Iowans at the Olympics or Iowa Connections

 Des Moines – August 21, 2012

Robyn Friedman, Jason Flogel,  Danna Kelly, Erin Moeller and Ashley Tollakson qualified and ran in the US Olympic Marathon Trials (Houston, Jan. 14).

The Olympic story doesn’t end there, as follows Iowa “connections” at the Olympics . .

  • Diane Nukuri-Johnson (Iowa City) won Dam to Dam 20K and Fifth Season 8K this year, preparing for the Olympic Marathon.  She represented her native country Burindi finishing 31st in London.  She ran a 2:30:13, a personal best beating the all-time Iowa record by almost 3 minutes.  The previous best was by Nan Doak (Davis) in 1989 when she ran 2:33:11 in California.  Diane and Nan were both U. of Iowa standouts.
  • Lisa Uhl (Koll) was 13th in the 10,000 meters in a personal best of 31:12.80.  Lisa was a prep at Ft Dodge High School.  In cross country she never won a CIML conference championship and was 20th as a Sophomore at State XC (2002), 12th as a Junior and 8th as a Senior.  She got very serious at ISU and became a standout.
  • Guor Marial from South Sudan was given a last minute opening so he could compete in the Olympic Marathon.  He is a refugee and given independent Olympic status.  On short notice he ran respectfully finishing 47th in 2:19:32.  Guor was a solid Iowa State runner and 7th at 2011 Dam to Dam.
  • Meb Keflezighi was 4th in Olympic Marathon.  Meb ran the first cross country race at the ISU XC course in 1995.  The course was just completed for the Iowa State Memorial meet, as a Sophomore for UCLA he won the 5.3 mile race in 26:19.  The NCAA Nationals were held on the course later that year, Meb finished 9th.
  • Galen Rupp won the silver in the 10,000 meter.  As a Oregon runner, he briefly was a roommate of Roosevelt prep Jon Thomas, who ran at Oregon.  Jon was part of the great Roosevelt teams a decade ago that won 3 straight state XC titles.  Jon won the 4A state meet in 2003 and was second in 2004.  His teammate Kiel Uhl (Lisa’s husband) won the state meet in 2004.

Back to the local scene as Joe Aulwes won the Maxwell 5K (Aug. 4) in 15:32.

Ashley Tollakson announces, ” I just wanted to let you know that TJ and I are currently expecting our first child, due early February 2013.  We are beyond excited and can’t wait to start this next chapter of our lives.  That being said, I will obviously be taking the year off from racing.  I will most definitely be out there cheering everyone else on at all of the local races!  I hope to be back competing sometime in 2013.”

My annual vacation in the Colorado Rockies followed the routine of the Dowling Catholic XC team they were there early August.  The boys won the state championship in 2011 and the girls are 5-time winners (2007-2011).  It’s doubtful the thin air and mountains will provide the same springboard for faster running this fall for me.  Must be 60 old legs?  Regardless, the break is my best reason for not sending out the first e-mail in August, until now, Cal.

About Runablaze Iowa
Runablaze Iowa athletes are based throughout Iowa.  Formed in 2006, the purpose of the team is to improve post-collegiate Iowa distance running.  Major Iowa running specialty stores, Iowa races and Iowa runners at those races support Runablaze Iowa.

Cal Murdock – Team Public Relations


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