UNI Track & Field Sends 13 to NCAA West Preliminary Rounds

Courtesy: Northern Iowa University Athletics


By James Steward

The University of Northern Iowa men’s and women’s track and field teams will send 13 athletes to compete at the NCAA Division I Track & Field West Preliminary Rounds in Eugene, Ore., from May 26-28. The Preliminary Rounds serve as the sole method of qualification for the NCAA Outdoor Championships to be held June 8-11 at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa.


NCAA Qualifiers

Thirteen athletes from UNI have qualified to compete in a total of 11 events at the NCAA Division I Track & Field West Preliminary Rounds. Twelve competitors from each individual event and a minimum of eight teams from each relay event will advance from each Preliminary Round site to the Final Championship Meet.

Tanner Hurt (Jr., Newton, Iowa, Hammer Throw)

Hurt enters the Preliminary Rounds as the highest-ranked of UNI’s 13 qualifiers at No. 15 in the West Region for the hammer throw. After a steady string of personal-bests this season, Hurt broke the school record in the hammer throw at the MVC Outdoor Championships with his mark of 206-01 (62.82m). His second-place finish was the second All-MVC honor of his career.

Jordan Williams (So., Monticello, Iowa, Discus and Hammer Throw)

Williams is one of four Panthers to qualify in two events, earning berths in the discus and hammer throw. He won his first MVC championship in the discus with a throw of 182-06 (55.63m), ranking him at No. 19 entering the Preliminary Rounds. Williams is No. 38 in the hammer throw with his personal-best toss of 194-07 (59.32m). He entered the UNI all-time top five lists in three events in 2011, ranking fourth in the discus, fifth in the hammer throw and fifth in the weight throw in UNI history.

Holli Hosch (Sr., Walker, Iowa, 800m)

Hosch returns to the West Preliminary Rounds in the 800m after a record-setting performance at the meet in 2010. Last season, she qualified for the NCAA Championships with a school-record clocking of 2:05.47. Since then, Hosch has won the MVC indoor and outdoor titles at 800m and set UNI’s indoor record as well. Hosch was a placewinner in the 800m at eight consecutive MVC Championships. She enters this meet with the 23rd-best time in the West Region at 800m.

Daniel Gooris (Jr., Albuquerque, N.M., Pole Vault)

Gooris earned his second consecutive berth in the pole vault at the Preliminary Rounds with a clearance of 17-00.75 (5.20m) on May 6. His vault is tied for the 23rd-best mark in the West entering the meet. Last season, he tied for 14th place at the Preliminary Rounds, narrowly missing out on a spot in the NCAA Championships. At the MVC Outdoor Championships, Gooris took second in the pole vault while also successfully defending his title in the decathlon by scoring 7,346 points.

Justin Romero (Jr., Cedar Falls, Iowa, Shot Put)

Romero will be making his first appearance at the Preliminary Rounds, as he is ranked No. 27 in the West Region in the shot put. His season-best throw of 57-07.75 (17.57m) earned him a fourth-place finish at the Drake Relays. Romero won the Valley indoor title in the shot put and placed second outdoors. His personal-bests rank second and fourth, respectively, on the indoor and outdoor UNI all-time best lists.

Traci Harms (Jr., Hampton, Iowa, Hammer Throw)

Harms is making her first appearance at the Preliminary Rounds after coming in at No. 30 in the West Region in the hammer throw. Her toss of 186-05 (56.83m) at the MVC Outdoor Championships has her at No. 2 on the UNI all-time performance list in the event. Harms is also second all-time at UNI in the weight throw.

Sam Kranz (Jr., Sugar Grove, Ill., Pole Vault)

Kranz returns to the Preliminary Rounds for the second-straight year, having placed 16th in the pole vault last season with a mark of 17-02.75 (5.25m). He has won the last two MVC indoor titles in the pole vault and added his first outdoor title on May 15. His season-best vault of 16-10.75 (5.15m) this year has him tied for 33rd in the West Region entering the meet.

Aaron Stockstell (Jr., Iowa City, Iowa, 800m)

Stockstell owns the fastest 800m time in the Valley this season and is currently No. 38 in the West Region at 1:49.82. He placed second in the 800m at the MVC Indoor Championships and has been named the MVC Men’s Track Athlete of the Week twice in 2011. His season-best time trails only former UNI athlete Tyler Mulder for the fastest time by an MVC athlete in the past three seasons.

Olimpia Nowak (Jr., Rawicz, Poland, 100m Hurdles and 400m Hurdles)

Nowak locked up a qualifying spot in both the 100m hurdles and 400m hurdles, ranking No. 38 in the West Region in each event. She set new personal-bests in each event in 2011 (13.68 in the 100m hurdles and 1:00.11 in the 400m hurdles), with both of those performances making her the second-best all-time at UNI. Nowak has also guaranteed herself a spot at the NCAA Championships in the heptathlon with her score of 5,382 points.

Jarred Herring (Jr., Burlington, Iowa, 100m and 4x100m Relay)

Herring clocked a 100m time of 10.50 seconds at the MVC Outdoor Championships to earn a spot at the Preliminary Rounds. This season he won his second Valley title in the 100m, placed fourth in the 200m, and anchored the MVC champion 4x100m relay. He also took third at the MVC Indoor Championships in the 60m dash. Herring qualified for the 100m and 200m at the NCAA Midwest Regional as a freshman in 2009.

Carlos Anderson (So., Blue Springs, Mo., 100m and 4x100m Relay)

Anderson posted a 100m dash time of 10.54 seconds at the Tom Botts Invitational on April 6 to earn his spot at the Preliminary Rounds. Anderson had a breakout indoor season, winning the Valley title at 60m in 6.75 seconds, before taking third in the 100m at the MVC Championships and leading off the UNI 4x100m relay team that won a conference title. Only one MVC athlete – Jeramie Gray of Indiana State (6.74 in 2008) – has posted a faster 60m time in the past five seasons.

4x100m Relay -- Carlos Anderson, Derek Kramer, Wilmot Wellington, Jarred Herring

This quartet ran together for the first time at the MVC Outdoor Championships, winning a conference title in 40.36 seconds. That time was the 18th-fastest in the West Region, earning them a spot in the Preliminary Rounds. Anderson, Wellington and Herring all also play football for the Panthers.

Winning Championships

The Panthers came away from the 2011 MVC Outdoor Championships with six event titles. Daniel Gooris (decathlon), Jarred Herring (100m), Holli Hosch (800m), Sam Kranz (pole vault), Jordan Williams (discus), and the men’s 4x100m relay team all claimed the top spot in the Valley from May 13-15.

Hurt Tops The Record Books

UNI junior Tanner Hurt got the Panther men’s track & field team off to a strong start at the 2011 MVC Outdoor Championships (5/13), setting the school record in the hammer throw on his way to a runner-up finish in the event. Hurt’s mark of 206-01 (62.82m) broke the previous record of 202-05 set by Derrick Benner in 2005. In fact, Hurt surpassed the previous record on three out of his six attempts, earning his second All-MVC honor and his first-ever in the hammer throw.

Defending The Decathlon

Daniel Gooris staged a huge rally on the final day of the decathlon at the MVC Championships (5/14) to post a career-best score of 7,346 points, successfully defending the Valley title he first captured in 2010 and setting a new Messersmith Complex record in the process.

Cameron Goes Sub-55

UNI sophomore Sam Cameron became the fourth woman in UNI history to run the 400m under 55 seconds when she ran 54.92 to claim third place at the MVC Outdoor Championships on May 15.

Hosch Gets One More Record

Holli Hosch, the lone senior representing the Panthers at the West Preliminary Rounds, took one more swipe at the record books at the MVC Outdoor Championships, winning the 800m in a record time of 2:07.37. In breaking the 24-year old meet record, Hosch defended her outdoor and indoor 800m titles. She has now placed in the 800m at eight consecutive MVC meets between the indoor and outdoor seasons.

Discus Leads The Way

The UNI men’s biggest move on the final day of the MVC Outdoor Championships came from the discus. Late in the afternoon, sophomore Jordan Williams led a UNI charge up the team standings by winning his first Valley title in the event. Williams’ throw of 182-06 (55.63m) was a personal-best by a margin of 11 feet and now ranks him at No. 4 on the UNI all-time list. In all, UNI scored 20 points in the discus with a fourth-place finish by Justin Romero, a sixth-place finish by freshman Matt Schiffer and a seventh-place finish by senior Allen Weeks. Romero’s toss of 165-01 (50.33m) was a personal-best by over four feet.

Breakthrough Season For Throwers

Over the three-day MVC Championships, Panther men’s throwers totaled 54 team points and had an All-MVC finisher in each of the four throwing events. The 54 points in the throwing events are the most ever scored by UNI at the Missouri Valley Conference Championships. In 2011, Panther throwers (men and women) have posted ten performances that rank in the school’s all-time top five lists.

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