Track & Field
Sowinski Sets Personal Best at NCAA Championships
Despite PR performance, Sowinski and Holmes fall short in NCAA semifinals
Sophomore Ethan Holmes will get two more shots at an NCAA title run Thursday at Drake Stadium.
Sophomore Ethan Holmes will get two more shots at an NCAA title run Thursday at Drake Stadium.

June 8, 2011

NCAA Championships Photo Gallery (June 8, 2011) 

Wednesday's Results Get Acrobat Reader

DES MOINES, Iowa -- The University of Iowa opened the 2011 NCAA Championships with junior Erik Sowinski in the 800 meters and sophomore Ethan Holmes in the 400-meter hurdles Wednesday evening at Drake Stadium.

Sowinski opened the Championships for the Hawkeyes with a personal record-setting performance in the 800 meters semifinals. He finished fifth in his heat with a personal record time of 1:47.83. Despite nearly breaking the school record (1:47.64), Sowinski missed advancing to the finals by .40 seconds. The Waukesha, Wis., native placed 15th overall.

"The race got out a lot slower than I wanted it too," Sowinski said. "I didn't really want to take the lead from the get-go because I wanted to have a kick to compete with the other guys and I think it caught up with me in the end. It is disappointing, but on the bright side it's a personal record and I have another year so I can't be too disappointed."

The runners in the third heat of the semifinals had to run through a rain shower that started as the runners approached the start line.

"Being from the Midwest, we'll practice in the rain one day and the next it'll be 35 degrees so I don't think the rain affected me much, but I can't speak on behalf of the other guys," Sowinski said.

Holmes, the only collegiate athlete to qualify for the semifinals in both the 110- and 400-meter hurdles, placed seventh (51.06) in the third heat of the 400-meter hurdles. After finishing 14th overall and missing the finals cutoff (50.34), Holmes is ready to bounce back Thursday in the 110-high hurdles.

"I would have been happy not making the finals if I had ran a person best, but it wasn't even close," Holmes said after his race. "It just wasn't my day. I just have to shake it off and come back tomorrow and show up."

Holmes and Sowinski are also members of the 1,600-meter relay team that competes tomorrow night. The Hawkeyes are the only Big Ten school competing in both the men's and women's 4x400-meter relay.

Sophomore Justin Austin continues his quest for a national title tomorrow in the 200 meter semifinals. Austin will run at 5:45 p.m., followed by Holmes (110-meter hurdles) and the men's and women's 4x400-meter relays.

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