Hawkeyes face poor weather but find success in Arizona

BY BEN SCHUFF | APRIL 11, 2011 7:20 AM

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Iowa track and field assistant coach Joey Woody expressed some minor concerns last week before heading to the Sun Angel Classic at Arizona State.

The meet was only the second competition of Iowa’s outdoor season. With a month separating the NCAA indoor championships and the Sun Angel Classic, other squads could potentially be competing in their fourth meet. The fifth-year assistant wondered if the Hawkeyes would be behind.

But when the spikes met the track, many of those concerns were answered.

“If the weather cooperates, we may have had a really good meet,” head coach Larry Wieczorek said. “We’re making really good progress for the second meet of the year.”

Competing in rain and strong winds with temperatures in the 30s and 40s, conditions were poor enough for Woody to pull athletes from the 4x400-meter relay.

Still, several Hawkeyes were able to put aside the elements and compete as if they were in ideal Arizona spring weather — including Erik Sowinski, who won the 800-meter premier, crossing the finish line in 1:48.32. Considering the weather, he said, he was pleased with his performance.

“Going in, I knew the times weren’t going to be there,” he said. “You just had to compete to get the win.”

Wieczorek said the 800 runner’s performance was one that stuck out from the weekend trip.

“Sowinski continues to do impressive things,” he said, noting the poor conditions the Waukesha, Wis., native had to run in. “He’s just so tough.”

Steven Willey in the 400-meter premier joined Sowinski with a first-place finish with a time of 46.48. Senior Chris Barton also had a strong showing for the Hawkeyes in the 400, finishing third with a time of 47.63.

The 4x100-meter relay team — Tevin Mincy, Zeke Sayon, Paul Chaney Jr., and Justin Austin — also claimed first place. The quartet finished in 39.86 seconds, a mark good for third all-time at Iowa.

Wieczorek said he’s looking for a school record in the event by the end of the season.

Despite the bad weather — and perhaps making their performances more impressive — a handful of runners were able to set personal-best times. Senior Adam Hairston finished fifth in the 800 meters with a time of 1:49.53.

The hurdle events proved to be a strong area for the Black and Gold again. Ethan Holmes and D’Juan Richardson placed second and third in the 400-meter hurdles, both setting personal-best times.

Keaton Rickels, who placed eighth in the LSU Invitational on April 2, did so again.

Fellow sophomore Jordan Mullen and Holmes also finished second and third in the 110-meter hurdles. Ryan Brathwaite, a professional hurdler from Barbados, won the event. Brathwaite won the gold medal in the event at the 2009 World Championships.

While Mullen said he hasn’t been happy with the way he’s been running lately — he said he ran “like garbage” in Tempe, Ariz. — he found a little relief in nearly sticking with the professional.

“I was with [Brathwaite] through six or seven hurdles,” Mullen said. “He was good competition, and it’s fun to get to run with people like that.”

Five events place first at Cornell

A smaller group of Hawkeyes competed at the Cornell Open in Mount Vernon, Iowa, where competition wasn’t as stiff.

Sophomores Kyle Reid, Ben Stancombe, and Brandon Oest won the pole vault, hammer throw, and high jump. Junior Chase Kadlec won the 1,500 meters and ran the second leg of the 4x800-meter relay, which also returned to Iowa City with a first-place finish.

> Share your thoughts! Click here to write a Letter to the Editor.

comments powered by Disqus

Privacy Policy (8/15/07) | Terms of Use (4/28/08) | Content Submission Agreement (8/23/07) | Copyright Compliance Policy (8/25/07) | RSS Terms of Use

Copyright © The Daily Iowan, All Rights Reserved.