Indiana Track and Field is sending 16 athletes to the NCAA Championships in Des Moines, Iowa on June 6-9. Those 16 athletes include 13 individual qualifiers and a relay, 12 men and two women. NCAA.com will have live video coverage of the four-day meet, and Flash Results will have live results. Flotrack.org will be on hand providing post-race interviews.
The Indiana men enter the meet ranked seventh nationally and will look to place in the top 10 nationally for the first time since a seventh-place finish in 1993. The last time the Hoosiers finished higher than that outdoors was a second-place finish in 1941. The IU women will look to score at the national meet for the fourth-consecutive season after going scoreless at the NCAA outdoor meet the five years prior. Indiana's Derek Drouin enters the meet looking for his fourth NCAA title in the men's high jump.
Bayer ran the fastest advancing time in the 1,500, clocking a Hodges Stadium record time of 3:45.44 to win his heat and punch his ticket for Des Moines.
Butler clocked the third-fastest time in the 200m, finishing second in heat one in 20.36 seconds. Butler followed up his performance in the 200 with a dive across the line to clinch an automatic qualifying spot in the 4x400m relay. Butler anchored the Hoosiers to a time of 3:06.48 for third in the second heat of three.
Drouin and King both cleared 2.19m (7-2.25) to advance. Drouin had only one miss throughout the competition, and King came up clutch with third attempt clearances at 2.16m and the final bar, claiming the 12th and final qualifying spot out of the East. Kimoto cleared a career-best 1.81m (5-11.25) for eighth in the women's high jump, earning her first trip to an NCAA meet.
Parker and Olamigoke took seventh and 10th respectively to advance. Parker hopped, skipped and jumped 15.70m (51-6.25) for seventh. Olamigoke jumped 15.58m (51-1.5) for 10th.
Indiana will send three men to the NCAA Championships in the 3,000m steeplechase for the second-consecutive year. Poore and Turner were second and third in their heat to earn automatic qualifying spots, and Dannemiller's fourth-place time of 8:42.98 in his heat was the top time of non-automatic qualifiers.
Buckley took 11th in the shot put to advance to the NCAA finals in Des Moines, launching a heave of 15.84m (51-11.75).
Hubers provided a surprise, taking second in the first heat of the 5K to automatically advance to Des Moines.
Mayhew advanced to NCAAs in the men's 10,000m, taking 10th in 30:26.10. The junior advances to the NCAA finals for the first time in track and field. He has run at the national meet in cross country the past two seasons.
AIR CANADA FLIES AGAIN
A three-time NCAA Champion, fifth-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. This season has been even more impressive given the fact he couldn't walk this time last year.
Last March, Drouin suffered a fracture in his jumping foot and was forced to spend more than 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 second in Division I this season in the high jump with a clearance of 2.31m (7-7). His goal was to get back to 100 percent by the time the championship season comes around, and he jumped lifetime outdoor best at the Big Ten Championships, putting the nation on notice that he is indeed back. Drouin's clearance tied the Big Ten Outdoor Record and the Olympic A standard, which means he is a top-three finish at the Canadian Championships away from a trip to London with Team Canada. His all-time best 2.33m (7-7.75) and the Canadian All-Time record 2.35m (7-8.5) are the next bars in his sights.
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 indoors. This outdoor season, Bayer will focus on the 1,500.
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 3:41.17 in the 1,500m and 13:33.25 in the 5,000m this season, showing off his range. Bayer outkicked Ohio State's Corey Leslie at Big Tens, much like he did in the mile final indoors, to take the conference title in the 1,500. The title is the third in 2012 for Bayer and the fourth of his career. Danny Stockberger, who will also run the 1,500 this weekend, took fourth in the Big Ten final, clocking a time of 3:42.98, which was just .11 out of third.
At the NCAA East Preliminary Round, Bayer proved to be the best the East has to offer, winning his first round heat with the top advancing time, and then following suit in the quarterfinals to win his heat with again the top time in the East, 3:45.44. Bayer runs in the NCAA Outdoor Championships for the first time in his career. He has run at the NCAA Indoor meet the past three seasons with great success and twice at the NCAA Cross Country Championships, earning All-America honors this fall.
THE LEGEND OF Kind Butler
When Kind Butler arrived at Indiana in 2009-10, Indiana didn't have much in the way of sprinters, and he didn't appear to be any answer to the problem, transferring in from Kentucky State as a high jumper/long jumper with an injured knee. The injury forced Bulter to spend some time away from jumping, and when the IU coaches lined him up in the 60m and 200m, they realized quickly that he could be special.
Butler made an impact right away, earning All-America honors as the 400m carry on Indiana's distance medley relay and taking third at outdoor Big Tens in the 100m and 200m dashes. It was the 2011 season that saw Butler truly breakout. The then junior was the Big Ten 60m champion and earned All-America honors in the 200m indoors, and led IU's 4x100m relay to the first All-America finish in decades. Indiana now had a legitimate sprinter in the fold.
This season has been even better for Butler, as he took the indoor and outdoor 200m titles in the Big Ten and took fourth at NCAA indoors in the 200. Outdoors, he is among the nation's best in the 200 and led IU to the national meet in the 4x400m relay. Not bad for a Division II high jumper and long jumper.
A high school baseball player, Butler competed in track and field over the last three years of his prep career and advanced to the Indiana state meet for Lawrence Central. After one season at Kentucky State, Butler suffered a bad knee injury that his coaches told him he would never recover from. A tireless worker and eternal optimist, Butler set out to prove them wrong, after two years of tough rehab, Butler found an opportunity at Indiana, and has taken advantage of it, to say the least.
At the NCAA East Preliminary Round, Butler won his first round heat in the 200 and then took second to reigning NCAA Champion Maurice Mitchell of Florida State in the quarterfinals. His quarterfinal time of 20.36 surpassed Olympic Gold and Bronze Medalist David Neville for second in IU history.
Butler then channeled Neville's Beijing heroics in the 4x400m relay. Butler's lean at the finish line turned into a dive, beating North Carolina at the line for the third automatic advancing spot in the heat. Butler split 44.41 on the anchor leg to help the Hoosiers advance.
BLOOMINGTON, IND. - STEEPLETOWN, USA?
Indiana boasts 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 call itself the premier steeplechase program in America. This weekend, Indiana has three steeplers competing for a national title in Des Moines.
The Hoosiers have three men, Andrew Poore, De' Sean Turner, and Adrien Dannemiller, in the NCAA Championships for the second consecutive year. Last year, the Hoosiers saw Poore take third and Turner take sixth in the final. Dannemiller just missed out on the finals last year, competing for Cornell. The three Hoosiers are seeded third (Poore 8:35.77), fourth (Turner 8:36.39) and seventh (Dannemiller 8:40.42) this season out of the entries in the event.
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).
KIMOTO BREAKS THROUGH TO NCAAS Emma Kimoto concluded her season last year with a PR at the NCAA East Prelims. This year she did the same, but instead of concluding her season, Kimoto PR'd to prolong her season.
Kimoto cleared 1.81m (5-11.25) on her third attempt to earn her first career trip to the NCAA Championships. Entering the meet seeded 29th in the region, Kimoto stepped up at the right time to earn a top-12 spot and advance.
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 (7-3) this outdoor season and is seeded ninth out of entries in the meet this weekend. He took second at the Big Ten Championships, completing a 1-2 sweep for the Hoosiers with Drouin.
At the NCAA East Preliminary Round, King delivered with the stakes the highest. Sitting in 14th place, King was down to his third attempt at 2.19m. His jump was also the last jump of the competition. With all eyes on him, King cleared the bar and stamped his ticket in the 12th and final qualifying spot for the NCAA Championships.
BEN THE BRACKET BUSTER Ben Hubers is an All-American. He has competed at nine NCAA Championships in four years at Indiana, but this indoor season he hadn't done a whole lot. He took eighth in the 5,000m at Big Tens, scoring a point, but based on times, he was far away from his career bests.
So, Hubers entered the NCAA East Preliminary Round seeded 47th in the men's 5,000m, meaning chances of advancing were very slim. Apparently no one told that to Mr. Hubers, because he nearly won his heat, taking second place by .14 and grabbing one of five automatic qualifying spots for the NCAA Championships in Des Moines. Hubers will head into the weekend as the lowest seed, but with a career best of 13:40.73 and only a handful of races under his belt this season, Hubers could surprise again.
MAYHEW MAKES HISTORY Zach Mayhew took the Big Ten 10,000m title in Madison. His win is the first in school history in the 10K, and he broke the McClimon Complex record in the process.
Mayhew dropped Wisconsin's Elliot Krause with 300m to go, pulling away steadily to the victory. His time of 28:55.06 was more than four seconds ahead of Krause in second place, is the fourth fastest in IU history and ranks 10th among NCAA meet entries and second in the East region. The first Big Ten Champion in IU history in the 10,000m, Mayhew became the fifth member of IU's distance corps with a Big Ten crown, joining Andy Bayer, Ben Hubers, Andrew Poore and De'Sean Turner.
At the NCAA East Preliminary Round, Mayhew took 10th in a tactical race, earning his way into the first NCAA Championships of his career in track and field. The junior has run at two NCAA Cross Country meets, helping the Hoosiers to seventh-place finishes in each of the last two seasons. With the ninth best time this season of the entries in the event, he will attempt to become Indiana's first ever track All-American in the 10,000 meters.
IU GETS A DOUBLE IN THE TRIPLE Olu Olamigoke and Rex Parker both came to IU in 2008 as freshmen from the state of Virginia. Rivals in high school, they became teammates as Hoosiers. The pair saw success at the Big Ten level in their first three years at IU, but have really emerged this year as threats to compete with the best in the nation.
Olamigoke took third at the Big Ten indoor meet and Parker finished seventh, scoring huge points in the triple jump en route to IU's come from behind win, the first since 1992. Olamigoke's performance earned him a spot in the NCAA Championships in Boise, Idaho, where he earned second team All-America honors.
Outdoors, Parker took fourth and Olamigoke fifth at Big Tens, and the pair put up solid marks early at the NCAA East Preliminary Round, making the finals and ultimately punching their tickets to the NCAA Championships in Des Moines.
Parker jumped 15.70m (51-6.25) at the East Prelims, moving himself into seventh in IU history. Olamigoke is still looking to get back to the 15.82m (51-11) he jumped at Big Ten Indoors, but he has been consistent, jumping 51 feet or better five times this outdoor season.
OFF-ROADING WITH IU'S 4X4(00)
Indiana's 4x400m relay was a well kept secret for most of the indoor season. The top four never ran together prior to the Big Ten Championships, but after the Big Ten meet, it was apparent that this quartet was pretty good. The group ran a time of 3:10.18 for fifth place, cementing the Hoosiers' remarkable comeback win and first Big Ten Team title since 1992. The Hoosiers got a split of 45.0 from Kind Butler on the anchor at Big Tens.
A week later, the Hoosiers one-upped that performance with a time of 3:07.84 to break the IU indoor record in the event and earning a spot in the national meet, where they took eighth, claiming the first All-America honors in that event for an IU relay since 1988.
Outdoors, the Hoosiers again played it close to the vest, not running the leading four until Big Tens, where the group took third place in 3:05.69, earning a trip to Jacksonville for the NCAA East Prelims. At the East Prelims, breakout anchor-leg Chris Vaughn was having hamstring troubles, which pushed him to the second leg and put Kind Butler back at the end. Butler brought the stick home in a split of 44.41 seconds, diving across the line to edge North Carolina for the third and final automatic qualifying spot in their heat.The Hoosiers clocked a time of 3:06.48.
BOMBS AWAY FOR BUCKLEY Kyla Buckley entered the NCAA East Prelims seeded 15th, so advancing was in no way a stretch. She launched a bomb on her third throw of competition to get herself into the finals and advance to Des Moines.
Buckley threw 15.84m (51-11.75) to advance from the region, and has a season best of 16.11m (52-10.25).
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.