Feb. 14, 2009
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Freshman Ben Stephen continued his breakout season by winning a collegiate championship at the Tyson Invitational on Friday. The meet is one of the nation’s most prestigious events, including many of the best teams and athletes in the country. The Hoosiers also competed at the Hoosiers Hills Invitational. The meet took place at Gladstein Invitational in Bloomington.
Stephen posted the second-best throw of his career to win the collegiate title in the shot put. His mark of 18.04m (59-2.25) was more than four feet better than his closest competitor and was 29 centimeters better than the provisional NCAA standard. Keith Lloyd of Nebraska took second with a heave of 16.78m. Stephen’s season best mark of 18.18m is the second best in the Big Ten this season.
Junior Kristen Ness recorded a career best heave of 17.93m (58-10) in the weight throw. The toss was the third best by a collegiate, and was just a quarter inch shy of the second best throw made by Mikaela Johansson of Oklahoma. Ness increased her career best by 32 centimeters. The heave is the fourth best in IU history.
In the Olympic Development section of the mile, sophomore Andy Weatherford finished in sixth place. His time of 4:08.55 is a career best, shedding nearly a half second off his previous best. He finished more than a second faster than the seventh-place finisher, Tony Clement of Oklahoma.
At the Hoosier Hills, junior Sarah Pease and freshman Breanne Ehrman got things started with big improvements on their personal bests in the mile. The Hoosier duo took first and second place, with Ehrman just .11 seconds behind Pease. Pease shed nearly three seconds and Ehrman improved her time by nearly five ticks. The two IU runners were six seconds ahead of the third-place runner.
Indiana also won the women’s 4x400m and distance medley relays. The distance medley relay team won by more than five seconds, and the 4x400m relay team won by nearly a full second.
In the pole vault, Laura Williams won by 15 centimeters, clearing 3.65m. Also recording significant marks for Indiana were freshman Derek Messmer and senior Kyle Lechlitner who both cleared the winning height in the pole vault, each increasing the their career best to 4.90m. In the weight throw, Paul Fearnow moved his career best above the 19-meter threshold with his heave of 19.01m. The throw is the third best in school history. His mark was good for second-place.
The Hoosiers return to action on Saturday, when the Tyson Invitational resumes in Fayetteville. For complete coverage of IU track and field, stay tuned to www.IUHoosiers.com.