AMES, Iowa - The University of Northern Iowa track and field program opened their indoor track and field season at the Cyclone Holiday Preview today with several strong performances from both the men's and women's competitors.
"The vibe of the meet was a lot of fun for us," head coach Dan Steele said. "This was kind of more of a practice for us. We wanted to get some of our freshmen out there and just get the athletes competing."
The men's team had two athletes qualify for the finals in the 60 meter dash with Derek Kramer and freshman Charles Brown both qualifying in their heats. Kramer ran the seventh fastest time in the preliminary round with a time of 6.98 and Brown competed in his first collegiate track meet notching a time of 7.04.
UNI also had four men qualify for the finals of the 60 meter hurdles. Sebastian Barth, Ryan Newtoff, Brandon Mortensen and Nathan Schmadeke all made it to the final round. Barth turned in the fourth fastest preliminary time with a time of 8.26.
Marshall Hill gave the Panthers another top-five finish when he turned in a third place performance in the 300 meters. He notched a time of 35.16 during his first competition in this event. His time of 35.16 ties the fourth-best time in UNI history at the event that was set last season by Sheldon Magee.
Jordan Guske was the lone Panther competing in the 400 meters, finishing in sixth place overall. His time of 49.25 is a new collegiate indoor personal best for the sophomore.
Jesse Davenport turned in another solid performance for the Panthers with a second place finish in the 600 yard run with a time of 1:11.95. This was his first time competing in the 600 yards after competing in the 600 meters last season.
Jordan Williams and Justin Baker took third and fourth place respectively in the shot put competition. Williams also finished in second in the weight throw with a big personal record distance of 18.55 meters. Adam McDonnell also finished fourth in the weight throw with a personal best throw of 18.40 meters.
On the women's side, Lindsay Gierke finished with a top-five and a top-six performance during the meet. She finished fifth in the 300 meter finals with a time of 41.33 and also finished fifth in her preliminary heat of the 60 meter hurdles with a time of 8.88 before placing sixth overall in the finals.
Libby Torresani started her 2012-13 campaign off with a strong performance in the pole vault with a second place finish. Her mark of 3.40 meters beat her season best mark of 3.35 meters from last season.
Emily Wandling finished in fourth place in the triple jump with a distance of 10.78 meters in her first attempt at the event. Kelsey Sukovaty also turned in a top-five performance in the shot put with a throw of 14.73 meters.
"We got exactly what we wanted out of this meet," Steele said. "Everyone came out healthy and had strong performances."
The Panthers will return to action after the New Year on Jan. 12 when they host the Panther Open. The Panther Open is set to take place inside the UNI-Dome.