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Nowak, Throwers Lead UNI at Wichita State Triangular

WICHITA, Kan. ñ The University of Northern Iowa men’s and women’s track & field teams opened the 2011 outdoor season Saturday afternoon with a triangular meet against Wichita State and Nebraska. |WICHITA, Kan. ñ The University of Northern Iowa men’s and women’s track & field teams opened the 2011 outdoor season Saturday afternoon with a triangular meet against Wichita State and Nebraska. Although the Panthers took third in the team scoring for both the men and women, there were several outstanding performances.

Junior Olimpia Nowak became the second-fastest woman in UNI history in the 100m hurdles, winning the title in a personal-best time of 13.68 seconds. Only Kara Yahn (13.64 seconds in 2007) has ever run faster in the event.

Nowak also made her debut in the 400m hurdles, capturing a second-place finish in 1:01.69. That time was also fast enough to make her No. 4 on the UNI all-time list.

UNI’s throwers continued their rewriting of the record books, as junior Traci Harms used a personal-best throw of 171-09 (52.34m) in the hammer throw to become No. 4 all-time at UNI in the event. On the men’s side, junior Tanner Hurt uncorked a throw of 191-08 (58.42m) to also become No. 4 on the all-time best list in the hammer throw.

Junior sprinter Jarred Herring used a strong tailwind to turn in one of the fastest 100m times in school history, winning the meet in 10.42 seconds. Herring is now tied for No. 4 on the UNI all-time best list in the 100m dash.

Men’s Highlights

UNI came up one point shy of defending Missouri Valley Conference champion Wichita State in a battle for second place in the team standings, finishing with 101 points. Nebraska, the defending Big 12 Conference champions, won with 184 points.

The Panthers swept the top three places in the 800m, with junior Aaron Stockstell winning in a time of 1:51.61. Freshman Chad Rutledge took second place in 1:55.49 in his UNI outdoor debut, and Justin Bartels was third in 1:56.00.

Thibault Vandenabeele captured the 1,500m title, crossing the line in 3:57.05. Junior Brady Fritz was second in 4:00.38.

Sam Kranz won the pole vault, clearing 16-06.75 (5.05m). Junior Daniel Gooris was fourth with a clearance of 16-00.75 (4.90m).

Junior Justin Romero placed second in the shot put with a throw of 54-01.25 (16.49m). Jordan Williams threw 52-08 (16.05m) for fourth place and Nic Toben threw 49-11.75 (15.23m) for fifth.

Williams took third in the discus with a toss of 169-03 (51.58m). Senior Allen Weeks was fourth with a throw of 166-07 (50.77m).

Sophomore Brett Egan ran 15:56.87 to place third in the 5,000m.

Junior Travis Leuer cleared 6-08 (2.03m) in the high jump for third place.

Freshman Ryan Newtoff made his debut in the 400m hurdles, taking fifth place in 54.61.

Adam McDonnell took fifth in the javelin in his first appearance in the event, throwing 186-08 (56.90m).

Women’s Highlights

UNI finished third in the team race with 69 points. Nebraska, the Big 12 Conference runner-up in 2010, won with 164 points and Wichita State was second with 128.

UNI won the 4x400m relay in 3:49.28 with the team of Michaela Brungardt, Sam Cameron, Ellen Kindelsperger and Holli Hosch.

Sophomore Kelsey Sukovaty placed third in the shot put with a throw of 45-10.75 (13.99m). Teammate Traci Harms was fourth at 44-01.25 (13.44m). Sukovaty also notched a personal-best mark in the hammer throw for seventh place.

Hosch clocked a personal-best time in the 400m dash at 56.33 for fourth place. Brungardt was fifth in 57.64.

Sophomore Hayley Thomas took fifth place in the 1,500m with a personal-best time of 4:51.76. Scotti Schon placed second in the 5,000m in 18:36.90 and Jill Lageschulte was fourth in a personal-best 18:52.53.

Junior Jessica Hale posted a personal-best time of 12.91 to take eighth place in the 100m dash. Kindelsperger was eighth in the 200m dash, crossing the line in 25.45.

Sophomore Lindsay Gierke recorded a personal-best in the 100m hurdles of 14.84 seconds. In the 400m hurdles, Emily Roberts placed sixth in 1:05.68 and Shawn Shaddox placed seventh in 1:07.52.

UNI will send multi-event athletes Daniel Gooris and Olimpia Nowak to the Texas Relays on Apr. 6-7. The rest of the Panthers will compete at the Tom Botts Invitational in Columbia, Mo., on Apr. 8-9.

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