Hawkeye trackster Austin wins conference honor

BY DI STAFF | FEBRUARY 21, 2012 6:30 AM

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Iowa sprinter Justin Austin was named the Big Ten Track Athlete of the Week on Monday, a release said.

The Wisconsin native placed first in the 60 and 200 meters at the Iowa Invitational over the weekend. He ran the 60 in 6.97 seconds; his 21.08-second time in the 200 is the second-fastest of the year in the Big Ten and 13th-best nationally.

Austin was an All-American in the 200 meters last year, but he had struggled before the Iowa meet. He disqualified both times he tried to run the event in the two weeks leading up to the meet.

"I won, and my confidence is up," the junior told The Daily Iowan after the meet on Feb. 17. "That's all I was waiting for all season, for my confidence to come up."

Austin holds the school record in both the 60 and 200 meters (6.69 and 20.80 seconds), and he nailed down the second Big Ten weekly award of his career. His previous honor came in January 2011.

He's also just the second Hawkeye to reel in a conference award this season; Troy Doris was named Field Athlete of the Week on Jan. 30.

Austin and the Hawkeyes will head to the Big Ten indoor meet in Lincoln, Neb., this weekend. Austin became Iowa's second-ever indoor champion in the 200 last year, and he performed well when the Black and Gold ran at Nebraska in January. His 47.61-second finish in the 400 meters was the eighth-best ever for an Iowa athlete.

— by Seth Roberts

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