DES MOINES - University of Northern Iowa senior Olimpia Nowak wrapped up her illustrious collegiate career with a 12th-place finish in the heptathlon at the NCAA Outdoor Championships at Drake Stadium on Friday evening. Nowak scored 5,593 points - the second-highest total of her career - and finished just 13 points shy of 10th place.
Nowak finished in the nation's Top-12 in the heptathlon for the third consecutive season, placing 11th in 2010 and 10th last season with 5,314 points.
"I am so proud of Olimpia," said UNI head track & field coach Dan Steele. "She competed extremely well in what turned out to be the highest-scoring heptathlon in NCAA history."
"She has been a phenomenal ambassador of the program and leaves as one of the greatest athletes in UNI history."
Nowak used two season-best performances over the final three events on Friday to climb the standings. She leapt 18-07.75 (5.68m) in the long jump to surpass her previous best this year and threw 123-02 (37.55m) in the javelin. Nowak closed with the second-fastest 800m time of her life at 2:15.09 to lock up the 12th-place finish.
"Usually my first day (of the heptathlon) is better, but for this competition, actually, my second day was better," Nowak said. "In the 800, my PR was 2:14-high and I ran 2:15.09, so that was my seasonal-best. I feel like I did everything that I could."
Also a three-time NCAA Indoor Championships qualifier in the pentathlon, Nowak concludes her career with six Top-14 national finishes in the multi-events.
One day after claiming second-team All-America honors with a 10th-place finish in the decathlon, junior Daniel Gooris took 22nd place in the pole vault. Gooris cleared 16-04.75 (5.00m).
Senior Justin Romero is the lone Panther yet to compete at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Romero will take part in the shot put at 10 a.m. Saturday morning.
NOTE: With Daniel Gooris and Olimpia Nowak each earning Top-12 finishes in the multi-events, UNI joins Oregon and Wisconsin as the only three schools in the nation to place a man and woman in the Top-12 of the multis this season.