March 14, 2006
Complete Release in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader
Two Big Ten student-athletes were crowned national champions last weekend at the 2006 NCAA Indoor Track & FIeld Championships, hosted by the University of Arkansas. Seven teams represented the league in competition as Minnesota (12), Michigan (T13) and Iowa (20) recorded top-20 team finishes. Ohio State and Penn State tied for 26th while Wisconsin (51) and Illinois (58) rounded out the conference squads in action.
Iowa sophomore Kineke Alexander is the first Hawkeye sprinter to bring home an NCAA individual crown. She ran her second-fastest time of the year in 52.16 as she finished first in the 400-meter dash. The Glenside, Mesopotamia, native, shattered the Big Ten record and set a new school mark with her 52.01 first-place finish in the same event at the 2006 Big Ten Indoor Championships. Iowa now boasts four NCAA individual champions.
Minnesota's Heather Dorniden capped off an amazing indoor freshman season as she claimed the 800-meter run title in 2:05.64. She entered the race ranked second to Michigan's Katie Erdman and finished .08 second ahead of Oregon's Rebekah Noble. Dorniden is the defending 2006 Big Ten 800-meter indoor champion and is the first Golden Gopher in school history to bring home an NCAA individual crown.
Overall, five student-athletes and two relay squads recorded top-five finishes at the NCAA Championships. Michigan's Alyson Kohlmeier (fifth, 5,000-meter run), Ohio State's Jessica Stringer (fifth, high jump) and Penn State's Jennifer Leatherman (third, weight throw) joined Alexander and Dorniden as finishing in the top five in individual events while the Wolverine and Gopher distance medley relay teams finished third and fourth, respectively.
The 2006 outdoor edition of the track and field season begins this weekend as Iowa and Wisconsin head to Miami, Fla., to compete in the Hurricane Invitational while Minnesota travels to Conway, S.C., for the Shamrock Invite.