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Iowa track performs well in season-opening meet

BY DI STAFF | APRIL 02, 2012 6:30 AM

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Iowa's track and field program began its outdoor season in Fayetteville, Ark., this past weekend at the Arkansas Spring Invitational.

The women's team sought a strong performance to start the spring, and the men's team began its defense of last year's conference championship.

Neither team disappointed the fans.

The women's performance was highlighted by the 1,600-meter relay's first-place finish. Hannah Simonson, Ashley Liverpool, Nicole Erickson, and Victoria Sack crossed the line in 3:38.07 minutes, good for fourth all-time at Iowa.

Other highlights for the tracksters included junior Majesty Tutson's third-place finish in the discus, where she threw 47.72 meters. Erickson and sophomore Raven Moore recorded personal-bests in the 400-meter dash, clocking in at 55.70 and 57.14 seconds while finishing fourth and fifth.

The men's team recorded three first-place finishes in Fayetteville: Jeff Thode won the men's 1,500-meter race, Matt Byers claimed the javelin title, and Matt Banse took home the hammer throw.

Thode crossed the line in 3:46.32 minutes, Byers threw the javelin 68.06 meters, and Banse reached 59.20 meters.

Freshman Gabe Hull threw his way into the Iowa record books on March 31, finishing second in the men's discus with a toss of 56.66 meters — a toss good enough to rank second all-time at Iowa. Justin Austin also performed well, sprinting to a second-place finish in the 100-meter dash. He crossed the line in 10.40 seconds.

The men's 1,600-meter relay team of Austin, Patrick Richards, Brennan Davey, and Erik Sowinski finished second behind Arkansas; the Razorback squad crossed the line in 3:06.45 minutes, while the Hawkeyes finished in 3:06.49.

— by Cody Goodwin


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