May 28, 2014
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By DARREN MILLER
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Wednesday was warm-up day for track and field athletes at the NCAA West Preliminary at John McDonnell Field.
Larry Wiecrozeck, director of track and field at the University of Iowa, watched the Hawkeyes get loose and acclimated to their surroundings.
Wieczorek saw sprinters, hurdlers, middle distance runners, distance runners, throwers, and jumpers. They were all Hawkeyes.
Wieczorek’s comprehensive approach to maintaining the UI track and field program is a microcosm of the vision Big Ten Conference Commissioner Jim Delany sees for the league in general. Wieczorek said that at the Big Ten Conference Championships from May 16-18, the game day program included a welcome from Delany.
In the introduction, Delany talked about a goal of having the Big Ten excel across the board in all sports.
“I sort of relate that to our track and field program,” Wieczorek said. “We want to be a total, comprehensive track and field program where we can score in every event. We would like to have somebody represent every single event — men and women — here at the NCAA Championships someday.”
The Hawkeyes might not be far from Wieczorek’s objective. When the NCAA West Preliminary opens Thursday, the UI will be represented on the men’s side by a 4×100-meter relay seeded third, a triple jumper seeded fourth, a discus thrower seeded fifth, and a high jumper seeded ninth.
The Hawkeye women have a 4×100 relay seeded eighth, a 400 hurdler seeded ninth, and a 4×400 relay seeded 10th. Eight events for the UI women and five for the men enter as a top 20 performer from the West.
“That’s the type of track and field team we want to have, when we can go in and have a lot of bullets to fire at a track meet,” Wieczorek said.
Shooting the first shots for the Hawkeyes on Thursday will be seniors Carisa Leacock and Zinnia Miller in the women’s long jump and junior Gabe Hull in the men’s shot put beginning at 2 p.m. (CT). The first events on the track will feature Aaron Mallett and MonTayla Holder in the 400-meter hurdles. Mallett’s race begins at 4:30, followed by Holder at 5.
“When you get to nationals you see the sport at another level,” Wieczorek said. “They can go home and embrace the sport even more — be more into it. I’m always excited when we get them to that national level.”
Sixteen Hawkeyes will compete in 13 events Thursday. They are:
|Long jump (Women)||Zinnia Miller/Carisa Leacock||2 p.m.|
|Shot put (Men)||Gabe Hull||2 p.m.|
|400 hurdles (Men)||Aaron Mallett||4:30 p.m.|
|400 hurdles (Women)||MonTayla Holder||5 p.m.|
|Javelin (Men)||Sam Joens||5:30 p.m.|
|1,500-meter run (Women)||Shannon Maser||6 p.m.|
|Long jump (Men)||O’Shea Wilson||6:30 p.m.|
|100 dash (Men)||Tevin-Cee Mincy/Wilson||6:30 p.m.|
|100 dash (Women)||Lake Kwaza||6:55 p.m.|
|400 dash (Women)||Elexis Guster||7:45 p.m.|
|800 run (Men)||Will Teubel||8:10 p.m.|
|800 run (Women)||Mahnee Watts/Katharina Trost||8:35 p.m.|
|10,000 run (Men)||Kevin Lewis||9:00 p.m.|