Jan. 31, 2009
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Several Indiana athletes came up big on day two of the Indiana Relays. Over two days, Indiana won 13 events, had 21 top-three finishes, and had six provisional qualifying marks. The Hoosiers were led by three seniors, Jeff Coover in the pole vault, Molly Beckwith in the 800m run and Timothy McLeod in the 5,000m, all three of whom won their event and posted provisional qualifications.
Coover took a big step toward the NCAA Indoor Championships on the day. The La Jolla, Calif. native improved his season best in the pole vault by five inches, clearing 5.37m (17-7.25), which is 6.5 inches better than the NCAA provisional standard. The clearance puts him third on the Division I list and best in the Big Ten. He finished 3.75 inches better than the second place finishers, the Schipper brothers from Notre Dame. His mark moves him into a tie for fourth in the IU record books. His mark matches a 1991 clearance by former IU great Jimm Stack.
Beckwith improved her time in the 800m on the season, finishing in 2:07.33 for the collegiate championship. She finished just .15 seconds behind professional runner Ty Davis. The Worthington, Ohio native’s time is the fourth best in Division I this season. She improved on her previous provisional mark by more than a second.
McLeod was the collegiate champ in the invitational section of the 5,000m finishing behind four professionals. His time of 14:09.67 is a provisional qualifying time and moves him into seventh in the IU record books. The Tuscon, Ariz. native surpasses one of a Indiana’s all-time greats in Bob Kennedy. McLeod is just the second athlete in Division I to post a provisional mark in the event in 2009. His time is the best by a Big Ten runner this season.
In the 4x800m relay, a quartet of sophomores dominated for the Hoosiers. Daniel Stockberger, Ben Hubers, Andy Weatherford and De’Sean Turner won the relay by nearly eight seconds. Their time of 7:35.48 is the fifth fastest in IU history. The team defeated a talented field that included solid teams from Rend Lake College and Michigan.
Sophomore Ben Stephen took the collegiate title in the men’s shot put for the fourth straight meet. He finished behind only professional thrower Cory Martin. His heave of 17.28m (56-8.5) was 3.25 inches better than the third-place finisher. Stephen’s best on the season (18.18m (59-7.75)) stands as the eleventh best in Division I this season.
Freshman Olumide Olamigoke got past the seven-meter barrier in the men’s long jump, leaping 7.11m (23-4) for the collegiate title. He finished behind only unattached John Berry. In his young career Olamigoke has already moved into striking distance of the impressive marks in the IU record books. He is less than two feet from entering Indiana’s all-time top-ten. He is also just 39 centimeters shy of the NCAA provisional mark.
Senior Tiffany Howard came dangerously close to her career best in the shot put. Her mark of 15.74m (51-7.75) is just nine centimeters shy of her current provisional mark of 15.83m. She finished more than four feet ahead of her closest competitor on the day.
Also winning on the day were junior Jenny Kulow in the open section of the 5,000m run (18:11.47) and senior Sarah Pease in the invitational section of the 5,000m (16:58.23).
The Hoosiers return to action on Feb. 6-7 at the Meyo Invitational on the campus of Notre Dame University. For complete coverage of IU track and field, stay tuned to www.IUHoosiers.com.