December 1, 2014
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IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Iowa women’s sprinters and hurdlers are gearing up for a 2015 season that is just around the corner. The Hawkeyes are looking to make an even bigger impact this year as one of the staple point-scoring groups of the program. Take a look at part five of the 2015 track and field season previews.
“My goal for this season is to win a Big Ten Championship for myself and for the team, as well as make it to nationals and become an All-American,” said junior Lake Kwaza, who earned second team All-America honors last year. “With the group of girls that we have this year, we should be able to have a pretty good group going to nationals.”
The Hawkeyes return every member of their school record-setting 400-meter and 1,600-meter relays. The team of Kwaza and sophomores Elexis Guster, Alexis Hernandez, and Brittany Brown made their way into the record books with a first-place performance (44.51) at the 2014 Drake Relays, while a similar group of Guster, Hernandez, junior MonTayla Holder, and Kwaza rewrote Iowa’s 1,600-meter relay record at last season’s Arkansas Spring Invite in 3:34.83.
Brown had an eventful summer competing for team USA in the 400-meter relay. She led Iowa in the 100 and 200 meters, setting a new all-time best at Iowa in the 200 meters (22.95) to become the first Hawkeye in school history to run under 23 seconds. Brown capped her season with second team All-America honors, placing 11th in the 200 meters at the NCAA Championships.
Holder, a member of the winning 400-meter relay at the 2014 Big Ten Championships, returns as the team leader in the 400-meter hurdles (57.81) and 600-meters. She finished fifth at the 2014 Big Ten Indoor Championships, running a collegiate best 1:29.98 in the 600-meter prelims. That time moved her to third in Iowa’s all-time record book.
“I can’t control where we place in the Big Ten. All I can control is that we are ready when we get to the Big Ten meet,” event coach Clive Roberts said. “We will do every single thing possible and I will do everything in my power [to make sure the group] is ready for the Big Ten Championships.”
The season outlook is bright for the Iowa sprinters and hurdlers, who are excited to see where their preseason training will take them.
“We are doing better than last year already, and this is the first time that we have been consistently good [in our preseason training],” said Kwaza. “I’ve been feeling the best that I’ve ever felt so far these last three years.”