All the news from Division I Mens and Womens Track.

Coach Dave Paulsen
©Panthers Athletics

Coach Paulsen Set to Lead Panthers into XC Season

Coach Dave Paulsen ©Panther Athletics

Coach Dave Paulsen
©Panther Athletics

University of Northern Iowa Director of Athletics Troy Dannen has named Dave Paulsen as Interim Cross Country/Track and Field Head Coach.

Courtesy Panthers Athletics

“Dave has been a part of the Panther program as a student-athlete and a member of two different coaching staffs,” Dannen said. “He has a tremendous understanding of the history of our program and the needs of our student-athletes as our program advances forward. Our student-athletes were strong in their support of Dave’s candidacy over the past few days. He has positively influenced lives both on and off the track as an assistant coach and I’m pleased he is willing to expand that influence as our interim head coach.”

Paulsen will be entering his eighth year on the UNI cross country/track and field coaching staff this fall. Paulsen has planned, organized and managed all areas of UNI’s men’s and women’s cross country programs since joining the staff in August 2008. As a member of the UNI coaching staff, he has seen the Panthers set 19 school records, crown 17 Missouri Valley Conference champions, send 14 NCAA national qualifiers to the championship meet and has helped the Panthers net three NCAA All-America honors.

“I would like to thank Troy Dannen for the opportunity to lead the Panther cross country and track and field programs,” Paulsen said. “UNI has a rich tradition that I have been fortunate to be a part of as both a student-athlete and coach. We have a terrific coaching staff in place that will work tirelessly to build the program in a positive direction.”

Paulsen’s ties run deep in the Cedar Valley as he earned both his bachelor’s (political science) and master’s (exercise science) from UNI. Paulsen earned All-America honors in 2002 and was a two-time NCAA national qualifier (2002, 2003) for the UNI track & field program.

Paulsen and his wife, Dee, reside in Dike, with their son, Caleb, and daughters, Chloe and Kadee.

In addition to Paulsen’s hire as interim coach, it was announced that Trey Brokaw has joined the staff as a full-time assistant coach. Brokaw had served as a volunteer assistant coach over the past two seasons. In his two years at UNI, Brokaw has had great success working with athletes ranging from the 400 meters to the 10,000 meters on the track, as well as both cross country programs in the fall.

Brokaw graduated from Emporia State University in 2013 with a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Education. Currently he is working towards a Master’s Degree in Exercise Science from the University of Northern Iowa.

Dannen indicated a full search for a permanent head coach will commence following the conclusion of the 2016 outdoor track and field season.

Iowa State Cyclones
©Michael Scott

Cyclones Can’t Wait For the Season’s Start

Iowa State Cyclones ©Michael Scott

Iowa State Cyclones
©Michael Scott

Iowa State director of track and field and cross country Martin Smith announced the Cyclones’ schedule for the 2015 cross country season on Tuesday. The men have a similar slate to 2014, with three regular-season meets, while the women’s team will compete five times before the postseason.

The Cyclones open up the season in Iowa City at the Hawkeye Early Bird Invitational on Sept. 4. The meet, hosted by Iowa, will be held at Ashton Cross Country Course.

Iowa State will then be in Minneapolis, Minn. for back-to-back meets, with the women running in the Oz Memorial on Sept. 11. It will be the first time an Iowa State squad has competed at the meet, which is named after longtime Drake head coach Gary Osborn, who passed away in 2000. Both Cyclone squads will be back in Minneapolis on Sept. 26 as the competition elevates at the Roy Griak Invitational.

The women’s team will then travel to Louisville, Ky. to compete in the Greater Louisville Classic on Oct. 3. The meet will give the Cyclones a chance to run at E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park, the site of the 2015 NCAA Championship. The Cyclone men and women will once again close the regular season in Madison, Wisc. at the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational on Oct. 16.

Postseason action will begin on Oct. 31 in Stillwater, Okla., where the Cyclones will compete at the 2015 Big 12 Championship. The women’s team will be chasing their fifth-consecutive conference title. The NCAA Midwest Regional, held on Nov. 13, marks the NCAA qualifier on both the individual and team levels. The regional meet will be held in Lawrence, Kan.

The Cyclones will look to wrap up the year back in Louisville, Ky. at the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships. The national meet will take place Nov. 21 at the E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park.

©Darren Miller

Hawks Set to Open 2015 XC Campaign at Home

©Darren Miller

©Darren Miller

The University of Iowa cross country program opens the season at home Friday, Sept. 4, hosting the Hawkeye Early Bird Invitational. The UI athletics department released the complete 2015 schedule Friday.

Courtesy Hawkeye Athletics 

The Hawkeyes host Iowa State, Northern Iowa, and Illinois State at the Ashton Cross Country Course at 6 p.m. (CT). The women run 3,000 meters at 6 p.m., and the men’s 6,000-meter race begins at 6:30 p.m.

The Hawkeyes’ remaining regular season schedule includes the Illinois State Invitational (Sept. 11), the Notre Dame Invitational (Oct. 2), and the Bradley Pink Classic (Oct.16).

The postseason begins Nov. 1 at the Big Ten Championships in Evanston, Illinois. The NCAA Midwest Regional is Nov. 13 in Lawrence, Kansas, and the NCAA Championships are Nov. 21 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Admission to the Hawkeye Early Bird Invitational, Iowa’s only home meet, is free for all ages.

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 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

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

The Iowa Flavor at USATF Championships

Shelby Houlihan-SC East-Bowerman track Club ©Michael Scott

Shelby Houlihan-SC East-Bowerman track Club
©Michael Scott

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

Jenny Simpson-Webster City
©Michael Scott


  • 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

A.G. Kruger-Sheldon, IA
©Michael Scott


  • 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.

LINK TO FULL MEET RESULTS:—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!