Barton, Mincy highlight Iowa Invitational


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Chris Barton ran the best race of his career at the Iowa Invitational on Feb. 18.

The senior made an impressive move into first while running down the back stretch on the last lap after intentionally trailing teammate Adam Hairston through the majority of the 600 meters.

Barton passed Hairston just before the final turn of the race and took first place in exciting fashion with a time of 1:19.77 in the Recreation Building.

Hoping to finish in under 1:20, last year’s All-American said he didn’t want to get out in front too soon and die off at the end.

“I just tried to stay behind Adam because I knew he was going to go sub-1:20,” he said. “I took it a little easier than the rest of the guys and then finished it really hard.”

As it turned out, Barton was the only one to run under 1:20. Hairston — who is out of indoor eligibility and ran unattached — was just short with a time of 1:20.37.

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Head coach Larry Wieczorek was thrilled with Barton’s performance.

“I think it was the best race he’s ran indoors his whole career,” Wieczorek said. “He ran terrific, and it should be a big confidence builder heading up for the Big Ten championships.”

In all, the men’s track and field team left the Recreation Building with seven first-place finishes against Drake, Western Illinois, and St. Ambrose — five on the track and two in field events.

The 60-meter dash ended with a Hawkeye photo finish — the top four sprinters wore the Black and Gold. Freshman Tevin Mincy won the event in 6.86 seconds. The time was a personal best for the Altoona, Iowa, product by .01 seconds.

He was very pleased to run a personal best in front of the home crowd.

“This was my first time ever running under 7 flat on this track,” he said. “I leaned a little bit early, but I still got that W, so in the end, that’s all that matters.”

Paul Chaney finished right on the heels of Mincy. The senior, who also played football for Iowa, crossed the finish line in a season-best 6.88 seconds. Junior D’Juan Richardson (6.92) and senior Zeke Sayon (6.94) placed third and fourth.

The 1,200-meter run was of particular interest to Wieczorek; he said he is looking for someone to step up and run the first leg of the distance medley relay.

Freshman Nathan Prom, who was coming off a personal best performance last weekend at the ISU Classic in the 800, placed second with a time of 3:06.27. Nick Kuczwara won the 1,200 in 3:05.75, running unattached.

“We just went out really slow,” Prom said. “When we hit the 800, I knew I wasn’t going to hit my time, so I just wanted to finish strong.”

The throws group saw a solid outing from Matt Banse. For the second-consecutive meet, he threw a personal best in the weight throw. On his first throw of the night, the junior improved by .23 meters with a throw of 19.72 meters.

Banse said the ease of his first throw is what led to the mark.

“I was probably most relaxed on that one and just let it happen,” he said. “If I hit one like that [next week], I would get in the finals, I think, at Big Tens.”

The track and field team will next travel to Champaign, Ill., for the Big Ten championships on Saturday and Feb. 27.

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