by Brandee Britt
February 28, 2014, GENEVA, Ohio (ISN) – University of Iowa senior Zinnia Miller broke the long jump school record, and seven Hawkeyes qualified for event finals on the first day of the Big Ten Indoor Championships on Friday. The women’s team sits in 10th place with only six events scored, while the men are in 10th after five events.
The women’s long jump competition was a thrilling one. At the end of the event Miller was in a three-way tie for first-place. The tie was broken based on the competitor’s second-best leap. Miller finished third to grab six points for the Hawkeye women. The senior’s school-record-breaking leap of 20-4 ¼ (6.20m) broke teammate Carisa Leacock’s previous record of 19-9 ½ (6.03m) set at the Iowa Invitational on Feb. 21. Leacock scored three points for the Hawkeye women. The senior finished sixth with a jump of 19-8 ½ (6.00m).
“We had some solid performances to advance athletes through to the finals,” said head coach Layne Anderson. “Zinnia and Carisa got the scoring underway with two outstanding performances. We hope personal-best performances will be the theme of tomorrow.”
Gabe Hull put the Hawkeye men on the board when he finished seventh in the shot put (2 points). The junior recorded a personal-best toss of 58-7 ¼ (17.86m). That mark ranks seventh all-time at Iowa.
Freshman Brittany Brown and sophomore Lake Kwaza will have two shots at a Big Ten Title on Saturday. Brown and Kwaza each qualified for finals in the 60 and 200 meters. Brown won her 60 meters heat when she crossed the line in 7.42, while Kwaza posted a time of 7.47 to finish second in her heat. The duo each posted a personal-best time of 23.96 in the 200 meters. Their time ranks sixth all-time at Iowa.
Tevin-Cee Mincy earned a spot in the men’s 60 meters final. The senior finished second in his heat with a time of 6.79.
Freshman Aaron Mallett earned his way into the men’s 60-meter hurdles final. Mallett clocked a personal-best time of 7.88 to finish third in his heat. His time ranks fourth all-time at Iowa.
Elexis Guster qualified for the women’s 400 meters final. The freshman recorded a personal-best time of 54.37 to finish second in her heat. Her time ties for fifth all-time at Iowa.
Sophomores MonTayla Holder and Will Teubel qualified for the 600 meters final. Holder earned a spot in the women’s final. She crossed the line in a personal-best time of 1:29.98 to finish second in her heat. Holder’s time ranks third all-time at Iowa. Teubel won his 600 meters heat when he recorded a personal-best time o 1:18.42. His time ranks fifth all-time at Iowa.
A host of Hawkeyes posted all-time top ten performances throughout the afternoon.
Courtney Fritz recorded a personal-best toss in the women’s shot put. The senior’s mark of 47-5 (14.45m) earned her a ninth-place finish. Her mark ties for seventh all-time at Iowa.
Freshman Mahnee Watts ran to a 10th-place finish in the women’s 800 meters. Watts crossed the line in a personal-best time of 2:08.79. Her time ranks fifth all-time at Iowa.
Junior Brennan Davey and sophomore Neil Flattery finished 13th and 14th, respectively, in the men’s 600 meters. Davey recorded a personal-best time of 1:18.75. That time ranks seventh all-time at Iowa, while Flattery’s personal-best time of 1:18.78 ranks ninth. Junior Kaleb VanCleave (1:19.13; 18th) also clocked a personal-best time in the event.
The Hawkeyes recorded four personal-bests in the men’s mile. Junior Ben Witt narrowly missed qualifying for the finals. He finished 11th with a time of 4:07.08. His time ranks fifth all-time at Iowa. Freshman Kevin Docherty (4:07.82; 12th), and sophomores Caleb Wilfong (4:12.75; 20th) Michael Hart (4:16.15; 24th) also clocked personal-best times.
Kassidy Ellis finished 14th in the women’s pentathlon with a personal-best point total of 3,346. Her total ranks 10th all-time at Iowa.
“We had a lot of personal bests between our men and women,” said director of track and field Larry Wieczorek. “We have to rally the troops and finish strong tomorrow.”
The Big Ten Indoor Championships resume tomorrow at 9 a.m. (CT).