Iowa track crowns two at Messersmith Invitational

BY DI STAFF | MAY 07, 2012 6:30 AM

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CEDAR FALLS — The Iowa track and field team sent a handful of athletes to the Messersmith Invitational at Northern Iowa on May 4, although it was a much smaller handful than originally expected.

The Hawkeyes were originally scheduled to send 13 athletes to Cedar Falls, but only six ultimately made the trip. Head coach Layne Anderson said there were a couple of reasons for the scratches and noted that the team is prepared for this weekend.

"We felt like we could get some good things done right here with workouts and performance trials," he said. "We also had a few who couldn't miss any more classes. We're only allowed to miss eight days per semester, and there were a couple who we couldn't get up there early enough to compete."

Two of the six Hawkeyes claimed championships in their respective events.

Sophomore Carisa Leacock claimed the women's long jump title with a leap of 5.78 meters. She followed that with a jump of 11.61 meters in the triple jump to take second place. That mark ranks sixth all-time at Iowa.

Sophomore Courtney Fritz took first place in the women's discus with a toss of 46.96 meters, which was a personal-best and the seventh-best throw in program history.

Freshman Annemie Smith — who missed part of the season while recovering from an appendectomy — posted a personal-best with a 57.19-meter toss in the hammer throw. That mark was good for second place, and is the second-best mark in Iowa history.

Senior Kelsey Mims finished third in the 400 meters with a time of 58.05 seconds. Sophomore Ashlyn Gulvas took fifth in the women's hammer throw with a season-best toss of 55.06 meters, and sophomore Andy Carman finished sixth in the men's discus with a throw of 51.14 meters.

Throwing coach Scott Cappos said he was pleased with his group's performance on a day that acted as a final tune-up before this weekend's Big Ten outdoor championships, which will be held in Madison, Wis.

"Annemie had a personal best, Ashlyn had a season best in the hammer throw, Courtney had a lifetime best in the discus, and Andy Carman missed his personal best in the discus by a couple centimeters," Cappos said. "Overall, as a group, it was a great day for the throwing events and sets us up well for the Big Tens with these athletes — as well as the ones we left at home who are still training."

-Tork Mason

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