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Editor’s note: This is 22nd 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.
When Tracy Dahl arrived at Iowa in 1989, the Hawkeyes had one individual NCAA title in women’s track and field.
Dahl tripled that number, winning NCAA championships in the indoor 5,000-meter race in 1992 and 1993.
She was the first multiyear winner ever for Iowa women, and it hadn’t happened on the men’s side since Herbert Hoover was president.
A “thrilled” Jerry Hassard, the Iowa women’s track and field head coach at the time, told the Daily Iowan after her first title she “was in control of the race early.”
“Tracy still had zip in her legs at the end of the race, and I think she will continue to improve,” Hassard said. “She is already a world-class runner."
Just as Hassard predicted, Dahl improved and cut almost seven seconds off her time — she went from 15:56.27 at 1992’s championship to 15:49.52 in 1993 — on her way to winning a second NCAA title.
Dahl also was Iowa’s first woman to win a Big Ten cross country championship in 1992.
About three decades later, Dahl remains among the top 10 Hawkeyes all-time in the outdoor 3,000-meter, 5,000-meter and 10,000-meter events. She remains the Iowa record-holder for the indoor 3,000-meter and 5,000-meter events.
No other Iowa track and field athlete on the men’s or women’s side has been a repeat NCAA champion since Dahl.
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