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Hawkeye harriers compete in Intrasquad meet

BY MICHELE DANNO | DECEMBER 07, 2009 7:30 AM

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Both the Iowa men’s and women’s track teams will try to improve their ninth- and 10th-place indoor conference finishes in the 2009 indoor track season, so they tested their 2010 squads by competing against themselves in an intrasquad meet Sunday.

Members of both teams said this meet would be a good opportunity for the programs’ many newcomers to compete for the first time at the collegiate level.

And women’s head coach Layne Anderson said the experience was a “real positive” for his freshmen.

Senior distance runner Hannah Roeder agreed, and she said she has confidence in the new class.

“I think last year we had a lot of gaps,” she said. “This year, we’re filling those gaps with quality newcomers, so I think there’s improvement across the board.”

The women’s team needed to improve on throwing — an area in which Anderson said Iowa has never excelled. Five of the six throwers are freshmen, he said, and the sixth is only a sophomore.

The young Hawks set personal records in the intrasquad meet, and Anderson said he feels more confident in the throwing events.

On the track, Anderson noted freshman sprinter Raven Moore as one woman who “stood out in [my] mind.” Moore competed in the 60-meter dash and finished with a final time of 7.66.

The 7.66 time is the ninth-best finish in Hawkeye history. Moore tied senior teammate Rhonda Trusty, who currently holds the sixth highest time in that race for at Iowa.

For the men’s 60-meter dash, D’Juan Richardson tied Zeke Sayon at 6.90 seconds.

On the field side, the men’s high jump got the crowd cheering with junior Graham Valdes, sophomore Jeffrey Herron, and senior Dan Rolling clearing 6-10.

The fourth jumper, freshman Matt Newman, showed signs of potential for his college career by clearing 6-8.

The meet focused on sprints and field events.

Only a few distance runners, for both men and women, competed. Anderson said this was because the harriers just finished a long, competitive cross-country season, so he “didn’t need or want to see them competing yet.”

Redshirt freshman Nick Holmes, one of two distance runners who ran the mile, said he could see why the coaches did not schedule many long races. He said the transition from cross-country to track season takes time, and he was not able to run the mile to his full potential.

“I’m just working back into it,” he said. “I need to get some track workouts in before I can really compete. I’m not too worried, though, because I still have two months to get in shape.”

Holmes finished second of two runners behind junior Brian Marchase. Although Holmes led for more than half the race, Marchase picked up the pace in the third quarter and finished seven seconds ahead of Holmes.

Although he was not personally satisfied with his performance, Holmes said, he was more focused on supporting his track-only teammates.

“I feel like the track team put more effort in the off-season this year, and it’s nice to see where everyone is at,” he said. “This meet is a stepping stone, and it proved that this year the bar has definitely been raised.”


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