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Editor’s note: This is 24th in a series counting down the Top 50 moments in Iowa Hawkeyes women’s athletics history in the 50 days leading up to the 50th anniversary of Title IX in June.
Nan Doak-Davis made history in 1985 as the first Iowa woman track and field athlete to win an NCAA championship.
She ran a time of 33 minutes, 33.08 seconds in the outdoor 10,000-meter event to take the title.
“It was pretty amazing,” Doak-Davis said. “It was something that I always wanted to do.”
The senior crossed that goal off her list in the final race of her collegiate career.
Two years earlier, Doak-Davis was the 1983 runner-up for the NCAA cross country title.
“I was in the lead, and I relaxed,” Doak-Davis told The Gazette.
Fast forward to 1985, and she wasn’t going to relax.
Going into the final lap of the 10,000, it went down to Doak-Davis and the reigning champion, Christine McMiken from Oklahoma State.
“I just go, ‘I have this if I just stay focused and just do it,’” Doak-Davis said.
That mindset helped her beat McMiken by about six seconds in a race that spans more than 6 miles.
Some of Doak-Davis' results from the 1985 season still are among the best in program history.
Jennifer Brower broke Doak-Davis’ Hawkeye record in the outdoor 10,000, but Doak-Davis still has the fourth-best time in program history.
Doak-Davis’ top outdoor 5,000-meter time — 15:45.84 — remains the best in program history 37 years later.
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