All the news from Division I Mens and Womens Track.

MonTaya Holder- Iowa
©Darren Miller

Hawkeyes MonTaya Holder by Darren Miller

MonTaya Holder- Iowa ©Darren Miller

MonTaya Holder- Iowa
©Darren Miller

Most athletes want to be recognized and stick out in a crowd, but MonTayla Holder’s motive for publicity is complex.

The University of Iowa junior is on a delicate journey that began when she was eight months old. Holder was born Feb. 7, 1994; on Oct. 25 of that year, her world changed.

“My father went missing,” Holder said.

Holder’s father, MonTerrio, was last seen that October day in the 300 block of west 26th Street in his hometown of Indianapolis. He has not been heard from since. MonTerrio’s beige and brown 1981 Buick LeSabre was discovered abandoned sometime in 1995. There was no sign of Holder at the scene and the case remains unsolved.

Courtesy Hawkeye Athletics/Darren Miller 

“I think I run because something tells me if he is not hurt, then he might come back,” MonTayla said. “He has a lot of impact on me; I want my name to get out there and that’s really why I keep running.”

A high jumper in college, MonTerrio cleared 7-feet 5 ¾-inches and briefly held the school record at the University of Tennessee. That is what motivated MonTayla to give track and field a try, even though she has no recollection of her father and her childhood dream was to be a singer and dancer.

“I started off as a high jumper in middle school,” Holder said. “But I’m 5-foot-4, so I never really had a career in it. Then my coach threw me in a 400 and since then, I have been running the 400.”

She has sprinkled in hurdles and a baton, too. After two seasons on the Hawkeye roster, Holder is already a Big Ten champion, running third leg on the winning 4×100-meter relay team in 2014. That unit placed 16th in the NCAA Finals, earning second-team All-America honors. Holder was 23rd in the 400 hurdles at the same NCAA Championships, adding an honorable mention All-America accolade.

“I didn’t make it to that final (in the 400 hurdles),” Holder said. “I wasn’t top 16 and that really hurt, because I knew I had the potential to do it. I want that title to be next to my name and I also want it to be next to my teammates’ name.”

More importantly, Holder wants to keep her name in the news, and not in an arrogant way. MonTayla smiles when thinking about the father she never knew.

“My mom named me Brianna and my dad changed it on the birth certificate to MonTayla,” she said with a laugh. “I don’t know where his name came from and my name is just a spin-off of it. My sister’s name is MonToya.”

Holder’s paternal grandparents are significantly involved in her life. They frequently recite for MonTayla affectionate “your father did this, your father did that” tales. Albeit difficult, life has moved on since the fateful October day in 1994.

“It has been 21 years, so we say deceased, but we don’t know,” MonTayla said. “His case is still open. My freshman year (of college) there was an investigation going on. Someone in the Indianapolis jails remembered something about his case and said something. We don’t know exactly where it stands, but we know he is missing. That’s all I really know about it.”

So Holder continues to run. She runs fast. She hopes by keeping the Holder name in the news that someday she will be re-introduced to what should be her biggest fan.

And while Holder runs in hope of seeing her father, she also runs for teammates.

“These girls on this team deserve to be among those top competitors,” Holder said. “We deserve to be up there with the big girls and the big-time runners, so when I’m under pressure, I think about what can I do for my team and how can I give my team 10 points or eight points — whatever we need to be a Big Ten championship team. The pressure makes me run fast.”

Holder graduated from Lawrence Central High School in Indianapolis, where she was a two-time state champion in the 400. With an open 400 personal best time of 55.2 seconds, Holder thought her future would be at a mid-major university.

“I was aiming for (Mid-American Conference) schools and smaller schools, so being here and then competing at the high level and making it to the Division I national championships has been very humbling,” Holder said. “I never saw myself making it this far.”

University of Iowa associate head coach Clive Roberts uncovered a diamond in the rough. He sees Holder’s consistent training and results as an indication of imminent breakthrough performances.

“When we recruited her, she was a versatile athlete,” Roberts said. “She had done the 100 meter hurdles and 300 meter hurdles and run the 400. We thought she would be able to come in and help us right off the bat.

“She separates herself with her work ethic. Day in and day out she comes to work and it’s hard to pull her off the track. The difficulty with MonTayla isn’t getting her to work, it’s to get her to rest. There may be kids that are more talented, but I don’t know if many can say they are a harder worker than MonTayla. She clocks in and goes to it every day to try to get it better.”

At the 2015 Big Ten Indoor Championships, Holder placed fifth in the 4×400 relay and seventh in the 600 dash. She has seven top eight finishes at five conference indoor and outdoor meets. Holder admits that the 2014 NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon, caught her off guard. She won’t let that happen again.

“I would love to make it back to the NCAA Championships. Last year it took me by a huge surprise, this year it is like ‘Now you have to make it,'” Holder said. “As a team I would like our 4×4 to make it to the NCAA Championship. Last year we were the last team out and it broke our hearts.”

In the meantime, Holder continues to do what it takes on the track to keep her name in the news. That’s what really keeps her running.

Mary Young-Urbandale-Drake
©Doug Wells

Mary Young Continues Her Record Freshman Year

Mary Young-Urbandale-Drake ©Doug Wells

Mary Young-Urbandale-Drake
©Doug Wells

Drake University freshman Mary Young (Urbandale, Iowa) continued her standout debut season by setting the school record in the women’s 100-meter hurdles on Saturday with a time of 13.38. Young’s time won the event at the Tom Botts Invitational, hosted by the University of Missouri.

Courtesy Bulldog Athletics

“Mary was amazing,” said Drake head coach Natasha Kaiser-Brown. “She put together a compete 100-meter hurdle race from start to finish.”

Young returned to the track later in the afternoon to take second in the 400-meter hurdles in a personal best time of 1:01.20. She was edged by her teammate Virginia Hill (Haymarket, Va.) who took top honors in 1:00.34.

“In the 400-meter hurdles she [Young] led most of the race, but Virginia is so strong she closed over the last 30 meters to edge Mary at the finish,” Kaiser-Brown said.

The Bulldogs got other strong performances on the track in the men’s 200 meters as Pierce Vincent (Fayetteville, Ga.) and Steven Jordan (McFarland, Wis.) finished second and third with a pair of personal bests. Vincent crossed the line in 21.32 while Jordan followed in 21.38. Earlier in the afternoon, Jordan won the 400 meters in 49.47.

The women’s squad saw continued development from Emma Huston (Des Moines, Iowa) in the 1,500 meters on Friday night. The junior finished third in the 1,500 meters with a personal best of 4:29.26.

“Emma ran an impressive 1,500 meters and stayed in contention with the competition and finished with a strong kick,” Kaiser-Brown said. “She is so talented and can run any distance from the 1,500 to 5,000 and 10,000 meters and score at any of these events at the MVC meet.”

In the field events, the men’s team was led by Sean Buczek (Crystal Lake, Ill.) unleashing a big personal best with a jump of 48-1.75 to take fifth in the triple jump.

The Bulldogs return to action next weekend at Nebraska in their final tune-up of the season before the Missouri Valley Championship.

 

Justin Baker-SC Heelan-UNI
©Jim Kirby

Panthers Wrap Up Regular Season

Chaley Rath-Treynor-UNI ©Jim Kirby

Chaley Rath-Treynor-UNI
©Jim Kirby

The University of Northern Iowa track and field team wrapped up the Wisconsin Twilight tonight, highlighted by some standout performances from the Panthers throws crew.

Jamie Lindstrom kicked things off for UNI in the hammer throw, grabbing a personal-best mark of 188-10.00 to finish third in the competition and third all-time at UNI. Sarah Pate and Chloe Schmidt followed suit, finishing with PRs of their own and rounding out the top-five finishers in the event.

Lindstrom and Justin Baker both shined in the shot put, with Lindstrom coming away with another career-best. Her mark of 50-6.25 was the third-best mark in school history. On the men’s side, Baker posted a solid season-best throw of 58-10.00 to finish third overall.

Rounding out the throws events was Schmidt in the discus. The junior finished with a career-best of 158-1.00 to keep her in third all-time as a Panther.

The PRs continued to roll for UNI into the women’s high jump. Chaley Rath finished with the win after a jump of 5-6.00 while Kassidy Sharp and Emily Endelman secured third and fourth place finishes along with outdoor personal-bests.

To finish up the field events for the evening, the Panthers picked up two wins in the men’s jumps. Weston Riesselman finished first in the long jump with a mark of 22-2.50 with Shawn Koch posting a first place finish in the triple jump with a leap of 47-0.75.

In the track events, the middle distance groups turned in strong performances in the 1,500 meters and the 800 meters. Haley Stevens and Trai Bunch both placed second in their respective 1,500 meter races, both notching career-best times.

Lindsey Kite and Theresa Connelly finished third and fourth in the women’s 800 meters, with Kite finishing with a PR time of 2:13.65. On the men’s side, Andrew Arndt snatched a huge personal-best of 1:52.86 with Wade Pingel finishing right behind him with a career-best time of 1:53.12.

Jon Rus continued UNI’s success in the 110 meter hurdles, winning the event with a PR time of 14.19. His time put him into the top-five in the MVC and the top-35 of the NCAA West Region.

UNI will return to action May 15-17 when they take part in the MVC Outdoor Championships, hosted by Illinois State.

Aaron Mallett-Iowa
©Jim Kirby

Hawks Sparkle at Musco

Aaron Mallett-Iowa ©Jim Kirby

Aaron Mallett-Iowa
©Jim Kirby

The University of Iowa track and field team captured seven titles and recorded 12 personal bests at the 16th annual Musco Twilight on Saturday at the Francis X. Cretzmeyer track.
Jahisha Thomas opened the day for the Hawkeyes with a first-place finish in the women’s long jump. The freshman recorded a collegiate-best leap of 20-02.25 (6.15m), a mark that ranks fourth all-time at Iowa and would tie for first in the Big Ten.

Courtesy Hawkeye Athletics

“It definitely felt like my best jump of the season,” Thomas said. “That was the mark, and that’s what I need to be doing. I definitely feel like it can get better because I’m there now. I know I can get to where I need to be.”

Also competing in the women’s long jump was junior Kassidy Ellis, who recorded a personal best 19-06 (5.95m) to finish fifth, respectively. That mark ties for seventh in school history and would land sixth in the Big Ten.

Iowa nabbed the top two spots in the men’s triple jump. Junior Klyvens Delaunay (51-11.25, 15.83m) took the title, while senior Babatunde Amosu (50-10.75, 15.51m) finished runner-up, respectively. Delaunay’s mark would top conference rankings, while Amosu’s would stand fifth, respectively.

“We moved some athletes into the top of the Big Ten,” said UI director of track and field Joey Woody. “The triple jumpers really showed up today. Klyvens had a great meet. I was really happy to see him back and doing some great things.”

Sophomores Vinnie Saucer, Jr. and Aaron Mallett, junior James Harrington, and senior Keith Brown made noise in the men’s 400-meter relay when the quartet clocked the fourth-fastest time in school history at 39.66 to take the title. That time would also stand second in the Big Ten and 16th nationally.

Mallett captured his second title of the day in the 110-meter hurdles en route to setting a new meet record in 13.69. He went on to claim third in the 400-meter hurdles in a personal best 51.41. Junior Mitch Wolff took second in the event with a collegiate best 51.26. Their times would stand sixth and seventh in the conference.

“It’s always good to win head-to-head, especially at home,” Mallett said. “It was my second best time ever, so I’m happy with that. For the 4×1, we’ve been having some troubles throughout the season, but we put together a good time and we won.”

Brittany Brown added another first-place finish on the day for Iowa in the women’s 100 meters. The sophomore crossed the finish in a career best 11.47, which moves her to third on Iowa’s all-time list and would stand second in the Big Ten behind junior Lake Kwaza (11.40). Saucer notched a second-place finish in the men’s contest with a career best 10.41. That time would tie for first in the Big Ten and ninth in school history.

Kwaza took the women’s 200-meter title in 23.60, while Saucer finished third in the men’s race with a career best 21.02.

“It felt good,” Brown said. “I have been working on getting out better and that’s what I’m doing. I got out and I finished strong. It was a good race.”

Senior Ben Witt cracked Iowa’s all-time list in the men’s 1,500 meters when he clocked the ninth-fastest time in program history at 3:49.45 to finish second. Sophomore Alana Jones took the silver in the women’s race when she crossed the 1,500-meter mark in a collegiate best 4:30.56.

In the women’s 800 meters, sophomore Katharina Trost climbed to fourth on Iowa’s all-time list when she closed in a collegiate best 2:07.09 to finish second overall. That time would rank seventh in the Big Ten.

The Hawkeyes received a pair of second-place finishes from senior Annemie Smith (196-05.25, 59.87m) in the women’s hammer throw and senior Gabe Hull in the men’s discus (184-06, 56.23m). Freshman Reno Tuufuli threw 182-9.5 (55.71m) on his final attempt to set a personal best and qualify for the U.S. Junior Nationals.

Junior MonTayla Holder led Iowa in the women’s 400 meters when she clocked a personal best 54.83 for third place, while senior Brennan Davey finished fourth in the men’s race with a season best 47.72.

Iowa closed the meet on a high note when the 1,600-meter relay of freshmen Carter Lilly and Nicholas Aly, Davey, and sophomore Jared Ganschow edged out Minnesota (3:10.88) for the win in 3:10.66.

“I’m most impressed with how we competed against other teams in the Big Ten,” Woody said. “We won some critical head-to-head competitions. I am excited to see our athletes come out at the Big Ten Championships and compete like they did today.”

The Big Ten Championships are held from May 15-17 in East Lansing, Michigan.

Katy Moen-Wappsie Valley-ISU
©Jim Kirby

Moen Leads Cyclones in Weekend of PR’s

Evelyne Guay-ISU ©Jim Kirby

Evelyne Guay-ISU
©Jim Kirby

14 different Iowa State track and field athletes set personal-best marks in their respective events including a new school record Saturday at the Musco Twilight XVI in Iowa City, Iowa, and the Payton Jordan Invitational in Palo Alto, California.

The Iowa State school record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase exchanged hands for the third time on the season, as Abby Caldwell crossed the finish line in a time of 10:19.21 at the Payton Jordan Invitational. Caldwell broke the school record earlier on the year at the Stanford Invitational, only to have Colleen Riley better her time at the Drake Relays with a mark of 10:25.83.

Courtesy Cyclone Athletics

Four of ISU’s five 1,500-meter runners notched personal records in the event on the Cobb Track in Palo Alto, California, including Toby Hardwick (3:48.47), Perez Rotich (4:25.01),

(4:26.17) and Brian Biekert (3:44.35).

Senior All-American Edward Kemboi finished fifth in the second heat of the 800-meter run that featured several professional runners and the current NCAA 800-meter run leader. The Eldoret, Kenya native’s time of 1:46.17 is a season-best and ranks fourth nationally.

Katy Moen closed out the meet strong for the Cyclones finishing the 10,000-meter run in a personal-best time of 33:09.63. The senior’s time is the seventh-fastest collegiate time run this season and the sixth-fastest in the Iowa State All-Time Top Performance list. Moen was the first collegiate runner to cross the finish line in her heat, composed of numerous professional athletes.

In Iowa City, Anna Holtermann hurdled a personal record 195’ 11.75” (59.73m) in the hammer throw to finish in third-place. Holtermann’s toss ranks her third on Iowa State’s all-time top-performers list and bettered her previous PR by over 15 feet.

The Cyclones continued their dominance of field events, as Christina Hillman claimed first-place in shot put with a toss of 53’ 9” (16.38m), a top-20 national mark on the 2015 outdoor season. Freshman Jhoanmy Luque, the No. 18 ranked triple jumper in the nation, claimed a second-place finish with a mark of 41’ 4.25” (12.60m).

Kendra White recorded a career day at the Musco Twilight, tackling two personal record times in the 200 and 400-meter dashes with marks of 24.03 and 53.43, respectively. The St. Louis, Missouri-native now ranks inside of the top-five on Iowa State’s all-time top-performers list in each event.

Kaci Storm joined White in Iowa City for a standout performance of her own, taking first-place in the 100-meter hurdles in a personal record time of 14.32. Alyssa Gonzalez also claimed an event title with a sub-one-minute effort in the 400-meter hurdles in a personal record time of 59.54.

On Deck
Up next for the Cyclones is the 2015 Big 12 Outdoor Track and Field Championships at the Cyclones Sports Complex in Ames, Iowa on May 15-17. This will mark the first time Iowa State has hosted a Big 12 Outdoor Track and Field Championship and the first time ISU has hosted an outdoor conference championship since the 1995 Big Eight Outdoor Championships.

Iowa State All-American Edward Kemboi will be in search of his third outdoor and seventh overall Big 12 championship, while Cameron Ostrowski, Katy Moen and Christina Hillman look to add to their conference championship collection as well.

The Big 12 currently claims seven women’s and four men’s track and field programs inside of the USTFCCCA top-25 national rankings.

Cyclones PRs
*Kendra White (200m): 24.03
*Kendra White (400m): 53.43
* Jacob Aune (800m): 1:51.37
*Nathan Rodriguez (800m): 1:51.64
*Toby Hardwick (1,500m): 3:48.47
*Perez Rotich (1,500m): 4:25.01
*Evelyne Guay (1,500m): 4:26.17
*Brian Biekert (1,500m): 3:44.35
*Abby Caldwell (3,000m SC): 10:19.21
*Kaci Storm (110mH): 14.32
*Alyssa Gonzalez (400mH): 59.54
*Kaci Storm (400mH): 1:04.98
*Anna Holtermann (Hammer): 195’ 11.75” (59.73m)
*Taylor Sanderson (Discus): 149’ 6.75” (45.58m)
*Katy Moen (10,000m) 33:09.63

Payton Jordan Invitational Results
3,000m SC (W): 1) Regan Ward, Arkansas, 10:13.29; 4) Abby Caldwell, Iowa State, 10:19.21 (Section 3)
800m (M): 1) Brennan Munley, Michigan, 1:50.45; 4) Jacob Aune, Iowa State, 1:51.37 (Section 5)
1,5000m (W): 1) Laura Addison, Michgan, 4:19.95; 5) Evelyne Guay, Iowa State, 4:26.17; 8) Katherine DeSimone, Iowa State, 4:31.76 (Section 7)
1,500m (M): 1) Toby Hardwick, Iowa State, 3:48.47 (Section 7)
1,500m (W): 1) McKayla Fricker, Unattached, 4:19.60; 7) Perez Rotich, Iowa State, 4:25.01 (Section 6)
1,500m (M): 1) Mike Tate, Southern Utah, 3:42.72; 8) Brian Biekert, Iowa State, 3:44.35 (Section 5)
800m (M): 1) Joe McAsey, Illinois, 1:47.91; 2)Patrick Peterson, Iowa State, 1:48.14
800m (M): 1) Boris Berian, Big Bear TC, 1:45.30; 5) Ed Kemboi, Iowa State, 1:46.17
5,000m (M): 1) Thomas Curtin, Virginia Tech, 13:44.03; 18) Brian Llamas, Iowa State, 14:04.53
10,000m (W): 1) Santa Ines Melchor Huiza, Federacion Peruana, 31:56.62; Katy Moen, Iowa State, 33:09.63 (Section 2)

Musco Twilight Results
Discus (W): 1) Agnes Esser, Minnesota, 178’ 5.25” (54.38m); 7) Christina Hillman, Iowa State, 159’ 1.75” (48.50m)
Hammer (M): 1) Davis Faker, Illinois, 224’ 5.50” (68.41m); 8) Henry Kelley, Iowa State, 186’ 8.75” (56.91m)
Hammer (W): 1) Devin Stanford, Minnestoa, 202’ 10.25” (61.82m); 3) Anna Holtermann, Iowa State, 195’ 11.75” (59.73m); 12) Kayla Sanborn, Iowa State, 161’ 10.50” (49.31m)
400m (M): 1) Jordan Guske, Northern Iowa, 49.86; 2) Jacob Hoogensen, Iowa State, 50.43 (Section 3)
4x100m (M): 1) Iowa, 39.66; 4) Iowa State, 41.60
Discus (M): 1) Taylor Sanderson, Iowa State, 149’ 6.75” (45.58m)
High Jump (M): 1) James White, Nebraska, 7’ 2.25” (2.19m); 8) Jalen Ford, Iowa State, 6’ 5” (1.96m)
High Jump (W): 1) Reka Czuth, Nebraska, 5’10” (1.78m); 5) Hannah Willms, Iowa State, 5’6” (1.68); 6) Katie Reeves, Iowa State, 5’4.25” (1.63)
Shot Put (W): 1) Christina Hillman, Iowa State, 53’ 9” (16.38m)
100mH (W): 1) Kaci Storm, Iowa State, 14.32
110mH (M): 1) Aaron Mallett, Iowa, 13.69; 6) Logan Schneider, Iowa State, 14.46; 9) Taylor Sanderson, Iowa State, 14.66
400m (W): 1) Kendra White, Iowa State, 53.43
Triple Jump (W): 1) Ellie Ewere, Nebraska, 42’ 1.25” (12.83m); 2) Jhoanmy Luque, Iowa State, 41’ 4.25” (12.60m)
800m (W): 1) Bethany Praska, Unattached, 2:05.19; 11) Madison Nagle, Iowa State, 2:13.97; 15) Maryn Lowry, Iowa State, 2:15.12
800m (M): 1) Daniel Bonthius, Wartburg, 1:50.99; 4) Nathan Rodriguez, Iowa State, 1:51.64; Matt Bevil, Iowa State, 1:52.35; Brandon Wheat, Iowa State, 1:52.71
400mH (W): 1) Alyssa Gonzalez, Iowa State, 59.54; 7) Kaci Storm, Iowa State, 1:04.98
400mH (M): 1) Eric Lund, Unattached, 51.03; 9) Kris Brander, Iowa State, 53.73; 12) Trey Achteroff, Iowa State, 55.20
200m (W): 1) Lake Kwaza, Iowa, 23.60; 3) Kendra White, Iowa State, 24.03
200m (M): 1) DJ Zahn, Illinois, 20.53; 12) Mark Sitek, Iowa State, 21.94; 16) Logan Schneider, Iowa State, 22.44; 21) Jacob Hoogensen, Iowa State, 23.27
Shot Put (M): 1) Will Lohman, Nebraska, 60’ 1.25”, (18.32); 3) Jan Jeuschede, Iowa State, 58’ 5.25” (17.81); 17) Taylor Sanderson, Iowa State, 40’ 8.75” (12.41)
1,500m (M): 1) Russell Sandvold, Wisconsin, 3:48.98; 15) Matthew Whitlach, Iowa State, 4:04.44
1,500m (W): 1) Haley Johnson, Minnesota, 4:30.20; 9) Riley Colleen, Iowa State, 4:37.55; 13) Julie Wiemerslage, Iowa State, 4:43.68
3,000m (M): 1) Obsa Ali, Unattached, 8:17.79; 8) Nolan McKenna, Unattached-Iowa State, 8:29.43

Alex Wilson-Mt Vernon Lisbon
©Jim Kirby

Panthers Set Personal Bests at Musco

Brandon Carnes-UNI ©Jim Kirby

Brandon Carnes-UNI
©Jim Kirby

The University of Northern Iowa track and field team participated in the Musco Twilight tonight, coming away with two school records and multiple personal-bests to cap off a successful meet.

Libby Torresani kicked things off for the Panthers in the pole vault, breaking her own school record in the event. The senior finished with a height of 13-3.75 to place second, beating her previous personal-best of 13-3.50 that she set last season.

Courtesy Panther Athletics

Records continued to fall for the Panthers in the men’s 200 meter dash with Brandon Carnes set a huge career-best in the race. The sophomore came away with a time of 20.70 for the new record and to launch him into the top-10 in the NCAA West Region.

Carnes’ success stayed through the 100 meter dash with another PR. Carnes finished with a time of 10.25, the second fastest time in school history and the 13th fastest in the West Region.

“We had quite a few outstanding performances today,” head coach Dan Steele said. “Carnes in particular showed today that he is one of the best combination sprinters in the country.”

Jon Rus and Steven Addison both finished in the top-10 in the 110 meter hurdles, with Addison winning his heat. Rus grabbed a personal-best time of 14.37 while Addison grabbed a PR of 14.58.

The UNI women had two top-five finishers in the 100 meter hurdles, with Christine MacNeil turning in a season-best time of 14.09 to place second. Rachel Peth came in a close third place overall with a strong time of 14.15.

Continuing the success in the hurdles was Jennifer Roberts notching personal-best in the 400 meter hurdles for the third time this season. She came in fourth overall with a time of 1:01.57.

Alex Wilson continued to shine in the middle distance events, turning in a personal-best in the 800 meter run. Her time of 2:07.58 is the second fastest time in the Missouri Valley Conference this season and ranks her second all-time at UNI.

Wilson wasn’t the only Panther to turn in a solid performance in the women’s 800 meters. Sophomore Brette Correy placed fifth overall with a new PR time of 2:09.42 and is now ranked fourth all-time at UNI.

In the 4X100 meter relay, the men’s team of Carnes, Brett McCalla, Derek Jacobus and Cam Brown finished third overall. The grabbed a season-best time of 40.84 to keep them ranked second in the MVC.

Jamie Lindstrom scored a huge career-best mark in the women’s hammer throw, going for a distance of 186-8.00. The throw was the third-best in school history, beating her previous personal-best of 179-8.00 earlier this season. The junior also turned in a personal-best in the discus of 151-6.50 to put her at No. 5 all-time at UNI, making it the seventh PR from the UNI throwers today.

The Panthers will return to action Friday, May 8 when they compete in the Wisconsin Twilight, UNI’s final regular season meet before the MVC Outdoor Championships.

Erin Hawkins-DM Roosevelt-Minnesota
©Jim Kirby

Hawkins Leads Gophers at Musco

Erin Hawkins-DM Roosevelt-Minnesota ©Jim Kirby

Erin Hawkins-DM Roosevelt-Minnesota
©Jim Kirby

The Minnesota women’s track & field team won six event titles and earned 18 career-best marks as the Golden Gophers competed at Iowa’s Musco Twilight meet Saturday evening.

The Gophers won both the 4×100-meter relay and 4×400-meter relay crowns. The 4x400m team of Jessica Waldvogel, Emerald Egwim, Erin Hawkins and Titania Markland finished in 3:36.89, their best of the season and the second fastest time in program history. Meanwhile, the 4x100m team of Egwim, Emma Spagnola, Waldvogel and Hawkins won in 45.72 seconds.

Courtesy Gopher Athletics

Minnesota won three titles and earned seven career bests in the throwing events led by Agnes Esser, who had three career-best throws and a first-place finish in the discus. Esser won the discus with a career-best throw of 54.38m (178-05.25) and placed fifth in both the hammer (58.40m, 191-07.50) and the shot put (14.35m, 47-01).

Devin Stanford took home the title in the hammer throw with a career-best throw of 61.82m (202-10.25) to improve her Minnesota program record. Ke-ke Burks finished fourth with a personal best throw of 58.62m (192-04.25), and she and Esser moved into sixth and seventh in program history, respectively. Angie Guenther also picked up a career-best mark in the hammer at 56.50m (185-04.75).

Nicolle Murphy won the javelin with a season-best throw of 50.03m (164-1), while Rachel Melum took second with a career-best throw of 46.68m (153-2).

The Gophers also took home the title in the 1,500-meter run as Haley Johnson won in a career-best 4:30.20. Fellow Gophers Becca Dyson (season-best 4:31.40), Jamie Piepenburg (career-best 4:32.72), Taylor Mikkalson (career-best 4:38.82) and Madeline Strandemo (career-best 4:41.39) all set milestones and finished in the top 11 as well.

Ally McSherry shattered her career best in the 800-meter run with a third-place time of 2:07.42, taking over four seconds off her previous season-best time. McSherry moved into seventh in program history and led a charge of five Gophers in the 800m. Anne Ferguson (2:10.39) and Stacey Swatek (2:10.55) also recorded career bests in sixth and seventh place, respectively.

The sprints included a career-best for Erin Hawkins in the 100-meter dash, clocking an 11.63 to take third place at the Musco Twilight and improve on her all-time fifth-place ranking in Minnesota history.

In the 400-meter dash, Markland recorded a runner-up showing in 53.86 seconds, and Lauren Domski (56.43) and Kat Keller (56.70) both recorded career-best times for fifth and seventh place, respectively.

The 100-meter hurdles saw Amanda Beckman record a career-best time of 15.23 seconds for fifth place, and Spagnola was the runner-up in the 400-meter hurdles at 1:00.64.

Minnesota also competed at Hamline’s Meet of the Un-Saintly on Saturday, highlighted by Katie Murgic’s career-best mark in the pole vault. Murgic cleared 4.15m (13-07.25) to move into sole possession of fourth place among all-time Gopher pole vaulters.

Next weekend, members of the team will compete at the UW-La Crosse Eagle Open on Friday, May 8, and the Gophers will prepare for the Big Ten Championship the following weekend.

Jayvon Matthews-Davenport Central-UNI
©Jim Kirby

Panthers Set to Shine at Musco

Jerek Jacobus-Davenport Central-UNI ©Jim Kirby

Jerek Jacobus-Davenport Central-UNI
©Jim Kirby

The University of Northern Iowa track and field team is set to compete in the Musco Twilight on Saturday, May 2 in, hosted by Iowa.

The Panthers will be one of seven teams competing in the meet that includes the Illinois men’s team, Iowa, Iowa State, Minnesota, Nebraska and Wisconsin. The Musco Twilight is one of two meets UNI will participate in prior to the MVC Outdoor Championships starting on May 15.

Courtesy Panthers Athletics

This will be UNI’s second consecutive meet in the state of Iowa after coming off of a successful trip to Des Moines for the 106th annual Drake Relays.

The multis competition kicked off the Drake Relays for the Panthers, with all four athletes gaining personal-best point totals. In the decathlon, both true freshmen Derek Jacobus and Jayvon Matthews are ranked in the top-five in the MVC while in the heptathlon, Rachel Peth holds the No. 3 ranking in the conference and Chaley Rath sits in fourth place.

In the individual competitions, UNI had two athletes qualify for the finals with Brandon Carnes and Sebastian Barth both shining for the men’s team. Barth placed finished sixth overall in the 110 meter hurdles with a time of 14.01 while Carnes finished in fourth in the 100 meter dash with a fast time of 10.49 to keep him at the top of the conference.

Highlighting the meet was senior Alex Wilson breaking the school record in the 1,500 meter run for the second time in the month of April and the third time in her career. She finished with a PR time of 4:20.49, which is the fastest time in the conference by over seven seconds. She also earned the MVC Leadership & Service Award for her continued success on and off the track.

The men’s 4X100 meter relay team posted the second fastest time in the MVC this season against some of the best competition in the country, earning a season-best time. The team of Cam Brown, Brett McCalla, Jordan Guske and Brandon Carnes notched a time of 40.97.

On the final day of the meet, both the shuttle hurdle relay teams put in solid performances. The women’s team of Christine MacNeill, Jennifer Roberts, Rath and Peth opened the day with a time of 58.63 in the 4X100 shuttle hurdles to qualify for the finals. They ended up besting their time from the preliminary race, running a team time of 57.90 to place fourth overall and rank No. 3 all-time at UNI.

On the men’s side, the team of Barth, Matthews, Jon Rus and Daurice Fountain grabbed the second fastest time in the preliminaries. The 4X110 shuttle hurdle relay team finished with a time of 58.23, the fifth fastest time in UNI history.

Maddie Beeler-I-35-UNI
©Jim Kirby

UNI’s Maddie Beeler Feeling at Home at Drake by Scott Vickerost

Maddie Beeler-I-35-UNI ©Jim Kirby

Maddie Beeler-I-35-UNI
©Jim Kirby

Former Interstate 35 standout Maddie Beeler felt at home here last weekend, running at the Drake Relays for the University of Northern Iowa.

The UNI junior ran on the Panthers’ 4×400 and 4×200 relay teams at the Drake Relays on Friday.

Courtesy Scott Vickerost-Oceola Sentinel 

“I’m always just so blessed to be here,” Beeler said. “I know some people who don’t run in college don’t have this opportunity anymore. I’m just so happy to come back and run for my home crowd and do my best.”

Do her best is exactly what Beeler did Friday afternoon in the 4×400 relay.

Beeler took the handoff from teammate Darian Samuelson, who ran the leadoff leg, and ran a big second leg for the Panthers. Beeler used a strong finish in the final 100 meters to pick off a couple of places in the second heat.

She split a 55.1 for the Panthers, who ended up sixth in the heat and 19th overall out of the 27-team field.

“I’ve been working on that last part. It’s just got to get a little stronger each time and it gets a little easier,” Beeler said about her finish. “I felt pretty strong. To be honest, we didn’t get much of a warmup, because they kind of brought us down there pretty quick. So I didn’t have much time to think about it. Just went out there and did it. It’s kind of a blur, really.”

Northern Iowa ran 3:45.05 as a team. Joining Beeler on the relay were Samuelson, Jennifer Roberts and Holly Salzbrenner. That time currently ranks the Panthers third in the Missouri Valley Conference.

It marked just the second time this outdoor season the Panthers have run that 4×400 quartet.

“We’ve only run the 4×400 twice yet this year,” Beeler said. “We wanted to hit 3:45 today. It’s a huge season best. We’ve kind of been playing with the order a little bit, but I think we’ve finally found one that works, so we’re all very pleased. We just put it all out there, so we’re very pleased.”

Beeler also ran on UNI’s 11th-place 4×200 relay team, which ran 1:41.05. She ran the leadoff leg for that relay.

After going through a rough indoor season in which she dealt with several minor injuries, Beeler said she’s rounding into form during the outdoor season.

“Indoor season was a little bit tough, because I kind of battled some minor injuries, so I think I’m really hitting my stride in outdoor season and staying healthy,’ she said. “With that bigger track, it’s always nice, too. Outdoor season has been going really well so far. I’ve been hitting season’s best every time, so just on my way to a new PR, I guess.”

Beeler ran a 56.5 in the 400 meter dash the previous weekend at Indiana State University.

With three weeks left until the Missouri Valley Conference Outdoor Championships, Beeler hopes to keep improving her times so she can accomplish her goals.

“Obviously, we’d like to make top three in the conference (on the 4×400 relay),” Beeler said. “That’s what we always like to do, is work hard and try to get on that podium for that. I’d like to make finals in the 400 as an individual.”

The Panthers travel to the Musco Invitational Saturday in Iowa City and then host the Messersmith Invitational on May 8. The MVC Outdoor Championships are May 15-17 in Bloomington, Ill.

Former Clarke state and Drake Relays champion Sarah Pate is also a member of the University of Northern Iowa track and field team.

Pate, a redshirt freshman, finished second in the discus competition at the Gibson Invite in Terra Haute, Ind., on April 17, throwing 150-1, which ranks her fifth all-time in UNI history. She also threw 174-0 for sixth place in the hammer throw.

Kevin Lewis-Ottumwa-Iowa
©Jim Kirby

Lewis to Receive Hawkeye’s Big Ten Medal of Honor

Kevin Lewis-Ottumwa-Iowa ©Jim Kirby

Kevin Lewis-Ottumwa-Iowa
©Jim Kirby

University of Iowa seniors Kevin Lewis (men’s cross country, men’s track & field) Samantha Logic (women’s basketball) and Brandon Scherff (football) earned top honors at Monday night’s University of Iowa annual academic and athletic achievement banquet. Lewis and Logic were named Iowa’s Big Ten Medal of Honor winners, while Logic and Scherff were named Iowa’s Male and Female Athletes of the Year for 2014-15.

Courtesy Hawkeye Athletics

Lewis was a second team All-American in the 5,000 meters during the 2015 indoor track and field season, and is a two-time All-Region honoree in cross country, A native of Ottumwa, Iowa, Lewis holds the indoor school records in the 3,000 (7:57.06) and 5,000 meters (13:43.70). He also ranks in the all-time top 10 performances in six other track and cross country events. He earned first team All-Big Ten honors during the 2014 cross country season, and was Iowa’s top finisher in every race he competed in the past two seasons. Lewis is a four-time academic All-Big Ten honoree.

Logic, a native of Racine, Wisconsin, started all 135 games during her four-year career with the Hawkeyes, scoring 1,546 points (10th in school history), grabbing 922 rebounds (second), and handing out 898 assists (first by 322). The fourth consensus All-American in Iowa women’s basketball school history, Logic is the only player in NCAA history to accumulate at least 1,500 career points, 800 rebounds, 800 assists, and 200 steals. She was drafted by the Atlanta Dream in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) Draft earlier this month. She was the 2015 Senior CLASS Award winner, a Capital One Academic All-American, and a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree.

Scherff was a unanimous consensus All-American and won the Outland Trophy, which is annually awarded to the nation’s top interior offensive lineman, following the 2014 season. The 2014 Rimington-Pace Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year, Scherff started all 26 games over his final two seasons with the Hawkeyes at left tackle. The Denison, Iowa, native was a two-time first team All-Big Ten selection and two-time Iowa Most Valuable Player on offense.

The Big Ten Medal of Honor is the conference’s most exclusive award, and the first of its kind in intercollegiate athletics to recognize academic and athletic excellence. The Big Ten Medal of Honor was first awarded in 1915 to one student-athlete from the graduating class of each university who had “attained the greatest proficiency in athletics and scholastic work.” Big Ten schools currently feature more than 8,200 student-athletes, but only 28 earn this prestigious award on an annual basis. In the 100 years of the Medal of Honor, over 1,300 student-athletes have earned this distinction.

Logic and Scherff will be Iowa’s nominees for the 2015 Big Ten Conference Athletes of the Year awards. Winners will be announced in late June, following a vote by a panel of Big Ten media voters.