London Calling: 14 Hoosiers Set for Olympic Trials
June 20, 2012
The U.S. Olympic Team has featured a current or former IU track and field athlete in every Olympiad since 1984. The 2012 Olympic Games in London are the goal over the next two weeks as 14 current and former Hoosiers compete at the U.S. Olympic Trials for a spot on the team. The meet features eight days of competition with two rest days in the middle. Competition begins on Fri., June 22 and continues through Sunday, July 1. The meet will be broadcast live on NBC and NBC Sports Network.
Indiana is sending six current student-athletes to the meet, including Andy Bayer, Kyla Buckley, Kind Butler, Darius King, De'Sean Turner and Chris Vaughn. IU alumni competing this weekend are Molly Beckwith, Danielle Carruthers, Tiffany Howard, Vera Neuenswander, David Neville, Sarah Pease, assistant coach Abbie (Norton) Stechschulte and Aarik Wilson.
HOOSIERS AT THE TRIALS
Molly Beckwith might be the favorite of the group to make the Olympics. She ranks second in the U.S. this season in the 800 meters and has gotten faster and faster as the season has progressed. Still training in Bloomington under IU head coach Ron Helmer, Beckwith has steadily built on her strong finish to her collegiate career. She ran a season best 1:59.16 in her last meet, the New York adidas Grand Prix
Kyla Buckley enters the Trials after launching PRs on four of five legal throws at the NCAA Championships. The sophomore's best of 16.98m (55-8.5) got her ninth at NCAAs, but she showed that she has a lot left in the tank with a huge last throw that proved to be a foul.
Kind Butler enters the Olympic Trials in the 400 meters after finishing off one of the best careers in IU history in the short sprints. Butler focused more on the 100 and 200 in his collegiate career, but with multiple 44-second 400m relay splits this year, it is apparent that his professional career lies as a quarter-miler. Butler clocked an open time of 45.43 on Wed., June 16 to cement his spot in the trials.
Danielle Carruthers enters the trials in one of the deepest events, male of female, in the U.S., the 100m hurdles. Carruthers advanced to the World Championships in 2011, where she took the silver medal. Her season best time of 12.76 ranks 16th in the world this season. A 2003 IU grad, Carruthers has been one of the world's best hurdlers for almost a decade.
Tiffany Howard was a Big Ten Champion and All-American when she concluded her IU career in 2009. She ranks seventh in the U.S. this year with a best of 17.90m (58-8.75). The Indianapolis native works in the IU athletic department in the business office and trains in Bloomington with IU throws coach Jermaine Jones.
Darius King had a breakout campaign this year, winning a Big Ten title indoors and advancing to the NCAA meet indoors and out in the high jump, taking second at the indoor national meet. Just a sophomore, King has cleared 2.23m (7-3.75) and will jump in his first USA Championships.
Vera Neuenswander was a two-time Big Ten champion at IU and tied the Big Ten outdoor record in her final campaign last year. The Jefferson City, Mo., native has cleared 4.37m (14-4) this season.
David Neville, an `05 alum, returns to the Olympic Trials after advancing to Beijing in 2008, where he won the bronze in the 400m and gold in the 4x400m relay. Neville has a qualifying time of 45.24 and is peaking at the right time this season.
Sarah Pease graduated last year as the best female steeplechaser in IU history. She has run 9:55.09 this season and will look to regain the form that saw her finish fourth at USAs in 2010.
Abbie Stechschulte (Norton) competed her final season (2008) as a Hoosier after earning All-America honors at West Virginia. She is an assistant coach for the Hoosiers now and continues to train under associate head coach Jeff Huntoon.
De'Sean Turner heads to the Olympic Trials after a fall on the final water barrier cost him a top 10 finish in the finals at USAs a year ago. Turner is the only three-time All-American in the steeplechase in IU history and has a time of 8:36.39 this season.
Chris Vaughn had a breakout Big Ten meet, shedding nearly two seconds off his PR with a time of 45.48 in the 400. A hamstring injury cost him at NCAAs, but he is back healthy and ready to go. The Nolensville, Tenn., native has one outdoor season of eligibility left.
Aarik Wilson, a two-time NCAA Champion at IU in 2005, has returned to top form this season after taking a few years off to recover from injury. The 2008 Olympic Trials Champion, Wilson was held back in Beijing by stress fractures. Now fully healthy, Wilson's season best of 17.07m (56-0) ranks third in the U.S. this season and 14th in the world.
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