Hawkeyes Head To Last Chance Qualifiers
March 4, 2008
THIS WEEK -- Members of the University of Iowa men and women's track teams will have one last chance to qualify for the upcoming NCAA Indoor Championships. The Hawkeye women will send competitors to the Alex Wilson Invitational in South Bend, IN, Friday and Saturday. Competition is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. Friday and 10:30 a.m. (CT) Saturday. The men will compete at the Last Chance Qualifiers in Ames, IA, Saturday. The meet is scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m. (CT).
NCAA QUALIFIERS -- The Hawkeyes have provisionally qualified 11 student-athletes for the NCAA Indoor Championships, which will be held March 14-15 in Fayetteville, AR. Their event, qualifying marks and where they rank in the Big Ten and the nation are listed below.
Name Event Mark - NCAA Ranking Kineke Alexander 400 Meters 53.14 - 8th Kineke Alexander Dist. Medley Relay 11:20.11 - 19th Meghan Armstrong Mile 4:41.07 - 14th Meghan Armstrong 3,000 Meters 9:18.30 - 13th Meghan Armstrong 5,000 Meters 16:39.04 - 35th Meghan Armstrong Dist. Medley Relay 11:20.11 - 19th Jolly Burke 5,000 Meters 16:43.14 - 42nd Adam Hairston 800 Meters 1:49.86 - 25th Lauren Hardesty Dist. Medley Relay 11:20.11 - 19th John Hickey Shot Put 61-3 (18.67 m) - 6th Tammilee Kerr Pentathlon 3,974 points - 17th Shane Maier Shot Put 59-8 1/2 (18.20 m) - 15th Diane Nukuri Mile 4:48.48 - 55th Diane Nukuri 3,000 Meters 9:20.07 - 18th Diane Nukuri 5,000 Meters 16:02.96 - 5th Diane Nukuri Dist. Medley Relay 11:20.11 - 19th Micah VanDenend 5,000 Meters 14:07.06 - 30th Renee White Triple Jump 42-4 (12.90 m) - 24th
ARMSTRONG, WHITE WIN BIG TEN TITLES -- Senior Meghan Armstrong and junior Renee White won their first Big Ten titles at the 2008 conference indoor championships last weekend in Minneapolis, MN. The Hawkeyes placed fifth in the team race with 60 points. Host Minnesota won it second straight team title with 136 points.
Armstrong won the 3,000 meters with a collegiate-best 9:18.30, which ranks second in school history and provisionally qualifies for the NCAA Championships. She is Iowa's second Big Ten indoor 3,000-meter champion, as Nan Doak won the title in 9:38.5 in 1985. Armstrong also placed seventh in the 5,000 meters with an NCAA provisional mark of 16:39.04. White won the triple jump with an NCAA provisional mark of 42-4, breaking her own school record. White is Iowa's first Big Ten triple jump champion.
Other highlights for the Hawkeyes came courtesy of seniors Kineke Alexander, Tammilee Kerr and Diane Nukuri. Kerr broke her own school record in the pentathlon, scoring 3,974 points for fourth place. Nukuri placed third in the 5,000 meters, clocking a collegiate-best 16:02.96, which automatically qualifies her for the NCAA meet in that event and ranks third-best in school history. Alexander, a five-time Big Ten Champion, placed second in both the 200 (24.39) and 400 meters (53.77).
HICKEY EARNS SECOND BIG TEN SHOT PUT TITLE -- Hawkeye junior John Hickey won his second career Big Ten shot put title at the conference indoor meet last weekend in Madison, WI. The Hawkeyes placed eighth with 49 points. Host Wisconsin won its sixth straight Big Ten indoor team title, scoring 127 points.
Hickey, who is Iowa's fourth Big Ten indoor shot put champion, and senior teammate Shane Maier gave the Hawkeyes a strong one-two punch in the shot, placing first (61-9 3/4) and second (59-8 1/2), respectively. The duo have had a stronghold on the top two finishes at the last three conference meets, as Hickey won the 2007 conference outdoor title while Maier placed second. At the 2006 indoor meet the finish was reversed as Maier won the title and Hickey was runner-up.
HAWKEYE WOMEN EARN NATIONAL RANKING -- The Hawkeye women's team is ranked 21st in the most recent U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association national rankings. Iowa is one of four teams representing the Big Ten in the poll (Michigan 5th, Minnesota 7th and Penn State 8th). The rankings are compiled strictly from the NCAA descending order lists.
HAWKEYE WOMEN'S COACHING STAFF -- Interim Head Coach Layne Anderson is in his first year as head women's track and field coach at Iowa. In his four seasons as an assistant with the track and field team, there has been one national champion, 22 all-Americans and 18 Big Ten Champions. While competing for The Citadel in college, Anderson set 10 school records on his way to becoming a three-time Southern Conference champion. He is assisted by four-time Auburn all-American, 1996 decathlon national champion and Olympian Victor Houston and Hawkeye all-American and four-time Big Ten Champion Shellene Williams.
HAWKEYE MEN'S COACHING STAFF -- Head Coach Larry Wieczorek is in his 12th season at the helm of the Iowa men's track team. He has coached 25 all-Americans and 42 Big Ten Champions at Iowa. The team's highest conference meet finishes during his tenure are second at the 1999 outdoor meet and fourth at the 1997 indoor meet. As a runner, Wieczorek was a six-time Big Ten champion for Iowa - winning four track and two cross country titles - and a four-time all-American. In 1998, Wieczorek was inducted into the National Iowa Varsity Club Hall of Fame. He is assisted by three-time Indiana all-American Scott Cappos and World Champion and four-time Northern Iowa all-American Joey Woody.
2008 MEN'S TEAM CAPTAINS NAMED -- Seniors Shane Maier, Max Milder and Micah VanDenend have been named team captains for the 2008 season. Maier and VanDenend both served as captains last season. Maier, from Storm Lake, IA, is the defending Big Ten indoor shot put champion and a two-time all-region honoree. He and four other Hawkeye throwers hold the school record for most times qualified for the NCAA Midwest Regional (4). VanDenend, a native of Glenbard, IL, is the defending Big Ten 10,000-meter champion and won the 2006 NCAA Midwest Cross Country Regional title. The three-time all-region honoree currently holds four of Iowa's school distance records. Milder, a sprinter from Council Bluffs, IA, is a two-time regional qualifier, earning all-region honors as part of the 400-meter relay last season.
LUCIANO, CROSS COUNTRY TEAMS EARN ACADEMIC HONORS -- The Iowa men and women's cross country teams recently earned academic all-America honors from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCA). The men's team earned a team grade point average of 3.20. The women's team had a combined GPA of 3.32.
Individually, sophomore Jesse Luciano was one of 56 student-athletes to be named to the academic all-America team. In order to be eligible for academic all-America status, the student must carry a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.25 and completed a minimum of 24 semester hours through the 2007 fall semester. The student-athlete must also finish in the top 15 or top 10 percent at the NCAA regional meet or receive all-America honors. Luciano is a health and sport studies major who placed 15th at the regional meet.
NEXT UP -- Hawkeyes who meet qualifying standards will compete at the 2008 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships March 14-15 in Fayetteville, AR. All events will be held at the Randal Tyson Track Center on the University of Arkansas campus.
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