3 Hawkeyes Compete at Olympic Trials

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Former University of Iowa students Erik Sowinski (800 meters) and Bethany Praska (800 meters), and Hawkeye junior Elexis Guster (400 meters) competed for spots on Team USA over the weekend at the 2016 U.S Olympic Track and Field Trials in Eugene, Oregon.

Sowinski placed second behind Boris Berian in both the first round (1:46.17) and semi-final (1:45.82) but failed to make the cut, placing fifth (1:46.44) in the 800 meter finals behind champion Clayton Murphy (1:44.76). The top three times in each event qualified for the Rio Olympics.

“It was hard to get in a rhythm,” said Sowinski. “Obviously I should have run better than that, but tactically I did everything I could.”

Guster (52.72) placed 20th in the first round of the women’s 400 meters and did not advance to the semis. She will compete Friday in the women’s 200 meters.

“I expected it to be hard,” Guster said. “You’re competing with the best. The main goal was to go out there and give it my all… which I did.”

Praska (2:05.79) placed 32nd in the women’s 800 meters.

Three more Hawkeyes are slated to compete this week. Montayla Holder competes in the 400-meter hurdles on Thursday. Aaron Mallet (110 meter hurdles), and Lake Kwaza (200 meters) both compete Friday in their respective events.

Live results are available at USATF.com.