All the news from Division I Mens and Womens Track.

Alex Wilson-Mt. Vernon Lisbon-UNI
©Jim Kirby

Drake Relays Rank 5th in Worldwide Rankings

Drake Relays ©Jim Kirby

Drake Relays
©Jim Kirby

In the 2015 All-Athletics.com competition scoring of multi-day track and field events around the world, the Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee earned an impressive fifth place ranking. The event garnered the highest rank for an invitational event as the top four were all championship meets.

Courtesy Bulldog Athletics

The ranking is based on a detailed system that includes the following factors:

Result Score: The actual results achieved in the competition
Participation Score: The level of the participating athletes
WR Bonus: World Records achieved in the competition
Points are earned if an athlete is an Olympic or World Champion medalist, is a world record holder or is world ranked in their event. This year’s Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee included six indoor or outdoor world record holders, 21 Olympic medalists and 38 athletes ranked in the top 10 in the world their event.

The top five track and field events were:

1. USA Outdoor Championship – Eugene, OR 180,047
2. Toronto Pan American Games – Canada 174,571
3. Cheboksary European Team Championships – Russia 171,469
4. NCAA Div. I Championship – Eugene, OR 169,732
5. Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee – Des Moines, IA 167,686

Iowa State Cyclones  ISU

The Iowa St. Cyclones, Our Newest Sponsor!

Iowa State Cyclones  ISUWe would like to welcome the Iowa State Cyclones as one of our major sponsors.  We are so grateful to Mr. Pollard, Coach Smith and the entire athletic department for their support of our project!

Brogan Austin-Boone-Drake
©Doug Wells

Bulldogs, Fast and Smart

Brogan Austin-Boone-Drake ©Doug Wells

Brogan Austin-Boone-Drake
©Doug Wells

The Drake University men’s and women’s track and field teams have been named All-Academic Teams by the United States Track & Field And Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). Individually, three Bulldogs were named All-Academic by the organization.

To earn All-Academic Team honors, teams must post a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher. Drake’s women’s team posted a team GPA of 3.54, the second-highest in the Missouri Valley Conference and the 12th best in the nation. The men’s squad owned a 3.23 GPA to earn the honor.

Brogan Austin (Boone, Iowa), Kayla Bell (Bolingbrook, Ill.) and Emma Huston (Des Moines, Iowa) also earned All-Academic honors from the USTFCCCA. To be named All-Academic, a student-athlete must have compiled a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 and have met at least one of the following athletic standards: For the indoor season, a student-athlete must have finished the regular season ranked in the national top 96 in an individual event or ranked in the national top 48 (collective listing) in a relay event on the official NCAA POP list provided by TFRRS.org

For the outdoor season, a student-athlete must have participated in any round of the NCAA Division I Championships.

All three qualified for the NCAA West Region Preliminary round in addition to achieving the necessary GPA. Austin and Huston were also winners of the MVC Elite 18 Award, given to the student-athlete with the highest GPA competing at an MVC championship event, during the academic year.

Dan Steele as UNI Head Coach
©Panthers Athletics

Coach Dan Steele is the New Asst. Coach for Cyclones

Dan Steele as UNI Head Coach ©Panthers Athletics

Dan Steele as UNI Head Coach
©Panthers Athletics

Dan Steele, whose exemplary resume includes experiences as an Olympic medalist, NCAA champion and head coach, is Iowa State’s new Men’s & Women’s Associate Head Track & Field coach.

Courtesy Cyclone Athletics

Steele, most recently, served as Head Men’s & Women’s Track & Field/Cross Country Coach (2009-15) at Northern Iowa.

As an athlete, Steele was the 1992 NCAA Champion in the 400-meter hurdles at Eastern Illinois. Post-college, he won a silver medal in the decathlon at the 1999 Pan-American Games and represented the United States at the 1999 IAAF World Track & Field Championships in Spain.

After his track career ended, Steele began training for the bobsled. He was brakeman on the 2002 USA Olympic team that earned a bronze medal in Salt Lake City, ending a 46-year medal drought in the sport for the U.S. Steele competed in three USA Olympic Trials in the bobsled and made the 1998 team, too.

As head coach of the Panthers’ track & field programs, Steele helped his student-athletes set 35 school records and win 49 Missouri Valley Conference individual titles.

Before returning to the Midwest in 2009 to lead the UNI program, the Sherrard, Ill., native was Associate (2007-09) and Assistant (2001, 2003-07) Head Men’s and Women’s Coach at Oregon. He worked alongside current Cyclone Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Martin Smith (for four seasons) with the Ducks.

“Dan’s reputation as both a coach and athlete will impact our program significantly and our student-athletes will be the greatest beneficiaries,” Smith said. “It is also a huge plus that we have worked together and share a passion and vision for helping our athletes reach their personal potentials on and off the track. He is well known and respected across the nation and we could not have found a better fit.”

There is a mutual respect between Smith and Steele.

“I’m thrilled to work with Martin Smith again,” Steele said. “Martin gave me my start at Oregon and has been a close friend for more than 15 years. He’s one of the greatest minds in coaching and is building the Cyclone program into of the finest in the country. I am honored and excited to be part of the Cyclone family.”

While in Eugene, Steele helped coach a remarkable 2009 campaign when the men’s team won the NCAA Indoor Championship, the Pac-10 Outdoor Meet and was runner-up at the NCAA Outdoor Championship and the women’s squad earned the Pac-10 Outdoor title and finished second at the NCAA Outdoor Championship.

Steele is recognized nationally as one of best multi-event coaches in the nation and has a reputation – especially in the Midwest and the state of Iowa – as an outstanding evaluator, recruiter and developer of elite talent.

At Oregon in 2009, he became the first coach in NCAA history to mentor both the NCAA decathlon (Ashton Eaton) and heptathlon (Brianne Theisen) champion in the same season. Eaton won two decathlon titles for the Ducks under Steele’s guidance and set a World Record in his specialty before capturing the 2012 Olympic Gold Medal in London.

As a college coach, Steele has coached eight NCAA Champions, 64 conference champions and 32 First-team All-Americans. His coaching honors include: 2009 NCAA Men’s Indoor Coach of the Year, 2009 NCAA West Regional Women’s Coach of the Year, 2008 Pac-10 Coach of the Year and 2007 and 2005 West Regional Assistant Coach of the Year (sprints/hurdles).

He earned his B.A. degree in sociology from Eastern Illinois in 1992. Steele was a two-time All-American and two-time Drake Relays champion for the Panthers and was inducted into EIU’s Hall of Fame in 2001.

Steele, a U.S. Army veteran, and his wife (Dusky) have three children: Xander, Blake and Indira.

Ashley Miller-Tipton-Nebraska
©Andrew M Nguyen

Ashley Miller Has Still Got It!

Ashley Miller-Tipton-Nebraska ©Andrew M Nguyen

Ashley Miller-Tipton-Nebraska
©Andrew M Nguyen

Ashley Miller, formerly of Tipton and now living in Oklahoma City, set a course record at the 48th Annual Fireball Classic Memorial 10K on July 4 in Ada, Oklahoma. Miller’s time was 37:56; the old record was 38:19 set by Jenny Graef in 2014. The Fireball Classic is the oldest road race in the state of Oklahoma.

Erik Sowinski
©Michael Scott http://miscottrunningphoto.shutterfly.com

The Iowa Flavor at USATF Championships

Shelby Houlihan-SC East-Bowerman track Club ©Michael Scott http://miscottrunningphoto.shutterfly.com

Shelby Houlihan-SC East-Bowerman track Club
©Michael Scott http://miscottrunningphoto.shutterfly.com

The 2015 track and field season has come to an end for most of our Iowans and Iowa connections, with Erik Sowinski and AG Kruger making the US team for the Beijing World Championships. The Iowa collegians did not fare as well at USA’s, but that is not that big of a surprise. The track season is VERY long for kids who compete Indoors and Out, make it to the NCAA meet, then compete in the USA championships. These athletes have made all of us proud with their outstanding accomplishments and we are so excited to see what their future holds. Following is a re-cap of what our Iowans did in the “Senior” meet in Eugene, as well as a link to full meet results.

 

Jenny Simpson-Webster City ©Michael Scott http://miscottrunningphoto.shutterfly.com

Jenny Simpson-Webster City
©Michael Scott http://miscottrunningphoto.shutterfly.com

WOMEN’S SENIOR EVENTS

  • 400M-Elexis Guster, U of Iowa: 4th Heat 3, 53.15.
  • 800M-Bethany Praska, former U of Iowa: 7th Heat 1, 2:05.41.
  • 1500m-Jenny Simpson, Webster City, IA National Champion on her way to the World Championships in China!
  • 1500M-Shelby Houlihan, Sioux City East/Arizona State: 3rd Heat 1, 4:19.51. 10th in final 4:17.15.
  • 5K and 10K-Meghan Armstrong Peyton, former U of Iowa: 16th in 5K, 15:56.75. 16th in 10K, 34:21.44.
  • 100H-Lolo Jones, DM Roosevelt/LSU: 2nd Heat 1, 12.62. 4th in Semi 2, 12.77. Hit 2 hurdles in final, DNF.
  • High Jump-Megan Glisar, Sargeant Bluff Luton, former Morningside, South Dakota: 13th, 5’ 8”.
  • Long Jump-Skye Morrison, former Wartburg: 7th in Flight 1. 20’ 6 ½”.
  • Heptathlon and 100H-Alex Gochenour, Logan Magnolia/Arkansas. DNF Heptathlon due to injury. 7th in Heat 3 of 100H, 13.43.
  • Heptathlon-Lindsay Lettow, DM Christian/ former Central Missouri: 5th, Lifetime best score of 6,023.
A.G. Kruger-Sheldon, IA ©Michael Scott http://miscottrunningphoto.shutterfly.com

A.G. Kruger-Sheldon, IA
©Michael Scott http://miscottrunningphoto.shutterfly.com

MEN’S SENIOR EVENTS

  • 800M-Erik Sowinski, former U of Iowa: 1st Heat 1, 1:47.80. 2nd Semi 2, 1:45.30. 2nd in Final, seasons best 1:44.84. SOWINSKI MAKES WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM! HEADED TO BEIJING!!
  • 1500M-Dorian Ulrey, former UNI/Arkansas: 7th in Heat 3, 3:46.24.
  • 110HH-Aaron Mallett, U of Iowa: 4th in Heat 1, 13.59. 6th in Semi 1, 13.62.
  • 400H-LaRon Bennett, Drake Asst. Coach: 4th in Heat 3, 50.40. 5th in Semi 1, 50.31.
  • Steeplechase-Hillary Bor-former Iowa State: Heat 1, DNF.
  • Masters 3K-Lance Elliott, Montezuma/ Iowa State: 5th, 8:55.69.
  • Triple Jump-Troy Doris, former U of Iowa: 9th in Flight 2, 47’ 7 ¼”.
  • Discus-Chase Madison. Newton/Iowa State/ Kentucky: 7th Flight 2, 200’ 3”.
  • Hammer Throw-AG Kruger, Sheldon, Iowa/former Morningside College: 3rd in Hammer Throw, 249’ 4”. Kruger makes his 4th US World Championship team.
  • Decathlon-Kurtis Brondyke, Clinton/Central College: 7th, 7,475.

Thank you to Michael Scott for all of his photos. http://miscottrunningphoto.shutterfly.com

LINK TO FULL MEET RESULTS: http://www.usatf.org/Events—Calendar/2015/USATF-Outdoor-Championships/Results-by-Day.aspx

alex Gochenour

Next Level Iowa AOY: Alex Gochenour-Arkansas

alex GochenourAlex Gochenour- Most people are not aware, but the former Logan Magnolia standout has competed injured most of 2015. This has not kept her from accomplishing big things. After earning All American honors in the pentathlon she opened the outdoor season with a PR in the heptathlon, winning the Texas Relays with a score of 6,027. She was 3rd in the SEC heptathlon behind 2 of the best in the US. She qualified to NCAA’s in both the 100H and the heptathlon. She tied for 8th in the hep and missed out on all American honors by virtue of a tie breaker. She will compete at USA’s next week in both the 100H and the heptathlon.

 

Congratulations to Alex Gochenour Next Level Iowa’s Multi Athlete of the Year!

Aaron Mallett-Iowa
©Jim Kirby

Future Bright For the Hawks!

James Harrington-Cedar Falls-Iowa ©Darren Miller

James Harrington-Cedar Falls-Iowa
©Darren Miller

University of Iowa sophomore Aaron Mallett backed up his 2015 All-America indoor season with an encore performance under the high skies of Track Town, USA.

Mallett placed fifth in the 110-meter hurdles at the 2015 NCAA Outdoor Championships on June 12, and he did so in spectacular fashion, breaking his own school record in 13.40.

“I am proud of Aaron and how far he has come in one year,” said UI director of track and field Joey Woody. “It’s hard to believe he only finished sixth at the Big Ten outdoor meet a year ago and now he is top five in the nation. He has his sights on the top of the podium and I believe he has the talent, mindset, and work ethic to get there.”

Mallett’s postseason started with a school record and conference title at the Big Ten Championships on May 15. He was one of 25 Hawkeyes to qualify for the NCAA West Regional, and one of eight Hawkeyes to advance to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon.

Five individuals and one relay competed for NCAA titles at Hayward Field from June 10-13, including Babatunde Amosu (triple jump), Brittany Brown (200 meters), Elexis Guster (400 meters), Mallett, Mitch Wolff (400-meter hurdles), and the men’s 400-meter relay.

Wolff, a junior from Plainfield, Illinois, placed 16th to earn second-team All-America honors in his first NCAA finals appearance.

“I am proud of what Mitch accomplished this season,” said Woody. “He remained 100-percent committed and developed into one of the best 400 hurdlers in the country. I know he has much higher expectations for next season.”

Woody also expects the outdoor championships to benefit sophomores Brown and Guster in 2016. Brown, a second team All-American in 2014, placed 17th in the 200 meters. Guster, a two-time Big Ten champion in the 400 meters, placed 21st in her signature event.

“I know Elexis and Brittany had higher goals,” Woody said, “but both women accomplished great things this year with school records and Big Ten championships. This experience will motivate them as they prepare for next season.”

The men’s 400-meter relay arrived in Eugene with consecutive sixth-place finishes at the national meet (2013-14). Sophomore Vinnie Saucer, Jr., Mallett, junior James Harrington, and senior Keith Brown, were unable to make it three in a row, but Woody expects a quick rebound.

“I am excited to see what this relay can do next season,” said Woody. “With the guys we have returning, the addition of (All-American) O’Shea (Wilson), and some very talented incoming freshmen, I believe we can get back on the podium.”

Keith Brown is the only relay member not in the picture next season, and one of only two Hawkeyes that competed in Eugene for the final time.

Amosu, a second-team All-American in the triple jump last season, placed 22nd in his final collegiate meet.

“I know it wasn’t the finish Babatunde wanted, but he leaves Iowa as a three-time Big Ten champion and that’s something that can never be taken from him,” said Woody.

The Hawkeyes earned eight All-America honors in 2015, Woody’s first at the helm. The 2016 roster features six returning All-Americans, two former All-Americans (Wilson and junior Klyvens Delaunay), and a pair of Big Ten champions.

Marine Vallet-ISU
©Michael Scott

Cyclone’s Vallet All American

Marine Vallet-ISU ©Michael Scott

Marine Vallet-ISU
©Michael Scott

Iowa State sophomore high jumper Marine Vallet closed out the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships by finishing tied for 17th in the women’s high jump competition. From Rennes, France, Vallet earned Honorable Mention All-America honors, her first career All-America recognition.

Courtesy Cyclone Athletics

The competition was not an easy one for Vallet as she almost left Hayward Field without clearing a bar, starting with a pair of misses at the opening height of 5-7 3/4. However, she was able to calm things down and get a clearance on her third and final attempt to get on the board. It was the same story at the second height, 5-9 3/4, as she once again missed on her first two tries but was able to recover and get the needed clearance on the third try to advance another bar.

However, all good things must come to an end as the challenge got tougher as the bar was raised to 5-11 1/4, which Vallet had only cleared once this season at the Big 12 Championships. It was not meant to be as Vallet missed three times to close out her NCAA Championship experience.

The Iowa State women collected three team points via Christina Hillman’s sixth-place finish in the shot put on Thursday. The Cyclones finished tied for 51st in the team standings for the meet.

The Iowa State track and field season is over. Many Cyclones will continue their seasons at various national and junior national competitions with an eye on qualifying for international competitions. Stay tuned to cyclones.com and Iowa State Track and Field/Cross Country’s various social media channels for updates throughout the summer.

Shelby Houlihan-SC East-ASU
©Michael Scott

“Houlihan Finishes Career as a 12-Time All American” by Jeff Metcalf

Shelby Houlihan-SC East-ASU ©Michael Scott

Shelby Houlihan-SC East-ASU
©Michael Scott

Arizona State’s Shelby Houlihan bettered her school record in the 1,500-meter Saturday but fell short of defending her NCAA Outdoor title by less than two-tenths of a second.

Courtesy AZCentral and Jeff Metcalf

Houlihan led almost from the start at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. The senior covered a move by Mississippi State’s Rhianwedd Price with roughly 200 meters remaining and lengthened her lead. Price, a sophomore from England, charged down the stretch to win in 4 minutes, 9.53 seconds, .14 ahead of Houlihan.

Houlihan lowered her school record to 4:09.67, down from 4:10.89 in 2014. Her previous season best was 4:11.06, a Pac-12 meet record.

Less than two hours later, the Pac-12 women’s track Athlete of the Year ran another personal record 15:49.72 to finish seventh in the 5,000 in her final race as a Sun Devil.

“I can’t say enough great things about Shelby Houlihan and what she’s meant for our program,” ASU coach Greg Kraft said of the 12-time All-America. “Nothing she did today diminished her legacy at ASU, in my opinion it only enhanced it. The way she handled her disappointment and just got ready for the next race just shows you what a bright future she has as a next-level competitor. We wish her nothing but the best as she moves forward.”