May 13, 2012
MADISON, Wis. -- Three University of Iowa track and field student-athletes won titles today at the 2012 Big Ten Outdoor Track and Field Championships. McKenzie Melander, Matt Byers and Troy Doris each won gold for the Hawkeyes. Iowa totaled 10 medals in the three-day championships.
The Hawkeye men racked up 68 points on the final day of competition to finish in fifth with 80.5 points. The Iowa women placed eighth with 53 points. Ohio State defended the women's title and Wisconsin became the second host school in as many years to win the men's title. Iowa won the 2011 championship in Iowa City.
Melander captured her second medal of the championships when she won her first career Big Ten title in the 5,000 meters. She finished with a time of 16:14.03, seven seconds ahead of second place teammate Betsy Flood.
"I just went out and tried to run a good race," said Melander. "I wanted to take things a little bit slower, just kind of roll along and let things work in my favor."
Melander and Flood's 1-2 finish put 18 points on the board for Iowa.
"These girls deserve this," said Iowa head coach Layne Anderson. "Between this year and last year's Big Ten Championships we have five or six runner-up performances, so to finally get one of those individual titles is a great thing for these girls and this program."
Byers became the fourth Hawkeye in school history to win three Big Ten Outdoor titles in the same event when he scored a winning throw of 222-11 (67.94m) on his first javelin toss of the day.
"The winning throw was my first throw and it felt alright," said Byers. "I'm still working through some kinks with my mechanics but the main thing is to come out here, compete and get the win. This is the meet we all work for and it's nice to finish strong. Now we need to get further and further."
Doris twice broke his previous school record en route to the triple jump championship. His final mark of 54-8 (16.66m) was good enough to defend his 2011 Big Ten Outdoor title.
"Jumping was good today" said Doris, who has won gold in each of his four conference championships. "I'm never really content but I am happy today. I PR'd twice and it never gets old. It just means I'm doing something new and that's a good indicator that I'm getting better and my work is coming along."
Ashley Liverpool and Ethan Holmes joined Flood with runner-up finishes. Liverpool's time of 52.47 is a personal best and the third fastest 400 meters in school history. Holmes was one of three Hawkeyes to place in the 110-meter hurdles. He grabbed silver with a time of 13.74. Jordan Mullen and Dan Davis finished fifth and sixth, respectively, with times of 13.97 and 14.05.
Wisconsin natives Justin Austin and Erik Sowinski earned third-place finishes for Iowa. Austin, the defending 200 meter champion, earned a bronze medal with a time of 20.65. Sowinski grabbed bronze in the 800 meters with a time of 1:47.18.
The Hawkeyes just missed the medal stand in five events. Both men's and women's 400-meter relays placed fourth with times of 40:18 and 45.51, respectively. Flood ran a season-best 4:19.62 to place fourth in the 1,500 meters. Austin put points on the board with a fourth-place time of 10.52 in the 100 meters, and the men's 1,600-meter relay clocked the fifth fastest time in school history with a fourth-place time of 3:05.77.
MEN'S TEAM SCORES
1. Wisconsin 121
2. Nebraska 115.5
3. Indiana 115
4. Ohio State 86
5. IOWA 80.5
6. Penn State 80
7. Minnesota 70.5
8. Illinois 65
9. Michigan 50
10. Mich. St. 19
11. Purdue 15.5
WOMEN'S TEAM SCORES
1. Ohio State 117
2. Illinois 110
4. Penn State 87
5. Wisconsin 78
6. Michigan St. 72
7. Michigan 67
8. IOWA 53
9. Minnesota 45
10. Indiana 40
10. Purdue 40
IOWA'S 2012 BIG TEN MEDALISTS
Justin Austin (3rd, 200 meters)
Matt Byers (1st, javelin)
Troy Doris (1st, triple jump)
Betsy Flood (2nd, 5,000 meters)
Jeffery Herron (3rd, high jump)
Ethan Holmes (2nd, 110-meter hurdles)
Ashley Liverpool (2nd, 400 meters)
McKenzie Melander (1st, 5,000m; 2nd, 10,000m)
Erik Sowinski (3rd, 800 meters)
IOWA'S SUNDAY PLACE WINNERS (top eight)
1. Troy Doris 54-8 (16.66m)
1. Matt Byers 222-11 (67.94m)
8. Majesty Tutson 163-2 (49.74m)
Women's 1,500 meters
4. Betsy Flood 4:19.62
Women's 400 meters
v 2. Ashley Liverpool 52.47 (PR)
Men's 100 meters
4. Justin Austin 10.52
Men's 800 meters
3. Erik Sowinski 1:47.18
Men's 400-meter hurdles
5. Ethan Holmes 51.10
7. Keaton Rickles 51.69
Women's 200 meters
7. Erin Jones 23.88
Men's 200 meters
3. Justin Austin 20.65