hurdles her junior year and fifth her sophomore year… place fourth in the 4X100-meter relay her junior year… four-time elite all-state selection… conference champion in the high jump, shuttle hurdle relay, 100-meter hurdles and 4X100 her junior year… conference champion in the shuttle hurdle relay her sophomore year… team captain her junior year
What Roberts says about Rouw: “She is a high jump state champion in Iowa. She was also third in the hurdles, I think we see her as a high jumper first, but we will definitely explore the multi-event.”
Katharina Trost || Middle Distance || Karlsgymnasium (Piding, Germany)
400 Meters – 57.05
800 Meters – 2:05.07
1,500 Meters – 4:29.19
Notes on Trost: 2012 German Junior Champion in the 800 meters… placed third in the 800 at the 2012 German Indoor Junior Championships… 800 meters runner-up at the 2011 German Junior Championships.
What Roberts says about Trost: “She is a 2:05 half-miler, which is pretty close to the 800-meter indoor school record. One of our mission statements is to try and get the best kids here, and we don’t mind going to other countries to get them. She is a huge addition for us, and one of Germany’s best young talents.”
Cambria Tudor ||Distance || Shafter High School (Shafter, Calif.)
3 Mile – 18:55
5,000 Meters – 18:53
800 Meters – 2:34
1,600 Meters – 5:31
3,200 Meters – 11:51
Notes on Tudor: four-time all-CIF, all-area and all-league selection in cross country… four-time state meet qualifier in cross country… three-time all-league selection in track and field… three-time CIF Section Championships qualifier.
What Roberts says about Tudor: “She is a California kid that is going to be a pretty good addition to help add depth to the distance runners.”
Mahnee Watts ||Middle Distance || Bettendorf High School (Bettendorf, Iowa)
400 Meters – 57.20
800 Meters – 2:12.52
Notes on Watts: three-time all-state and four-time all-district and all-conference selection in cross country… cross country MVP her sophomore and junior seasons… cross country team captain her senior season… three-time all-state, all-district and all-conference selection in track and field… 800 meters state champion and 400 meters runner-up in 2012… state runner-up in the 800 and 4,000 meters in 2011.
What Roberts says about Watts: “She was a state champion in the 800 meters last year. I think the 800 is something that we have been known for following the success of Erik Sowinski and Bethany Praska. I think Mahnee is going to be a special kid. She has tremendous upside.”
Tess Wilberding ||Distance || Birmingham Seaholm (Troy, Mich.)
5,000 Meters – 18:10
1,600 Meters – 5:08
3,200 Meters – 10:56
Notes on Wilberding: three-time all-state in cross country… placed 12th at the 2012 cross country championships to lead team to a state title… member of the school-record 4×800-meter relay team… conference champion in the 3,200 and 1,600 meters as a junior… competed for the Motor City Track Club of Detroit Michigan.
What Roberts says about Wilberding: “She is a really good cross country and distance runner out of Michigan. A big thing for Coach Anderson this year was adding quality depth. I think Tess is going to help that tremendously.”
Samantha Zishka ||Distance || Lancaster High School (Lancaster, Ohio)
5,000 Meters – 18:24
3,200 Meters – 11:19.80
1,600 Meters – 5:20.10
Notes on Zishka: three-time all-district selection and four-time all-conference selection and team MVP in cross country… Fairfield Country Runner of the Year her senior year… two-time cross country conference runner-up… two-time all-district selection in track… two-time team distance MVP.
What Anderson says about Zishka: “She is going to be someone that is really going to blossom at the collegiate level. She is a hard working kid that is committed to improving.”