Volunteer Coaches Bring Experience to Hoosiers
Oct. 30, 2013
One Bronze Medal at the London Olympics in 2012, one Bronze Medal at the 2013 World Championships, seven NCAA Championships, 22 All-American honors and 14 conference titles.
The above accolades are the combined accomplishments of Indiana track & field head coach Ron Helmer’s staff of volunteer assistant coaches.
“They all have their own perspective, their own set of experience and to blend those experiences with the success they have had and what they can teach our group of athletes is a pretty incredible situation,” Helmer said.
Drouin is regarded as one of the best high jumpers in the world, having earned a Bronze Medal at the London Olympics and a Bronze Medal at the 2013 World Championships. This past summer in Moscow, Russia, Drouin broke his own Canadian National Record at the World Championships, clearing 2.38m (7-9.75 feet). While at IU, Drouin became the first athlete in NCAA history to win five NCAA Championships in the high jump.
Beckwith came to Indiana to play soccer, but several knee injuries forced her to pickup another sport. Beckwith learned fast and by her senior year finished runner-up at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 800-meter run. Beckwith followed that performance with a tour of Europe, where she finished an 800m race in 1:59.83. Beckwith has run under two minutes four times with a career best of 1:59.12 in Lignano, Italy. In 2012, Track & Field News ranked Beckwith No. 2 in the USA in the 800m.
Martin grew up in Bloomington and went to college at Auburn University. In 2008 Martin was a double NCAA Champion in the shot put (20.35m/66-9.25) and hammer throw (74.13m/243-2.5). Martin was named the 2008 USATFCCCA Field Athlete of the Year. In 2013 Martin finished runner-up at the USA Indoor Championships in the shot put with a throw of 20.93m (68-8). Martin was a nine-time NCAA Division I All-American.
Poore earned All-American honors with an eighth-place finish at the 2010 NCAA Indoor Championships with a time of 8:15.76. In the outdoor season Poore won the Big Ten Championship in the 5K and finished second in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Poore holds a career-best of 13:33.03 in the 5K and 8:26.82 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Poore finished fourth at the USA Outdoor Championships in the steeplechase. Poore also holds a 3K career-best of 7:50.62.
Roller was a two-time All-American and eight-time All-ACC performer at Virginia, before he transferred to Indiana. Roller was part of the Hoosiers distance medley relay team that finished fourth at the 2013 NCAA Indoor Championships. Roller has a career-best of 1:46.11 in the 800m, which he set at the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Houston came to Indiana from North Carolina, where in his freshman year he had the best freshman mark in the nation during the indoor season. This past year Houston won the Big Ten Indoor Championship in the pole vault with a clearance of 5.32m (17-5.5). Houston qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships and has a career-best of 5.40m.
As these volunteer coaches continue to train and work to achieve their individual goals and dreams, Helmer said his current athletes could learn a lot from them.
“They bring a competitive edge with them,” Helmer said. “They are gearing up for their own seasons and it is beneficial for our athletes to be able to watch them as they go through that process.”
“The really good thing about the group is they don’t have their own agenda,” Helmer added. “They are very much team players and invested in helping our program be successful. Most of them went through our system and have a lot of pride in Indiana and Indiana track & field. They get excited about working with our athletes and seeing them grow and develop.”
The IU men’s and women’s cross country teams compete this weekend at the Big Ten Championships, while the Hoosiers begin the track & field season at home with the hosting of the Hoosier Open on Dec. 13.
For all the latest news about Indiana cross country and track & field stay tuned to IUHoosiers.com, @IUTrackXC on Twitter and the Indiana University Track and Field Facebook page.
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