The Hoosiers are already three meets into the 2012 indoor season, but the Gladstein Invitational represents the first big meet for the Hoosiers and provides the opportunity to put big, national-level marks on the board. The meet annually produces some of the top early-season times in the world, and this year should be no different. Invitational races will be highlighted on Friday and Saturday of the meet, with the men's 3,000-meter invitational taking the spotlight. The race will put Indiana's runners in position to break major records.
The meet also presents Indiana's combined events athletes with their first opportunity to compete in a pentathlon or heptathlon. Combined events action starts at Noon ET on Friday, and regular competition is set for a 3:30 p.m. start. Multi action begins at 10 a.m. ET on Saturday and normal competition starts at 11 a.m.
LAST TIME OUT
Indiana track and field got a big confidence boost on Saturday, blowing out the rival Purdue Boilermakers in a dual meet. The IU women won 97-39, and the IU men won 88-46. The Hoosiers took first, second and third in seven different events on the day.
Andy Bayer and AndrewPoore went 1-2 in the mile, clocking the top two times in Division I this season. Bayer finished in 4:03.27 and Poore was right behind in 4:03.96. Olu Olamigoke won the triple jump as his hop, skip and jump of 15.62m (51-3) is the eight best ever at IU. Kind Butler won the 60m and the 200m on the day, with his winning time in the 200 of 21.35. He clocked a 60m time of 6.76 to lead IU's 1-2-3 finish in the event.
Kelsey Duerksen and Breanne Ehrman went 1-2 in the 800m and the mile. Their times of 2:12.21 and 2:12.42 in the 800 are second and third in the Big Ten this year. In the mile, their times of 4:44.44 and 4:44.67 rank sixth and seventh in IU history. IU completed 1-2-3 sweeps of both events.
Emma Kimoto won the high jump, clearing 1.75m. Mia Mackinnon took second, clearing 1.72m. Monique Riddick knocked off some good competition from Purdue in the shot put, launching a winning throw of 15.64m (). She also took second in the weight throw, recording a career best heave of 18.32m ().
The Hoosiers closed out the meet by winning both 4x400m relays and both 4x800m relays.
HOOSIERS EIGHTH IN PRESEASON RANKS
The USTFCCCA released the preseason NCAA Division I computer rankings for indoor track and field this week, and Indiana stacks up at number eight to start the season. Without all-world high jumper Derek Drouin as he redshirts this indoor season, the Hoosiers still return enough firepower to rank among the nation's top 10. The first regular season rankings will be released by the USTFCCCA on Jan. 24.
Big scorers in the computer rankings for IU include Andy Bayer, who has the top returning time in the 3,000m and the fourth-best returning time in the mile, as well as the fifth returning time in the distance medley relay. Andrew Poore and Ben Hubers rank as the eighth and ninth best returners in the 5K, and both rank among the nation's top 15 in the 3K as well. Kind Butler is the other big contributor for IU, as he ranks ninth in the 200m and 19th in the 60m.
FOLLOW IU WITH SOCIAL MEDIA! Fans of IU track and field will have access to greatly expanded coverage of the Hoosiers in 2012. Media Relations contact Kyle Johnson will be covering the Hoosiers all season long on Twitter, Facebook and IUHoosiers.com. His Twitter posts will include live updates from meets all season long.
Weekly Youtube videos, previews, recaps, photo galleries, results and much, much more will be available all season long. You can get updates on your mobile device or computer via Twitter by following Johnson at twitter.com/KJatIU or via Facebook at facebook.com/IUTrack
ONE OF A KIND Kind Butler has opened the 2012 campaign with a flurry of wins. His time of 6.27 seconds to win the 55 at the Hoosier Open is the sixth fastest in school history and is the fastest 55m time in the country on the season. Converted to 60 meters (6.73), Butler ranks 19th on the NCAA list and leads the Big Ten. In the 200, Butler's time of 21.35 against Purdue ranks 15th nationally and leads the Big Ten
In the 300, Butler finished in a school record 33.57 at the Hoosier Open. Butler bettered the previous record of 33.87 by IU legend and Olympian Albert Robinson.
Butler has a led a resurgence of the Indiana sprints program over the past two years. He won IU's first Big Ten title in the 60 meters since 1992 and became IU's first All-American in the 200 since 2004 during the 2011 indoor campaign, and then outdoors he led the Hoosiers to the first All-America finish in the 4x100 since 1971 and came within .01 seconds of the IU record in the 100 meters.
GOING THE DISTANCE
Since his arrival in Bloomington in 2007, Ron Helmer has turned Indiana's distance program into a powerhouse. IU's men's distance runners have played prominent roles in four NCAA top-10 finishes in the past two seasons. The men's cross country team finished seventh at NCAAs in both 2010 and 2011, and the distance crew helped the Hoosiers to sixth at NCAAs during the 2010 and 2011 indoor seasons.
When it comes to success on the track, Indiana enters the indoor campaign with perhaps the most depth in the country in distance events. IU's men return four distance runners with Big Ten titles on their resumés, and two of those runners have won a pair of conference crowns. The 2012 Hoosier squad returns six All-American distance runners, who have combined to collect 21 All-America certificates. Indiana's depth is evident if you look at the team's career bests, as six Hoosiers have PR's in the mile better than 4:05 and 11 Hoosiers have gone under 4:10 in their collegiate careers.
This season, Indiana has had five male distance runners get under 4:10 in the mile, and four Hoosiers rank among the nation's top 15 in the event.
ONCE THE ROOKIE, NOW THE VETERAN Kelsie Ahbe came to Indiana in 2009-10 as a two-time state champion pole vaulter from Ohio, but with a pair of NCAA Championship-tested jumpers (Vera Neuenswander and Stephanie Chin) in the program to train with and learn from. Two years later, she is the returning All-American, and four freshmen will look to her for the lead on the pole vault runway. Indiana has had great successes in the women's pole vault since Jake Wiseman took over the group in 2005.
Ahbe took second at Big Tens during the indoor and outdoor seasons and added a sixth place finish outdoors for her first All-America certificate. She and Vera Neuenswander went 1-2 at the outdoor Big Ten meet. This after she took 14th at the NCAA Outdoor Championships and second at Big Tens as a freshman in 2010.
This season, four freshmen enter the program in the women's pole vault, and they are a heralded group. All four jumpers cleared 3.81m (12-6) or better in high school, a mark that was Ahbe's PR when she arrived in Bloomington. It should be an intriguing season on the pole vault runway for IU. Sophie Gutermuth has already shown she is ready to compete with the best in the Big Ten, as she cleared 3.85m (12-7.5) to win against Purdue. With Ahbe's season best at 4.00m (13-1.5), Indiana has two vaulters currently ranked in the top eight in the Big Ten.
CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK Monique Riddick had a breakout year in 2011, but unless you were a hardcore fan of the throws, you might not have noticed. Overshadowed by Faith Sherrill's standout senior season, Riddick posted similar numbers in the shot put in her junior season to what Sherrill did in her junior season, making Riddick an under the radar performer this year with the potential to surprise people in 2012.
Riddick, a transfer to Indiana in 2010 from Montclair State, won three NCAA Division III titles in the shot put before arriving in Bloomington. Riddick posted an indoor best of 16.66m (54-8) in 2011 and advanced to the NCAA Championships during the indoor and outdoor campaigns. In comparison, Sherrill finished her junior indoor season at 16.80m (55-1.5).
A standout at Bishop Ahr in New Jersey, Riddick wasn't heavily recruited out of high school, mostly because of her height. The senior has proved people wrong as a collegiate thrower, and with her work ethic and strong finish to throws, she has blossomed under Indiana's throws coach Jermaine Jones. After winning her third NCAA title at Montclair State, head coach Aubrey Lewis told Riddick that she should look to transfer if she wanted to reach her full potential as a thrower. In the recruiting process, Riddick chose Indiana because of Jones's successes with another short thrower, Tiffany Howard. Howard was an All-American and Big Ten Champion at Indiana.
Riddick ranks second in the Big Ten this season in the shot put, at 15.67m (51-5). At 18.32m (60-1.25) in the weight throw, she ranks sixth in the Big Ten and has already improved her career best by nearly six and a half feet this season.