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Sports Briefs

BY DI SPORTS STAFF | MARCH 6, 2009 7:22 AM

Some tracksters head to Last Chance

This weekend, a portion of the Iowa women’s track and field team will head to Ames to participate in the Last Chance Qualifier, the final opportunity to qualify for the 2009 NCAA national championships.

After last weekend’s Big Ten championships in Bloomington, Ind., lone senior Hawkeye Racheal Marchand is officially qualified, taking second in the 5,000 with her collegiate-best time of 15:55.70.

Sophomore Karessa Farley provisionally qualified on Feb. 14 at the Iowa State Classic in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.30.

After stumbling over a hurdle in the finals in that event last weekend, the school-record holder in the 60-meter hurdles will try to get herself officially qualified for the first time in her collegiate career.
The meet will be held at 10:30 a.m. at the Lied Recreation Center.

— by Jake Krzeczowski

Baseball goes back South

The Iowa baseball team is headed back South following a 0-3 stint in DeLand, Fla.

Beginning today, the Hawkeyes (1-5) will face Austin Peay (2-5) in a three-game weekend series on the road in Clarksville, Tenn.

Senior Wes Freie is Iowa’s probable starting pitcher today, and junior lefty Michael Jacobs and freshman righty Nick Brown are expected to follow up on Saturday and March 8.

Center fielder Kurtis Muller missed last weekend’s games in Florida because of an undisclosed injury, but the sophomore is listed on the Hawkeye’s lineup, slated to bat third.

“Kurtis will be day-to-day, but I want to be smart with him because it is a long season,” Iowa head coach Jack Dahm said in a release. “We do not want this to linger all year long.”

The coach remains hopeful the Hawks will balance themselves out after quickly after having several poor performances.

“We had a tough weekend down in Florida, losing three games, but we still had some positives,” Dahm said in a statement. “Offensively, we are showing signs of swinging the bat the way we are capable.”

— by Ryan Young

Men’s track hopefuls head to Ames

The Iowa men’s track and field team will send a group of athletes to compete in Ames at the Iowa State Last Chance Qualifier on Saturday.

A handful of Hawkeyes are still hoping to hit qualifying times, including junior Adam Hairston in the 800 meters.

Hairston garnered All-Big Ten honors at the indoor championships for the second-straight season, finishing third, but he is on the bubble for the NCAA indoor championships.

Iowa’s 4x400-meter relay team of Patrick Richards, Ray Varner, Steven Willey, and Chris Barton also hopes to reach the qualifying mark in Ames. Wieczorek said the relay team has a legitimate chance to qualify for the national meet.

“By and large, I think the things we’re going to focus on are, most likely, the relay team and [Adam] Hairston in the 800, with a legitimate chance to go to the nationals,” Wieczorek said.

Competition is set to start at 10:30 a.m. at the Lied Recreation Center.

— by Zach Smith

Women’s tennis heads to Notre Dame

The Iowa women’s tennis team will travel to South Bend, Ind., today in an effort to pull off a major upset of No. 3 Notre Dame (11-1) at 3 p.m. in its final nonconference dual meet of the spring.

After a week out of the polls, the Hawkeyes (6-5, 1-0) soared back into the rankings at No. 62 after a 4-3 home win over Minnesota on Sunday.

Iowa hopes to get revenge on the Irish after losing last year’s showdown, 6-1, in Iowa City. A key matchup will be in the No. 1 singles spot, where Iowa freshman Sonja Molnar, ranked No. 75, takes her 10-1 record against Notre Dame’s 31st-ranked senior Kelcy Tefft.

Head coach Daryl Greenan has been impressed by the work ethic of the team, which includes 6 a.m. practice three times a week along with weight training and Pilates.

“I’m proud of them,” he said. “The most important thing is that everything is going in the right direction and everyone is on board. To make the progress they’ve made, they should be proud of that.”

— by Robbie Lehman

Softball out in California

The Iowa softball team will try to build on its current six-game winning streak when it heads to the Long Beach Tournament this weekend in Long Beach, Calif.

The Hawkeyes (12-3) will play Longwood and No. 4 UCLA this afternoon, then Long Beach State and Florida International on Saturday. The team will then head to Fullerton, Calif., Sunday to finish the road trip against Cal State-Fullerton.

Pitcher Brittany Weil has been virtually unhittable during Iowa’s current six-game streak. The Hawkeyes have shut out each opponent in that stretch, thanks in large part to Weil’s 252⁄3 straight innings without allowing a run. The senior has 50 strikeouts and only two walks in the past six games, which included her second no-hitter of the season against Kennesaw State Feb. 22.

Freshman Liz Watkins leads the Hawkeyes in home runs (3), RBIs (12), and slugging percentage (.731). Senior Erin Riemersma boasts the best batting average (.357).

— by Jon Linder


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