CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa track and field program will send nine student-athletes to the 2013 NCAA Division I West Preliminary Round in Austin, Texas this week as they get ready to compete May 23-25. The Panthers will compete in 13 events while in Austin, all vying for a spot to compete at the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore.
For each event at the Preliminary Round Sites, the top 48 declared student-athletes are accepted into the competition. Qualifying to the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships is achieved through performance in the Preliminary Round at each site with 12 competitors from each event qualifying for the Championships in Eugene.
The Panthers have already qualified two athletes for the NCAA Championships with Daniel Gooris grabbing his spot in the decathlon competition and Paige Knodle qualifying for the heptathlon. The multi-events do not compete at the Preliminary Rounds, instead advancing the top 24 scores in the nation directly to the Outdoor Championships. Knodle currently ranks 16th in the heptathlon and Gooris is eighth in the decathlon.
This will be Knodle’s second year in a row to qualify for the NCAA West Preliminary Round after qualifying last year in the 100 meter hurdles. Gooris, who will compete in the pole vault this weekend, has clinched his ticket to the NCAA West competition for the fourth time in his collegiate career.
Jordan Williams joins Gooris as the other Panther performer to qualify for the Preliminary Round each year of his time in a Panther uniform. Sebastian Barth, Justin Baker, Adam McDonnell and Jenna Wexter’s trip to Austin this week will mark the second year in a row that they have qualified for the NCAA West competition.
Derek Kramer will compete for the first time in an individual event after competing for UNI relay teams in two previous seasons. Kelsey Sukovaty will look to continue her senior season in her first trip to the NCAA West Preliminary round, competing in the shot put.
Competition begins on Thursday May 23 and will run through May 25. Williams will start things off for the Panthers in the discus at noon to kick-off the meet. Fans wishing to follow along with the action can visit the 2013 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field West Preliminary Round Information page.
UNI Athlete Previews
Jordan Williams: Discus/Hammer Throw
Regional Ranking: Discus, 7th; Hammer Throw, 37th
Competition Times: Discus, May 23 12 p.m.; Hammer Throw, May 24th 2 p.m.
Jordan Williams remains undefeated in the discus throw this season after notching the MVC title in the event for the third year in a row. Williams currently ranks second all-time in the discus at UNI with his personal-best throw of 193-05 that he finished with at the Alabama Relays this season. Williams is also ranked fourth all-time at UNI in the hammer throw with his toss of 196-09 at the Drake Relays. Williams has earned all-conference honors during each year of his time at UNI. This will mark his fourth time to qualify for the NCAA West Preliminary Round.
Daniel Gooris: Pole Vault
Regional Ranking: Pole Vault, 32nd
Competition Times: Pole Vault, May 25 1 p.m.
Daniel Gooris is set to compete in the pole vault after claiming the MVC Championship in the event with a height of 16-07.25. Gooris will be making his fourth appearance at the NCAA West Preliminary Round. The senior is ranked fourth all-time at UNI in the event with his height of 17-08.50. Gooris has earned all-conference recognition all four years of his career as a Panther in outdoor track and field. The four-time MVC decathlete winner will also compete in the decathlon at the NCAA Championships June 5-8 in Eugene, Ore. after notching the eighth best point total in the country at the MVC Championships in April.
Derek Kramer: 100 Meter Dash
Regional Ranking: 100 meter dash, 35th
Competition Times: 100 meter dash prelims, May 23 6:55 p.m.; 100 meter dash quarterfinal, May 24 6:45 p.m.
Derek Kramer will be making his first individual appearance at the NCAA West Preliminary Round after finishing with his qualifying time of 10.50 in the event. Kramer’s previous two times at the Preliminary Round included being part of successful relay teams. Kramer claimed the MVC title in the 100 meter dash this year after being all-conference in 2011 and 2012. Kramer also anchored the MVC winning 4X100 meter relay team this season, bringing home the title for the Panthers for the third year in a row. Kramer finished in the top-three four times during the season, including winning the event at the Wisconsin Open and the MVC Championships.
Sebastian Barth: 110 Meter Hurdles
Regional Ranking: 110 meter hurdles, 20th
Competition Times: 110 meter hurdles prelims, May 24 5:30 p.m.; 110 meter hurdles quarterfinals, May 25 7:20 p.m.
Sebastian Barth will compete in the 110 meter hurdles after finishing with all-conference honors at the MVC Outdoor Championships and ran the second leg of the MVC title winning 4X100 meter relay team. Barth ran a new personal-best time of 13.92 this season in the hurdles, placing him fourth all-time at UNI. In just his second year as a Panther, Barth has been solid this season in the hurdles, also earning all-conference recognition during the indoor season. His third place finish and wind-legal time of 14.03 punched his ticket to the NCAA West Preliminary round for the second year in a row. Barth finished in the top-three in the 110 meter hurdles four times during the season, including first place finishes at the Joey Haines Invitational and the Jim Duncan Invitational.
Justin Baker: Shot Put
Regional Ranking: Shot Put, 48th
Competition Times: Shot Put, May 24 6 p.m.
Justin Baker will make his return to Austin this week to compete in the shot put for the Panthers. Baker notched a season-best throw of 55-09.75 at the Redbird Invitational in April. He set a new personal-best during the indoor season with a toss of 57-11.00. Baker’s outdoor PR is a throw of 57-05.75, which he achieved in 2012.
Adam McDonnell: Hammer Throw
Regional Ranking: Hammer Throw, 42nd
Competition Times: Hammer Throw, May 24 2 p.m.
Adam McDonnell has qualified for NCAA West Preliminary Round in the hammer throw for the second year in a row. McDonnell achieved a new personal record in the event with a throw of 194-04 early in the season at the Alabama Relays. McDonnell has the second biggest throw in the hammer throw this season. He earned all-conference honors in 2011 and is second all-time at UNI in the javelin after qualifying for the event at last year’s West Preliminary round.
Paige Knodle: 100 meter hurdles, Javelin
Regional Ranking: 100 meter hurdles, 42nd; Javelin, 27th
Competition Times: 100 meter hurdles prelims, May 24 5 p.m., Quarterfinals May 25 7:05 p.m.; Javelin, May 25 5 p.m.
Paige Knodle will make her second appearance at the NCAA West Preliminary Round in her career after qualifying for the 100 meter hurdles last season. Knodle has been stellar this season in the javelin throw, breaking the school record twice. The second time the sophomore broke the record was at the MVC Championships with a throw of 151-07, winning the individual javelin competition for her first career MVC title. She notched a new personal-best time in the 100 meter hurdles at the MVC Outdoor Championships as well, running a time of 13.68.
Jenna Wexter: Pole Vault
Regional Ranking: Pole Vault, 42nd
Competition Times: Pole Vault, May 24 1 p.m.
Jenna Wexter will look to continue her senior season at the NCAA West Preliminary Round for her second career trip to the regional this week. The current school record holder in the pole vault at UNI will look to capatilize and improve her season-best jump of 12-11.50. Wexter won the event at the Jim Duncan Invitational and the Redbird Invitational and finished in the top-five four times during the season, including her fourth place finish at the MVC Championships. Wexter earned indoor and outdoor all-conference honors in 2012.
Kelsey Sukovaty: Shot Put
Regional Ranking: Shot Put, 33rd
Competition Times: Shot put, May 25 6 p.m.
Senior Kelsey Sukovaty will be making her first trip to the NCAA West Preliminary Round and the Panther shot putter will look to carry on her senior season in the event. Sukovaty notched a personal record in the event this season, scoring a throw of 51-07.25 at the Cornell College Invitational, placing herself second all-time in the event. Sukovaty placed fourth at the MVC Championships with a throw of 50-00.50.