CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa track and field team will head to Carbondale, Ill. this week for the 2014 Missouri Valley Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships. The event will run from May 16-18.
The Panthers will travel 53 student-athletes to compete in 37 combined events between the men and women’s teams. Of the 53 athletes heading to Carbondale this week for UNI, 11 will be competing in their final MVC Championships as seniors.
UNI holds some of the top-marks in the conference this season, with 34 athletes being ranked in the top-10 in their individual events.
The Panther men’s sprint crew will head into the conference meet after a strong spring and indoor season. Brandon Carnes sits at No. 1 in the MVC in the 100 meters while senior Derek Kramer is ranked No. 3. Kramer, the defending 100 meter dash title winner, will look to cap off his senior season with another win.
Carnes is also ranked first in the MVC in the 200 meters. The freshman hit the ground running when he came to UNI, winning the indoor 60 meter dash and 200 meter dash at the MVC Indoor Championships in March to earn Indoor Track MVP.
The men’s hurdlers have also shined this season with Sebastian Barth currently holding the second fastest time in the conference this season in the 110 meter hurdles. Senior Ryan Newtoff joins Barth in the top-10 in the 110 hurdles while also holding the third-fastest time in the 400 meter hurdles in his final season.
Junior Corey Szamlewski and sophomore Weston Riesselman will be looking for their first all-conference nods this weekend after being ranked in the top-three in the pole vault and long jump, respectively. Szamlewski catapulted himself into the No. 3 spot in the MVC after a huge PR in the pole vault at the Mark Messersmith Invitational.
Matt Schiffer has had a strong senior season and will be looking to cap it off with a win in the men’s discus. Schiffer has been ranked first in the MVC since April 11 when he threw a big personal-best toss of 187-10, tying him for third all-time at UNI.
Senior Adam McDonnell will join Schiffer in the throwing competitions and is currently ranked in the top-10 in the discus, hammer and javelin throws. The senior comes in at No. 3 in the conference in the javelin with his season-best throw at the Drake Relays.
Ben Lindaman has had a solid senior season competing in the multi-events, including his third place finish at the Drake Relays. He broke the 7,000 point mark for the first time in his career-earning a PR total of 7,021. He is ranked third in the MVC in the decathlon after notching personal-bests in the 100 meters, 200 meters, 400 meters, 1,500 meters, 110 hurdles and pole vault this season.
On the women’s side, the Panther middle-distance runners have excelled this season. Amber Clock, Alex Wilson and Brette Correy are all ranked in the top-10 in the 800 meters. True freshman Correy earned all-conference during the indoor season in the event while Clock earned all-conference honors in the 800 meters at last year’s outdoor championships.
Wilson will look to come away with a first place finish in the 1,500 meters after placing third in 2013. Wilson has been ranked first in the MVC in the event since her school record breaking time of 4:22.85 was run at the Mt. Sac Relays in April.
Included in the athletes that broke school records this season is junior Libby Torresani. Not only did she break the indoor pole vault record three times, but also broke the outdoor record with a personal-best height of 13-3.50. The 2013 all-conference honoree is currently ranked second in the MVC.
Jamie Lindstrom has had a stand-out season for the women’s throws group and is currently ranked in the top-10 in the MVC in the shot put and hammer throw. Throughout the 2014 season, Lindstrom has jumped onto the UNI all-time list for the hammer (5th), shot put (3rd) and discus (5th) with all new PRs.
Paige Knodle, the school record holder in the javelin, will enter the MVC Championships ranked first in the javelin and the heptathlon. The junior has battled through this season by notching several personal-bests, including a huge mark of 19-0.50 in the long jump to rank her fourth all-time at UNI.
The MVC Outdoor Championships will being on Friday, May 16 with the decathlon and heptathlon starting at 10 a.m. Live results will be available at www.mvc-sports.com and a full recap and results will be available following each day of competition at www.unipanthers.com.