Ethan Holmes highlights Musco Twilight

BY BEN SCHUFF | APRIL 25, 2011 7:20 AM

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Iowa men's track and field head coach Larry Wieczorek called Ethan Holmes the "athlete of the meet" at the end of the 12th-annual Musco Twilight on April 23.

Holmes ran a personal-best 51.05 seconds in the 400-meter hurdles, a mark that puts him atop the Big Ten. The sophomore also placed second in the 110-meter hurdles and ran the second leg of Iowa's first-place 4x400-meter relay team.

"Ethan Holmes continues [to be impressive]," Wieczorek said. "He's at 51.05, which is pretty sensational on a night when the weather wasn't ideal."

In all, the squad won 10 events. Fans who braved the cold, windy weather were treated to some Big Ten-best performances and close finishes as the night went on.

The 4x100-meter relay kicked off the night session under the lights. Iowa's foursome of Tevin Mincy, Zeke Sayon, D'Juan Richardson, and Justin Austin won in 40.30 seconds. Austin took the baton from Richardson for the final leg and raced down the front stretch of the track just ahead of Iowa State's Clint Martin, edging the Cyclone sprinter at the finish line by 0.38 seconds.

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Austin also won the 200 meters in 20.87 seconds — the best Big Ten time this outdoor season.

The hurdle events again proved to be a strength for Wieczorek's squad. Right behind Holmes in the 400 hurdles were Richardson and Keaton Rickels, finishing second and third.

In the 110 hurdles, Jordan Mullen ran sub-14 seconds for the second-straight meet and won in 13.97 seconds. Illinois' Andrew Riley, who won last year's Big Ten title and leads the conference this year with a time of 13.61, was a late scratch from the race.

"I was so excited to run against [Riley]," Mullen said, noting that his excitement dropped significantly when he heard Riley wasn't running. "13.97 by myself, I think I could've ran faster if I had had him there."

The 800 meters showcased another close finish with a Hawkeye crossing the finish line first. Iowa junior Erik Sowinski was able to win his third 800 race of the outdoor season, nipping Minnesota's David Pachuta at the line by 0.11 seconds. The Hawkeye co-captain ran neck-and-neck with Pachuta through the last 200 meters of the race, finishing in 1:48.80.

"I just wanted to win in front of the home crowd," Sowinski said. "That's always the goal. I didn't have as good of a race as I was hoping for, but considering the weather, I'm pretty happy."

The Hawkeyes had a clean sweep in the high jump, long jump, and triple jump. Junior Jeff Herron won the long jump, jumping 23 feet, 4 inches. He also placed second in the high jump.

Brandon Oest won the high jump with a leap of 6 feet, 103⁄4 inches. It was the sophomore's best jump since last year's Musco meet and puts him in a tie for second in the Big Ten.

Making his outdoor début in the triple jump, All-American Troy Doris landed a mark of 51 feet, 5 inches. Doris' jump was more than 2 feet farther than that of Minnesota's Oladipo Fagbemi, who placed second.

Matt Byers continued his dominance against Big Ten competition in the javelin. The sophomore's throw of 209 feet, 8 inches was more than 20 feet better than second place.

Ryan Lamparek had his best performance of the year. The junior landed a toss of 170 feet, 7 inches, placing him third.

"I finally felt like a discus thrower again," he said. "It's exciting to finally figure out some things getting closer to the Big Ten meet."

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