Women’s tracksters shine in conference meet

BY DI STAFF | MARCH 01, 2010 7:30 AM

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At Penn State for the 2010 indoor Big Ten championships over the weekend, members of the Iowa women’s track and field team hoped to redeem themselves after finishing last in the conference in 2009.

And they did, ending up ninth — one place better than last year.

Following the first day of competition on Feb. 27, the Hawkeyes sent six women to the finals on Sunday. Junior Bethany Praska, who competed in the 600-meter run for only the second time this season, placed first in the preliminary event with a time of 1:30 — her collegiate best and second best all-time for Iowa.

In the 60-meter hurdles, junior Karessa Farley provisionally qualified for the NCAA championships for the second week in a row with a time of 8.33. Three women — Betsy Flood, McKenzie Melander, and Lauren Hardesty — qualified for the finals in the mile.

The women moved into Sunday’s finals with a third-place finish in the distance medley relay and provisionally qualified for nationals while finishing second all-time for the Iowa program.

“We want to demonstrate to ourselves more than anything that we’re significantly better than a year ago,” Iowa coach Layne Anderson said. “At the end of the day, we can only go with the goal to perform to the best of our abilities.”

— by Michèle Danno

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