June 5, 2013
EUGENE, Ore. -- The University of Iowa 400-meter relay team set a school record and advanced to the finals today at the 2013 NCAA Track & Field Outdoor Championships.
Iowa's Tevin-Cee Mincy, Justin Austin, Ethan Holmes, and Josh Larney circled the track in 39.31, finishing fourth in their heat and eighth overall to grab the last at-large finals berth. The quartet will race for the national title Saturday at 4:12 p.m. (CT).
"Since I've been here this is the first 4x1 team to qualify for nationals, so to get here and step up with a school record and advance to the finals is a lot of fun," said assistant coach Joey Woody. "Tevin got us out to a good start, Justin and Ethan got the stick around to Josh, and Josh did what he's been doing all year. He finished strong."
Iowa broke the school record for the second time this season. Mincy was also the lead leg when the Hawkeyes set a then-record 39.35 at the Jim Click Shootout, but he was absent from the lineup when Iowa won the Big Ten title in May. Jordan Mullen ran the lead leg at the conference championships, but Woody said the plan heading to nationals was to use Mincy and allow Mullen to focus on the 110-meter hurdles.
"Tevin's always been the mix and he's been working really well the last couple of weeks," said Woody. "He was having a good rhythm with Justin and I decided to give him another shot. I'd say it worked out pretty well."
Woody said he plans to use the same foursome when the Hawkeyes race for a national title Saturday.
"Anything can happen in the finals, and I think we're capable of running even faster. We've got as good a shot as anybody," Woody added.
Austin, Larney, and Holmes also raced in individual events today. Austin (10.26) finished 17th and Larney (10.35) placed 24th overall in the 100 meters. In the 400-meter hurdles, Holmes placed third in his heat (50.69), and 10th overall, two spots shy of the finals. Only the top eight from each event advance past the semifinals.
Austin returns to the track tomorrow at 6:15 p.m. (CT) in the semifinals of the 200 meters. Mullen competes in the 110-meter hurdle semifinals at 7:20 p.m. (CT), and Majesty Tutson competes in the discus trials/finals at 4 p.m. (CT).