Bayer, Helmer, Huntoon Named Regional Honorees
March 5, 2012
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The NCAA Indoor Championships are this weekend, and accolades continue to pour in for the Indiana men's track and field program. The United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced on Monday that Andy Bayer, head coach Ron Helmer and associate head coach Jeff Huntoon have been named Track Athlete of the Year, Head Coach of the Year and Assistant Coach of the Year for the Great Lakes Region.
Helmer and Huntoon expressed appreciation for the honors and gave credit to the student-athletes on the team.
"Andy has done a remarkable job of preparing himself for big moments and then performing in those moments," said Helmer. "His successes along with those by his teammates have been fun to watch this season, and any recognition that I receive can be attributed to those successes. It is a special thing to see a group of young people buy into the program and then see their hard work pay off with a championship."
"We had a bunch of good kids and we rode them hard, and I get this recognition for their outstanding efforts," said Huntoon. "It is always nice to be honored by your peers. We've been working hard here for five years and this is an honor that I cherish, and I'm very appreciative for it."
Bayer won the mile and 3000 meters and finished third in the 5000 meters to score 26 team points and help lead the Hoosiers to the Big Ten team title. The Track Athlete of the Big Ten Championships, Bayer will compete at the NCAA Championships in the mile, 3,000 and distance medley relay. As the anchor leg for Indiana's DMR, Bayer has helped the team equal the fourth-fastest time in NCAA history in the event.
The head coach of the Hoosiers since 2007, Helmer guided his team to the Big Ten Championship. Helmer's team ranks second in the region and 13th nationally. His distance runners scored 53 of the team's 104 points at the Big Ten meet by placing in the mile, 3K, 5K and DMR. Bayer scored 26 points at the Big Ten meet, taking titles in the mile and 3K and finishing third in the 5K. IU's DMR ranks second nationally with the fourth-fastest time ever recorded. Indiana has 14 athletes ranked in the top 20 in the country in their respective events.
In his fourth year working with IU's jumpers and sprinters, Huntoon had athletes achieve 18 personal records en route to scoring 40 of Indiana's 104 points at the Big Ten Indoor Championships, good enough for first place in the team race. Huntoon has Hoosiers ranked sixth in the 200m, 13th in the high jump, 15th in the triple jump and 12th in the 4x400m relay. Two of his event-group athletes won Big Ten titles this season, as Kind Butler won the 200-meter crown and Darius King took the high jump title.
Next up for Indiana are the NCAA Championships in Boise, Idaho on March 9-10. For complete coverage of all things IU track and field, stay tuned to IUHoosiers.com.
Check back soon