In 2016, the University of Iowa acquired a world-class banked track after the World Indoor Track and Field Championships in Portland, OR. The track, which originally costed $4 million in Oregon, was sold to UI for just $2.6 million which included transportation and installation costs. It was installed in the Recreation Building next to Kinnick Stadium, a beautiful facility with a wooden vaulted ceiling and stacked with windows spilling in natural light, a stark contrast to most indoor facilities. With this incredible upgrade, the University of Iowa now houses one of the top five highest quality tracks in the United States, attracting more competition to their home meets and encouraging NCAA qualifying times.
This year, the Hawkeyes are hosting the second annual LARRY WIECZOREK INVITATIONAL, attracting the likes of high-caliber NCAA teams and Olympians!
Teams that will be in attendance include Arizona, Minnesota, Florida State, LSU, Kansas State, Wisconsin, Virginia, and Iowa State, according to Hawk Daily Talk.
The Hawkeye's head coach Joey Woody certainly hasn't been shy about the excitement around this event. The school is also offering free pizza during the meet after 5pm and free t-shirts for the first 100 fans to arrive!
The Hawkeye TF/XC Twitter page has also been keeping the hype up around the meet with formal announcements of the many professional athletes that will be attending, as well as their PR's and honors they have received during their careers.
One notable athlete that will be returning for the meet is Erik Sowinski, a former Hawkeye and professional athlete for Nike. He can boast impressive PRs during his professional indoor career of 1:15.07 in the 600 last year at the US Championships in Albuquerque, NM; a 1:46.8 800 PR run in Karlsruhe, Germany last year, and a 2:18.63 PR in the 1000 at the Armory in NYC back in 2014, the same year that he was that National Indoor Champion in the 800. That win qualified him to the World Championships in Poland where he placed 13th in the 800 in 1:48.04. He owns the American record for the 500-meter race of 1:15.61. He also competed on this exact track in Portland for the World Championships in 2016. Sowinski collected 5 All-American honors during his time as a Hawkeye and set the school 800-meter record of 1:45.90. It will be an exciting time for Hawkeye fans to see Sowinski back on the track against some serious competition!
Can't make it to the meet? Flotrack will be live-streaming it here!