The postseason begins this weekend for Indiana track and field, as the Hoosiers head to Geneva, Ohio for the Big Ten Indoor Championships. For the second-straight year, the conference's men's and women's meets are being held together simultaneously in the same venue. The meet opens on Fri., Feb. 22 and concludes on Sat., Feb. 23 with action beginning at 10 a.m. ET on both days. The meet will be broadcast on Big Ten Network via tape delay at noon ET on March 2.
Hoosiers Robby Nierman, Sydney Clute, Cornelius Strickland and Samantha Ginther each enter the Big Ten meet with different levels of experience and expectations. We caught up with all four to discuss their goals for the weekend.
2011-12 (JUNIOR): Cross Country: Placed second at the Indiana Intercollegiates in the 5K in 17:41 as IU took first overall as a team ... was the first Hoosier to cross the line at the Cowboy Jamboree in second place overall in 17:26.86 as IU placed second as a team ... crossed the line first for IU and in 64th overall at the adidas Invitational in 21:04 ... placed 30th at the Big Ten Championships in 21:01 ... took 14th at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional with a time of 20:58 to earn a trip to the NCAA Championships ... participated in her first NCAA national meet as an individual qualifier and crossed the line in 21:35.4 to place 173rd overall. Indoor: Redshirted. Outdoor: Qualified for the NCAA East Preliminary Round in the 3,000m steeplechase, where she finished 19th with a PR 10:18.14 ... took fifth in the Big Ten 5,000m, clocking a PR 16:35.95 ... ran a lifetime best in the 1,500 at the Billy Hayes Invitational, finishing in 4:31.83.
2010-11 (SOPHOMORE): Cross Country: Placed third to begin the season at the Indiana Open ... took second place in a time of 17:41.8 at the Indiana Intercollegiate ... crossed the line 39th at the adidas Invite ... was the third Hoosier to finish and placed 10th at the Chile Pepper Festival in Arkansas in 17:15.59 ... was a 32nd place finisher at Big Tens in 21:09 ... was second on the team and 31st overall at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional ... named Academic All-Big Ten. Indoor: Clocked PRs of 2:16.52 in the 800m, 4:50.79 in the mile, 9:31.94 in the 3,000m and 16:56.65 in the 5,000m. Outdoor: Redshirted ... named Academic All-Big Ten and USTFCCCA All-Academic.
2009-10 (FRESHMAN): Cross Country: Finished in IU's top four in every meet she ran in her freshman campaign, helping the Hoosiers to earn a bid into the NCAA Championships ... kicked off her collegiate career with third overall at the Indiana Open, in 18:58.89 ... was the fourth IU finisher at the Indiana Intercollegiates, taking 17th in 18:57 ... took IU's fourth spot at the Paul Short Run, finishing in 21:33 for 52nd ... took 49th at Big Tens in 22:11 ... took 36th at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional in 22:04.88, helping the Hoosiers earn an NCAA bid.
Indoor: Opened the season in the 800 at the Indiana Open, finishing in 2:22.85 ... clocked a PR in the mile at Big Tens, finishing in 4:53.48 ... against Purdue, finished in 10:07.69 in the 3,000m ... ran the lead leg of the IU 4x800m relay at the Indiana Relays, finishing in 9:03.11.
Outdoor: Clocked the seventh-best 3,000m steeplechase time in IU history, finishing in 10:46.53 at the Border Battle: "Kentuckiana" ... ran a PR in the 800 at the ISU Quadrangular, finishing in 2:21.06 ... clocked a best of 4:33.19 in the 1,500m at the Alabama Relays.
PREP: Competed four years for Zach Raber at Carroll ... claimed sectional and regional titles in cross country ... took 18th at the state cross country meet in 2006 ... as a senior, took conference, sectional and regional titles in the 1,600m and conference and sectional titles in the 800m ... all-state twice in track and twice in cross country ... took ninth at the state meet in the 1,600m as a senior ... led her team to four NHC conference titles, four sectional, four regional and two semistate titles in cross country ... won two conference championships and one sectional and regional team title in track ... cross country team finished third at the state meet in 2007 ... holds school record in the 4x800m relay and is third on Carroll's cross country list ... earned four letters in both cross country and track.
PERSONAL: Parents are John and Sue Ginther ... has a sister named Andrea and a brother named Nick ... born August 7, 1990 ... majoring in nutrition science.