Iowa City, Iowa
The University of Northern Iowa track and field teams will travel to the Iowa Invitational in Iowa City on Fri., Feb. 17. Field events are scheduled to begin at 5 p.m., and running events are set to start at 6 p.m. In addition to UNI, the Iowa Invitational features teams from Simpson College, Central College, Iowa, Western Illinois University, St. Ambrose, and Drake.
OUT OF THE BLOCKS
The Iowa Invitational will serve as UNI's final tune-up before hosting the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Indoor Championships in the UNI-Dome on Feb. 25-26.
The Panther women are ranked No. 11 in the Midwest region in the latest U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association computer rankings. UNI's men made their first appearance in the regional rankings, coming in at No. 15 in the Midwest. The USTFCCCA rankings are generated from the NCAA Division I descending order lists.
In addition, the Panther women have nine performances that currently rank in the Top-5 of the Missouri Valley Conference. The UNI men own 11 spots in the league's Top-5.
4x4's Roll at Iowa State
UNI's men's and women's 4x400m relay teams put on outstanding performances at the Iowa State Classic on Feb. 11. The Panther men and women each recorded the fastest time this season by a Missouri Valley Conference school.
The Panther women's squad of Michaela Brungardt, Paige Knodle, Olimpia Nowak and Sam Cameron posted the fourth-fastest indoor 4x400m performance in school history, crossing the line in 3:42.97 for third place.
The UNI men's quartet of Derek Drew, Aaron Stockstell, Marshall Hill and Sheldon Magee finished in 3:13.30.
Two of the Best
At the Iowa State Classic on Feb. 11, a pair of UNI women proved themselves to be two of the best in school history. Junior Sam Cameron claimed third place in the 400m dash, running a near-personal best of 55.20. Senior Michaela Brungardt ran a lifetime best 55.29 for fourth place. Cameron and Brungardt now rank No. 2 and No. 3 all-time at UNI in the event.
Stockstell No. 2 in Valley
Senior Aaron Stockstell recorded the fastest 800m time by a UNI runner this season and the No. 2 time in the MVC at the ISU Classic on Feb. 11, taking seventh place in 1:50.92.
Wilkins Goes Sub-5
Junior Lindsey Wilkins moved into UNI's all-time top-five with a personal-best showing in the mile at the Iowa State Classic (2/10). Wilkins ran 4:59.47 to place 11th in the meet and rank No. 5 in UNI history.
Daniel Gooris cleared a lifetime-best 17-04.50 (5.30m) to win the men's pole vault at the Hilltop Invitational hosted by Cornell College on Feb. 3. Gooris's mark put him in a tie for 20th in the nation and widened his lead over the rest of the Missouri Valley Conference.
Fritz Leads Panthers at Notre Dame
At the Meyo Invitational hosted by Notre Dame on Feb. 4, senior Brady Fritz clocked the fourth-fastest time in the mile by an MVC runner this season, taking fifth place in the unseeded section at 4:09.93.
Gooris Honored by MVC
The Missouri Valley Conference selected UNI senior Daniel Gooris as its Men's Field Athlete of the Week on Jan. 31. Gooris took the heptathlon title at the Jack Jennett Invitational in the UNI-Dome on Jan. 27-28 with a personal-best score of 5,549 points. Gooris's point total currently ranks him No. 17 in the nation and No. 1 in the Missouri Valley Conference this season, and No. 3 all-time at UNI.
UNI senior Olimpia Nowak is tied for the fourth-best pentathlon score in the nation after putting up 4,008 points to win the Jack Jennett Invitational on Jan. 27. Nowak was only eight points shy of matching her personal best and the UNI school record of 4,016 points, which she achieved as a freshman in 2008.
Knodle, Lindaman Not Far Behind
UNI freshman Paige Knodle and sophomore Ben Lindaman may be overshadowed by two of the top multi-event athletes in the nation, but they each posted outstanding scores at the Jack Jennett Invitational on Jan. 27-28.
Knodle scored 3,635 points to take third place in her first-ever pentathlon. With that point total, Knodle now ranks No. 3 in the MVC, No. 50 in the nation, and No. 4 all-time at UNI.
Lindaman had a breakout performance in the heptathlon for the Panthers, taking third place with 4,898 points. Lindaman's personal-best effort moves him to No. 5 on the UNI all-time list in the multi-event and ranks him No. 8 in the MVC.
Two of a Kind
Senior Traci Harms has been ranked in the Top-50 nationally in both throwing events, currently holding the No. 35 spot in the weight throw. Junior Kelsey Sukovaty has also been ranked in the nation's Top-50 in the shot put this season. Harms is No. 2 all-time at UNI in both the shot put and weight throw, while Sukovaty is No. 3 in both throwing events.
Hurt Goes Top-Five
Senior Tanner Hurt won the weight throw at the Jack Jennett Invitational on Jan. 28 with a mark of 61-01.50 (18.63m) that ranks him No. 5 all-time at UNI and temporarily placed him in the nation's Top-50 this season.
Freshman Sebastian Barth claimed claimed the 60m hurdles crown at three consecutive meets in January. His time of 7.95 seconds at the Jack Johnson Classic on Jan. 21 ranks him No. 2 all-time at UNI in the event, and he currently ranks No. 45 in the nation. Barth is the fastest UNI freshman ever in the 60m hurdles.
UNI senior Olimpia Nowak broke her own school record and the Jack Johnson Classic meet record in the 60m hurdles on Jan. 21 at the University of Minnesota, winning the event in 8.44 seconds. Nowak improved on her school-record time of 8.47 seconds from last year, and she now ranks No. 41 in the nation and No. 1 in the Missouri Valley Conference.
Freshmen Paige Knodle and Rachel Peth each clocked season-best times in the 60m hurdles at the Jack Johnson Classic on Jan. 21, with Knodle taking second place at 8.70 seconds and Peth claiming fourth in 8.94 seconds. Lindsay Gierke was fifth in 8.97 seconds, and Victoria Jackson was seventh in 9.12 seconds. With Olimpia Nowak winning the event, UNI claimed five of the top seven places.
The UNI men's throwing corps erased their top three marks from the Panther Open (1/14) and replaced them all with better marks at the Jack Johnson Classic on Jan. 21. The Panthers were led by Justin Romero's second-place finish in the shot put (57-00.75) and Tanner Hurt's near personal-best toss (59-09.75) for a third-place finish in the weight throw.
Baker Goes Big
Freshman Justin Baker threw 54-00.00 (16.46m) in the shot put at the Jack Jennett Invitational on Jan. 28. Baker's throw was yet another personal best in his young career. At No. 8 in the MVC, Baker is one of only two freshmen in the top 12 spots of the MVC leaderboard in the shot put.
Pack of Panthers
UNI fared well in the women's 400m dash at the Jack Johnson Classic on Jan. 21. Junior Sam Cameron won the event in 55.75 to lead a 1-3-4-6-7 finish by the Panthers. Michaela Brungardt (56.35) was third, Paige Knodle (56.35) was fourth, Olimpia Nowak (56.42) was sixth, and Darian Thompson (56.68) was seventh. All five currently rank in the top 14 of the MVC.
Brungardt, Nowak, Knodle and Cameron teamed up to take second place in the 4x400m relay, crossing the line in 3:46.70.
Gooris Tops 17 Feet Again
Senior Daniel Gooris was the top collegiate finisher in the pole vault at the Jack Johnson Classic on Jan. 21, clearing 17-00.75 (5.20m). He has now cleared 17-feet or better in each of the last three indoor seasons.
Freshman Sebastian Barth (Gauting, Germany) jumped directly into the UNI record books and the national scene on Jan. 14 at the Panther Open, where he clocked a time of 7.98 seconds to win the 60m hurdles.