All the news from Division I Mens and Womens Track.

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.

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

Alex Wilson to Receive MVC Leadership & Service Award

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

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

Senior track and field standout Alex Wilson has been named one of the spring recipients of the MVC Leadership & Service Award, the conference announced today.

Wilson is one of 10 student-athletes that were named to the prestigious award by Commissioner Doug Elgin. In order to be eligible for the award, the student-athlete must be in good academic standing, must demonstrate good citizenship through good sportsmanship and significant community service, and must participate in a sport, during the season of recognition.

Courtesy Panther Athletics

Wilson has posted a solid senior year heading into the final leg of the regular outdoor season. The Lisbon, Iowa native has broken the 1,500 meter run record twice this month and now has four individual UNI records under her belt between the indoor and outdoor seasons. She is currently leading the Missouri Valley in the 1,500 by over seven seconds and is ranked in the top-20 in the NCAA West Region.

Off the track, Wilson has been a part of the Dean’s List for four semesters and the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll for six. She was named to the MVC Scholar-Athlete team for cross country this past fall after placing second overall at the MVC Championship meet.

She is an avid volunteer at the Boys and Girls Club along with participating in the Junior Panther and Panther Reading programs. Wilson also spends time each year volunteering for the National Girls and Women in Sports Day and the Waterloo Department of Corrections with the Waterloo Women’s Center for Change.

Wilson and the Panthers will return to action this Saturday when they compete in the Musco Invitational in Iowa City, Iowa.

  • 2014-15 Spring MVC Leadership & Service Award Winners
  • Eric Delvo, Bradley, Men’s Outdoor Track & Field
  • Kathryn Clausen, Drake, Women’s Golf, Junior
  • Marketa Trousilova, Evansville, Women’s Tennis, Senior
  • Kelly McShea, Illinois State, Women’s Outdoor Track & Field, Junior
  • Megan Stone, Indiana State, Softball, Senior
  • Annie Korth, Loyola, Softball, Senior
  • Ali Trickey, Missouri State, Softball, Senior
  • Alexina Wilson, UNI, Women’s Outdoor Track & Field, Senior
  • Oscar Medina, Southern Illinois, Men’s Outdoor Track & Field, Senior
  • Brianne Bond, Wichita State, Softball, Senior.
Alex Wilson-Mt. Vernon Lisbon-UNI
©Jim Kirby

Records Fall For the Panthers at Drake

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

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

For the second time this season and the third time in her career, senior Alex Wilson has broken the 1,500 meter run school record after her solid performance today at the Drake Relays.

Courtesy Panthers Athletics

The Lisbon, Iowa native finished third overall in the 1,500 meters with a new personal-best time of 4:20.49. She now leads the Missouri Valley Conference by seven seconds in the event and continues to sit at the top of four individual UNI records between the indoor and outdoor seasons.
The Panthers took part in the final day of competition at the Drake Relays on Saturday. UNI kicked the day off with two top performances from the men’s and women’s shuttle hurdle relay teams.

The women’s team of Christine MacNeill, Jennifer Roberts, Chaley Rath and Rachel 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 Sebastian Barth, Jayvon 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.

Continuing their success on the track, Barth competed in the finals of the men’s 110 meter hurdles along opponents from the Big 10, MVC and the SEC. The senior turned in a strong time of 14.01 to place sixth overall.

In the men’s 100 meter dash, Brandon Carnes matched his preliminary time to place fourth in the finals of the event. His time of 10.49 keeps him standing at the top of the MVC.

“Despite the inclement weather, we got a lot of great things out of the meet,” head coach Dan Steele said. “I thought we competed really well and took some important steps forward.”

The UNI track and field program will return to action on Saturday, May 2 when they travel to Iowa City, Iowa for the Musco Invitational.

Lake Kwaza-Iowa
©Darren Miller

Lake Kwaza Breaks School Record by Dylan Montz-CR Gazette

Lake Kwaza-Iowa ©Darren Miller

Lake Kwaza-Iowa
©Darren Miller

Lake Kwaza might have taken the same approach to the 100-meter dash, but the history behind her latest performance was anything but ordinary.

Iowa’s junior sprinter blazed her way to school record in the 100-meter dash, winning the Mt. Sac Relays event in 11.40. Her mark bested Vivien McKenzie’s 30-year-old record of 11.45 set in 1985.

Courtesy Cedar Rapids Gazette

“She’s been looking really good all year, it’s just a matter of everything coming together for her and I’m really excited for her and where she’s at right now,” Iowa Director of Track and Field Joey Woody said of Kwaza. “She’s brewing with confidence and I think she feels like she can beat anybody right now.”

Kwaza is carrying that performance into the Drake Relays this weekend, where success was apparent a year ago. Last year’s 4×100-meter relay team of Kwaza, Elexis Guster, Alexis Hernandez and Brittany Brown notched a first-place finish of 44.51.

MonTayla Holder, Guster, Kwaza and Brown ran the sixth-fastest time in school history on April 18 and will try to defend that title this weekend at Drake Stadium. Kwaza and Brown also own two of the top five fastest times for the 100 and 200 meters in the Big Ten.

Iowa senior thrower Gabe Hull will also try to defend a Drake Relays title after winning in discus last season with a toss of 60.05 meters. His personal best this year is 57.51 meters, which he recorded on April 17 at the Mt. Sac Relays.

“Mt. Sac meet was probably the best representation of both of our teams all year,” Woody said. “It was one of the best meets that I’ve been a part of since I’ve been here at Iowa. I’m really excited about where we’re at and I think we’re going to have a good representation of our team this weekend.”

Iowa State will feature of field-event entrants at the blue oval. Senior thrower Christina Hillman will compete in shot put and discus, ranking 19th and 57th in the nation, respectively.

All-American ISU high jumper Cameron Ostrowski will compete against seven of the top-20 high jumpers in the country, including three of the top five. Hammer throwers Anna Holtermann and Kayla Sanborn will both be trying to improve their positions amongst the top-10 all-time performers in ISU history.

UNI sprinter Brandon Carnes will start things for the Panthers in the 100-meter dash, hoping to build on his season-best time of 10.46 from Mt. Sac Relays.

Hurdler Sebastian Barth, who was named Missouri Valley Conference Male Track Athlete of the Week on Wednesday, will compete in the 110-meter high hurdles. He is coming off a season-best performance of 13.92, which he ran at Mt. Sac Relays.

Des Moines native and Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones withdrew from the Drake Relays on Wednesday due to a minor injury suffered in workouts leading up to the event. She was scheduled to compete in the 100-meter hurdles and shuttle hurdle relay.

“It’s frustrating because returning and running in front of a home crowd is a very unique honor for a track athlete,” Jones said in a video posted to her Facebook page on Wednesday. “To be able to compete at such a high venue, there’s no other feeling like it in the world.”

Chaley Rath-Treynor-UNI
©Jim Kirby

Panthers Set For the Blue Oval

Rachel Peth-Waverly Shell Rock-UNI ©Jim Kirby

Rachel Peth-Waverly Shell Rock-UNI
©Jim Kirby

The University of Northern Iowa track and field team will head to Des Moines this week to take part in the 106th Drake Relays.

The meet takes place April 22-26, starting with the heptathlon and decathlon competitions. UNI will have four student-athletes competing in the multis this year, including true freshmen Jayvon Matthews and Derek Jacobus on the men’s side. Rachel Peth will compete in the heptathlon for the second consecutive season with

taking in her first heptathlon of the year.

Courtesy Panthers Athletics

Rath will also participate in the women’s high jump along with sophomore Kassidy Sharp. Both Panthers are currently ranked in the top-five in the Missouri Valley Conference, with Rath taking the No. 1 spot after her personal-best height of 5-8.75 at the Gibson Invitational this past weekend.

The UNI women will also three other student-athletes competing in the field events, with Libby Torresani in the pole vault, Chloe Schmidt in the discus and Jamie Lindstrom taking on the hammer throw and shot put. All three are ranked in the top-10 in the MVC and in the top-five all-time at UNI in their respective events.

On the track, UNI will field five relay teams. The Panthers will compete in the 4X200, 4X400, 4X800, 4X100 meter shuttle hurdle and distance medley relays.

Brandon Carnes will kick things off for the UNI men on the track when he runs the 100 meter dash. Carnes currently holds the top-spot in the conference in both the 100 and 200 meters after his season-best time of 10.46 in the 100 dash at the Mt. Sac Relays.

Joining Carnes on the track will be senior hurdler Sebastian Barth in the 110 meter high hurdles. Barth is also coming off a successful outing at the Mt. Sac Relays, running a season-best time of 13.92 to rank him first in the conference and 12th in the NCAA West Region.

In the field events, UNI will have a pair of jumpers and a pair of throwers competing. In the long jump, Weston Riesselman will look to improve on an already strong season. Shawn Koch will also participate in the triple jump where he is ranked No. 4 in the MVC after his PR of 49-4.50 at the Husker Invite.

Justin Baker will look to capitalize in the hammer throw and shot put where he holds top-five rankings in the MVC and appears on the UNI all-time list in both events. Brad Walski will join Baker in the shot put competition after scoring a personal-best at the Gibson Invite.

The men will also take four relay teams with them to Des Moines, partaking in the 4X100, 4X200, 4X400 and the 4X110 meter shuttle hurdle relay.

Chaley Rath-Treynor-UNI
©Jim Kirby

Panthers Find Success at Mt. Sac

Lindsey Kite-Jesup-UNI ©Jim Kirby

Lindsey Kite-Jesup-UNI
©Jim Kirby

The University of Northern Iowa track and field team wrapped up competition at the Gibson Invitational and the Mt. Sac Relays today, continuing to improve on the track and in the field.

Kicking off the meet in the field events was Chaley Rath, scoring a first place finish with a personal-best mark of 5-8.75. The height tied her for second all-time at UNI and placed her first in the Missouri Valley Conference.

The Panthers also grabbed a pair of second place finishes in the pole vault competition. Libby Torresani placed second overall in the women’s event with a height of 12-5.50 while Corey Szamlewski also finished second in the men’s competition with a strong mark of 16-0.75.

In the throws events, Sarah Pate came away with a career-best in the discus throw, finishing with a toss of 150-1.00 to rank herself fifth all-time as a Panther. In the men’s shot put, Justin Baker finished with the win and a season-best mark while Brad Walski placed third overall with a new outdoor personal-best throw of 53-3.75.

Opening a successful day on the track was the middle-distance crew scoring several personal-bests. In the men’s 1,500 meters, Bailey Wetherell finished sixth overall with a PR time of 3:56.53. The Panthers also had three top-10 finishers in the 800 meters, with both Wade Pingel and Andrew Arndt scoring career-best times.

On the women’s side, Lindsey Kite and Theresa Connelly both finished with big personal-best times in the 800 meter run. Kite placed fifth overall with a time of 2:14.83 with Connelly following closely behind in sixth with a time of 2:14.91.

In the long sprints, Darian Samuelson shined, finishing with another PR in the 400 meter dash. The senior finished fourth in the race with a time of 55.63 to move up to third in the MVC.

For the second week in a row, both Holly Salzbrenner and Jennifer Roberts gained PRs in the 400 meter hurdles as well. Salzbrenner placed fifth with a time of 1:01.96 while Roberts finished sixth in 1:02.65.

To wrap up the day of competition, the women’s 4X400 meter relay team captured another top-three finish and a season-best time. The team of Maddie Beeler, Samuelson, Salzbrenner and Roberts grabbed a time of 3:48.73.

Senior hurdler Sebastian Barth was the lone competitor at the Mt. Sac Relays today in Los Angeles, Calif., seizing another top performance. The Gauting, Germany native finished with a time of 13.92 to rank himself first in the conference and 10th in the NCAA West Region.

“We had some terrific performances this weekend,” head coach Dan Steele said. “We competed well and added several people to our list of likely NCAA qualifiers.”

The Panthers will return to action April 22-25 when they compete at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa.

Anna Peer-Bettendorf-Nebraska
©Walt Middleton

Husker’s Peer Wins Mt Sac 10K

Anna Peer-Bettendorf-Nebraska ©Walt Middleton

Anna Peer-Bettendorf-Nebraska
©Walt Middleton

Late Thursday night, Anna Peer won the 10,000m Invitational (B) at the Mt. SAC Relays with a time of 34:10.58.

Courtesy Husker Athletics 

Peer’s time was a personal best and ranks third in school history. She edged South Dakota’s Amber Eichkorn by two seconds.

Joe Harter finished 30th in the men’s open 10,000m, running 31:23.00.

Aaron Mallett-Iowa
©Brian Ray

Iowa’s Mallett to Run World University Games by Darren Miller

Kevin Spejcher-Mt Vernon-Iowa ©Darren Miller

Kevin Spejcher-Mt Vernon-Iowa ©Darren Miller

University of Iowa All-American Aaron Mallett has accepted an invitation to represent Team USA at the 2015 World University Games in Gwangju, Korea, on July 3-14.

Mallett, a sophomore from St. Louis, will compete in the 110-meter hurdles. He set a personal best in the event at the 2015 Florida Relays. His time of 13.60 ranks second in the NCAA, leads the Big Ten, and ranks second in program history.

Mallett will also be considered for relay events. At the 2015 Baldy Castillo Invitational, he ran the anchor leg of the 400-meter relay that currently ranks second in the Big Ten (40.07).

He is the first Hawkeye to compete at the World University Games since All-American Justin Austin ran the 200 meters and 400-meter relay in 2013. UI director of track and field Joey Woody competed at the event in 1997, the summer after he won the NCAA championship in the 400-meter hurdles.