Two huge personal records highlight meet for Hawkeyes

BY AMY TIFFANY | MAY 09, 2011 7:20 AM

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Four throwers hit big personal marks the weekend before the Big Ten championships and plan to carry the momentum and confidence into the meet on Friday through May 15.

Only a small number of throwers from the Iowa women's track and field team competed at the Messersmith Invitational on April 6 at the University of Northern Iowa, but they recorded big marks.

One of the top performers was freshman Amanda Stahle in the javelin. She took first in the event with a huge personal record — 138 feet, 5 inches — beating her old mark by almost 7 feet. That moved her up to eighth on Iowa's all-time list.

"It was kind of like, it was about time," Stahle said. "I haven't had anywhere close to my personal record at all the other times I've thrown javelin — it's been about 15 feet under my personal record — so it felt really good to hear them say what it was."

Her throw was on her first attempt, and she noted a pretty strong cross wind, which she said is the worst kind of wind for the javelin. Besides the wind, she said, she was happy that there was finally nice weather to throw in and she was feeling pretty good going into the event.

The Bettendorf native began throwing the javelin her senior year of high school, and she drove to Iowa City on Sundays to practice with the Hawkeye throwers. The freshman hopes to hit a better mark at Big Tens.

"I'm just hoping to get a better mark and place at Big Tens," she said.

Stahle said that during the week, she'll touch up her technique, noting that success in javelin comes from putting all aspects of one's technique together at the same time. The throw moved her into eighth place on the Big Ten outdoor-performance list.

Another big performer was redshirt freshman Ashlyn Gulvas, who threw for a big personal record in the hammer throw. She took second in the event with her throw of 182 feet, 3 inches (55.55 meters). Her throw was a personal record by 13 feet and moved her to second place on Iowa's all-time list. She said her throws were consistently above her previous personal record.

"I got exactly what I wanted to get done there," she said.

Gulvas said she had been throwing really well in practice but hadn't competed in a meet since the Musco Invitational on April 23, so to get into a meet and finally hit a big mark was a relief.

The throw, which was second in her series of throws, moved her up to fifth place on the Big Ten outdoor-performance list, the first of all of Iowa's current hammer throwers. Gulvas hopes to carry the momentum and confidence from her personal record into the Big Tens.

"I think if they duplicate or improve their performances for next weekend, they're definitely going to score some points," assistant coach Scott Cappos said.

In the discus, the Hawkeyes placed one, two, and three. Sophomore Majesty Tutson took first with a throw of 164 feet, 1 inch. Gulvas placed second, tossing for 146 feet and 7 inches, and freshman Courtney Fritz took third at 139 feet, 4 inches. Stahle took fifth with a throw of 136 feet, 6 inches.

Highlighted by Gulvas and Stahle, the women's throwers are ready to hit some significant marks at the Big Ten championships.

Cappos said, "That's why we're out there, is to help the team get better; to get better every week and help the team finish in the top five at the Big Ten championships."

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