The University of Iowa track and field team hosts its second of three straight home meets with the second annual Larry Wieczorek Invitational on Friday and Saturday inside the UI Recreation building. The Hawkeyes are joined by Florida State, LSU, Kansas State, Iowa State, Wisconsin, Virginia, Minnesota (W), and Arizona. The meet begins Friday at 11 a.m. (CT) and at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Complete schedule of events is online at hawkeyesports.com.
- Free pizza is available during Friday’s competition, beginning at 5 p.m. (CT).
- T-shirts will be given away to the first 100 fans on Saturday.
Fans can follow the meet on live results page on hawkeyesports.com/tracklive. Results will also be posted on the team’s official twitter account @iowaxc_tf. The meet will be streamed live on BTN Plus and FloTrack. Subscriptions required.
HAWKEYES IN THE RANKINGS
The University of Iowa men’s and women’s track and field teams are ranked in the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) preseason poll, released Jan. 10. The women are ranked 34th in the nation, their highest preseason ranking in program history, while the men are ranked 32nd in the nation.
The Larry Wieczorek Invitational is named after former Hawkeye track and field coach Larry Wiezcorek. Wieczorek’s time at Iowa spanned 50 years as both a student-athlete and coach. As an athlete, Wiezcorek was a six-time Big Ten Champion and four-time All-American in cross country. He then transitioned into coaching and spent 30 years coaching the UI track and field program, leading Iowa to 79 individual Big Ten Champions and 53 All-Americans.
32 PROFESSIONS TO COMPETE AT WIECZOREK INVITE
Thirty-two professional track and field athletes are scheduled to compete at the Larry Wieczorek Invitational. Among the group are Olympic gold medalists, World Champions, and NCAA Champions. The field includes Fred Kerley, Aries Merritt, CJ Ujah, Jarrion Lawson, Damar Forbes, Courtney Okolo, Jasmin Stowers, Vernon Norwood, and many more.
WIECZOREK INVITE SERVES AS IOWA HOMECOMING
Among the 32 professionals set to compete at the Larry Wiecorek Invitational, four are former Hawkeyes making their return to Iowa’s facility: Aaron Mallett, Kineke Alexander, Erik Sowinski, and Troy Doris.
- Mallett competed at Iowa from 2014-17 and was a six-time All-American and five-time Big Ten Champion.
- Alexander lettered at Iowa from 2005-08 and was an eight-time All-American and five-time Big Ten Champion. She is a three-time Olympian for St. Vincent & The Grenadines and holds the indoor and outdoor 400 meter school records.
- Sowinski is a six-time All-American and two-time Big Ten Champion at Iowa. He holds the outdoor 800-meter school record and was a 2012 and 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials participant.
- Doris is a 2016 Olympic triple jumper representing Guyana who attended Iowa from 2009-12. He was a four-time Big Ten Champion and All-American. He holds Iowa school records in the indoor and outdoor triple jump.
AVANT HAS BIG OPENING
Freshman Kyara Avant had a big opening performance at the Hawkeye Invitational. Avant placed second overall in the 60 meter dash with a time of 7.51 seconds, tying her for sixth all-time in program history with junior Briana Guillory. She is ranked fourth in the Big Ten.
DOUGLAS STARTS OFF FAST
Junior Chris Douglas opened the 2018 indoor season with a third place finish in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 7.84. He is tied for 8th in the nation and second in the Big Ten in the event.
BROWN, HARRIS NAMED PRESEASON ALL-AMERICANS
Senior Brittany Brown (200 meters) and junior Mar’yea Harris (400 meters) were named 2018 Preseason All-Americans by FloTrack.
Brown, a native of Upland, California, owns the 200-meter school record indoor and outdoor and is tied for the 100-meter record. Brown won Big Ten titles in the 200 meters during the indoor and outdoor seasons and went on to finish fifth at the NCAA Indoor championships with a time of 22.92.
Harris, a native of Auburn, Washington, holds the indoor 400-meter school record and placed runner-up in the 400-meters at the Big Ten Indoor Championships. Harris was part of the 1,600-meter relay that broke the indoor and outdoor school records and placed fifth and third at the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships, respectively.
Brown and Harris join Ohio State’s Nick Gray as the only male or female representatives of the Big Ten in the 200 or 400 meters.
WERSKEY ENTERS AS NEW THROWING COACH
Eric Werksey was hired as Iowa’s throwing coach in August 2017 after two seasons at California State University Northridge. Werskey aided throwers Brianna Cueva and Daniel Swarbrick to Big West Outdoor titles in 2016 while Dawaun Lucas and Zachary Rosales placed second and third, respectively, in the shot put. After graduating from Auburn, Werksey trained at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California, where he worked with some of the best throwers in the world. In college, Werskey was a three-time All-American in the shot put.
IOWA SIGNS 25 FOR 2018
The Hawkeyes announced the addition of 25 signees for the 2018-19 season on Nov. 11. The class includes 14 women and 11 men, including 10 from Iowa.
Iowa has 110 athletes on its roster in 2018. There are 40 freshmen, 32 sophomores, 21 juniors, and 17 seniors. Of the 110 student-athletes, 42 are from Iowa followed by 20 from Illinois. The team also has seven international athletes.
BIG TEN LEADERS
The Hawkeyes have six events ranked in the Big Ten top five in 2018.
- Junior Chris Douglas: 60 meter hurdles (2nd)
- Men’s 4×400 meter relay (2nd)
- Women’s 4×400 meter relay (3rd)
- Junior Reno Tuufuli: Shot Put (3rd)
- Freshman Kyara Avant: 60 meters (4th)
- Sophomore Jenny Kimbro: 60 meter hurdles (5th)
Iowa has four events represented in the NCAA top 25, according to TFRRS.com.
- Junior Chris Douglas: 60 meter hurdles (8th)
- Women’s 4×400 meter relay (15th)
- Junior Reno Tuufuli (16th)
- Men’s 4×400 meter relay (19th)
COUNTING CURRENT ALL-TIME HAWKEYES
The men have 32 current athletes in Iowa’s indoor all-time top 10, led by school-record holders Mar’yea Harris, (400-meters, 1,600-meter relay), Carter Lilly (800-meters, Distance medley relay), Will Dougherty (heptathlon), DeJuan Frye (1,600-meter relay, Distance medley relay), Collin Hofacker (1,600-meter relay) and Matt Manternach (Distance medley relay).
The women have 26 athletes in the top-10 and four school record holders on the roster including Brittany Brown (200 meters), Jahisha Thomas (long jump, triple jump), and Briana Guillory (1,600-meter relay).
NEXT ON THE BLOCK
The Hawkeyes host their third and final home meet of the 2018 indoor season with the Black & Gold Premier. The meet is scheduled to begin Jan. 27 at 12 p.m. (CT) with the high jump. Admission to the event is free.