With the Big Ten Championships on tap for this weekend, the postseason is in full swing for Indiana Track and Field. The meet begins with combined events competition on Fri., May 11. The meet continues on Saturday and Sunday, with the final event starting at 4:45 p.m. ET. The Big Ten Network will be on hand to prepare a tape-delayed broadcast which will air at Noon (ET) on Sunday, May 20.
The last time IU won a Big Ten outdoor team title was in 2001 for the women and in 1991 for the men. 1991 was also the last time and Indiana men's team won indoor and outdoor team titles in the same year. The Indiana men have won 12 outdoor Big Ten titles, and the women have won a pair (`00 & `01).
Four IU men enter the meet having already won Big Ten outdoor titles in individual events, and De'Sean Turner and Ben Hubers will defend their titles in the 3,000m steeplechase and 1,500m, respectively. Turner has won two consecutive steeplechase titles and will look to become just the second three-time Big Ten champ ever in the event (Randy Jackson of Wisconsin won in `78, `79 and `80). Derek Drouin, who sat out last outdoor season due to injury, won titles in 2009 and 2010, and Andrew Poore took the 5,000m title in 2010. Drouin will look to join Dennis Adama (`72, `73 and `74) as the only Hoosiers to win three outdoor Big Ten titles in the high jump.
LAST TIME OUT
Indiana track and field looked to have ideal conditions at the Billy Hayes Invitational, but Mother Nature had other ideas, making herself known at 8:20 p.m., and forcing a lightning delay that lasted more than three hours. The Hoosiers were still able to win eight events.
The Hoosiers got a time of 40.08 in the 4x100m relay from Tyler Sult, Kind Butler, Chris Vaughn and Nick Stoner. The time was .79 seconds better than the second-place team. The time is tied for seventh in IU history and ranks 18th in the East region this season.
Butler clocked a time of 10.42, which was fastest in the 100-meter prelims. He passed the finals, but his time was faster than all of the other finalists.
Ann-Marie Clarke took the win in the women's long jump, leaping 6.08m (19-11). Her mark is the eighth-best in school history.
Taja Moore was the collegiate winner of the women's discus with a heave of 49.53m (162-6) which ranks eighth in IU history. Her mark ranks 26th in the East region this season
Kelsie Ahbe won the women's pole vault, clearing 4.00m (13-1.5). Shona Dunkley won the women's 400m hurdles in 1:03.20, shedding more than a half second off her career best.
In the women's invitational 1,500m, Samantha Ginther won in 4:31.83, shedding 1.5 seconds off her career mark in the event.
RETURN OF THE SWEEPLECHASE
Indiana could be called the best steeplechase program in the nation. With three Big Ten titles and six All-Americans between the women's and men's teams in the event during the past two seasons, IU has more than earned the right to enter that discussion. Last season at Big Tens, the Hoosiers placed three runners in the top four in the steeplechase, in both the men's and women's races. This season looks to be much more of the same from the Hoosiers.
Indiana sent four runners to Princeton's Larry Ellis Memorial on Fri., April 20 to run the 3,000m steeplechase. Those four runners finished 1-2-3-4, with four of the 10 fastest times in the nation this season, including the top two times nationally from Andrew Poore and De'Sean Turner.
Poore clocked a collegiate-leading time of 8:36.41 and Turner was right behind in 8:36.61. Andy Weatherford took third in 8:42.77 and Adrien Dannemiller was fourth in 8:44.72. Those times rank first, second, fifth and 11th respectively in Division I this season. Poore's time is actually .01 off his career mark, which he ran at NCAA's a year ago. Poore is the 10th-fastest American on the young season, and Turner is 12th on the American list.
Turner's time is the third-fastest in IU history, while Weatherford and Dannemiller rank seventh and eighth respectively in IU lore. The four IU seniors are first, second, fourth and sixth in the Big Ten this season. All four Hoosiers ran times better than the "B" standard for the U.S. Olympic Trials.
Poore took the win in the steeple at Penn Relays, finishing in 8:43.52 to win by five seconds. Poore took the lead with three laps to go and steadily pulled away from second-place finisher Travis Mahoney of Temple. Poore is IU's first Penn Relays champion in the event since 1999, when current volunteer assistant coach and steeplechase coach Tom Chorny won. IU has now won four titles in the steeplechase, as Tom Deckard won back-to-back titles in 1937 and 1938. The four titles by Indiana are second to only Tennessee (6) and Abilene Christian (5).
At the Polytan Invitational, Breanne Ehrman got in on the fun, taking the women's steeple by more than 23 seconds. She clocked a time of 10:04.25, which ranks 11th in Division I this season and leads the Big Ten by seven seconds. The time is also the second fastest in IU history and 11 seconds better than Olympic Trials "B" standard.
BAYER PUTS A SCARE INTO THE BIG TEN Andy Bayer completed a planned redshirt in the 2011 outdoor season after a historic indoor campaign. The junior trained at a high-level all spring and suffered a setback in May with a fracture in his foot. The road back has included an All-American finish at the NCAA Cross Country Championships, leading IU to a seventh-place finish, and NCAA Automatic qualifications in the 3,000 meters and the distance medley relay this season. Bayer will run the mile, 3,000 and anchor the distance medley this weekend.
During the indoor season, Bayer showed that he is back to full strength, running sub-eight in the 3,000m twice and 3:58 in the mile. He had a historic Big Ten meet, scoring 26 points with wins in the mile and 3,000 before running an indoor lifetime best for third in the 5,000. Bayer earned Track Athlete of the Big Ten Championships laurels. Bayer was also named USTFCCCA Great Lakes Region Track Athlete of the Year. He took fourth in the NCAA Mile and anchored IU to second in the DMR.
Nicknamed "Ted" by his teammates because he was one of four Andrews on the distance crew upon his arrival, the "Teddy" Bayer, moniker stuck.
Bayer has run times of 3:41.77 in the 1,500m and 13:33.25 in the 5,000m this season, showing off his range. The conference leader in the 5K and raining indoor mile and 3K champ, the junior will look to provide big points for the Hoosiers outdoors, just like he did indoors.
KING HOLDS COURT
Coming into the indoor season, Ron Helmer was forced to admit that he wouldn't have his customary near-automatic 10-point cushion at Big Tens and NCAAs with Derek Drouin entered into the high jump. The five-time Big Ten champ and three-time NCAA champ redshirted the indoor season as he comes back from a foot injury, suffered in March, 2011.
But Helmer was pleasantly surprised when sophomore Darius King, third at Big Tens a year ago, took the win at the Big Ten meet. The junior cleared 2.22m (7-3.25) on the first attempt at Big Tens to come from behind for the win over Purdue's Geoff Davis. King followed up his stellar Big Ten meet with an even more impressive NCAA meet.
In his first NCAA meet, King cleared 2.23m (7-3.75) to tie for runner-up honors. The Hoosier has cleared 2.21m this outdoor season and is currently 11th on the Division I list.
DON'T CALL IT A COMEBACK
A three-time NCAA Champion, four-time Big Ten Champion, three-time Big Ten Athlete of the Year, one-time National Field Athlete of the Year and now two-time Penn Relays champion, Derek Drouin has accomplished a lot in the high jump. His next challenge might be his toughest to date however.
Last March, Drouin suffered a fracture in his jumping foot and was forced to spend six months away from full training. The junior redshirted the 2012 indoor season after missing all but the first meet of the 2011 outdoor season. He is still regaining strength and confidence in his jumping foot, and he is rounding back into top shape.
An Olympic hopeful for his native Canada, Drouin ranks eighth in Division I this season in the high jump with a clearance of 2.22m (7-3.25). His goal is to get back to 100 percent by the time the championship season comes around. Considering he cleared 2.33m (7-7.75) before his injury last year, a Derek Drouin at 100 percent would be a major coup to Indiana's hopes at winning team hardware this postseason.
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/IUTrackXC or via Facebook at facebook.com/IUTrackXC.