1,500-Meter Runners Pace Iowa on Opening Day

Mar. 18, 2016

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Friday’s Complete Results Get Acrobat Reader

TEMPE, Ariz. — The University of Iowa track and field team opened the 2016 outdoor season Friday afternoon at the two-day Baldy Castillo Invitational hosted by Arizona State University.

The day was highlighted by a handful of personal-best performances in the men’s and women’s 1,500 meters.


For the women, junior Tess Wilberding (10th) knocked three seconds off her previous personal best to finish in 4:33.51. Junior Jordyn Sindt (27th) rounded out the field for Iowa with a collegiate-best 4:44.56.

Sophomore Michael Melchert (10th) improved by nearly four seconds in the men’s 1,500 meters. His time of 3:50.91 just missed entering Iowa’s top-10 all-time list (10th/3:49.63).

“I thought everybody performed at a high level,” UI director of track and field Joey Woody said. “There were a lot of personal bests within that group, and they’ve been training over-distance these last few weeks since the Big Ten meet. For them to compete at the shorter distance was good to see. I think it was a good start for our team this weekend and a good start for their season.”

Juniors Kevin Docherty (18th/3:53.23) and Brook Price (19th/3:53.75) were Iowa’s second- and third-place finishers, respectively, in the men’s race with collegiate-best marks.

Three freshmen — Ian Eklin (3:57.27), Daniel Soto (3:57.62), and Pavlo Hutsalyuk (3:57.66) — also had their season debuts result in 1,500-meter personal bests.

The Hawkeyes return to action at the Baldy Castillo Invitational on Saturday at noon (CT) inside the Sun Angel Stadium.

“I told the team tonight that it’s rare we get opportunities like this where the weather is nearly perfect, and for them to go out and take advantage of it,” Woody said. “Let’s start our season off and send a message to the Big Ten that we’re going to have a great season. This is a great opportunity for our student-athletes to put up personal bests and to go out and compete at a high level. That’s the expectation for the entire team.”

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