Pease Breaks Hoosier Record, Six Hoosiers Advance On Day One
June 11, 2009
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Things started out very well for the Hoosiers at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Three Hoosiers had competed and advanced on Wednesday, when Mother Nature took over. Heavy rain and lightning entered the area, forcing meet officials to postpone competition. Three Hoosiers had to wait more than two hours to compete. While the delay definitely provided an obstacle, two of the three advanced through the qualifying rounds. Advancing on the day were all six athletes representing the IU women's team. They were senior Tiffany Howard, juniors Ashley Rhoades, Molly Beckwith and Vera Neuenswander and sophomore Sarah Pease.
Pease automatically advanced to the final in the 3,000m steeplechase with a fifth-place finish in her heat. In the process, Pease ran the fastest time in school history. Her mark of 10:06.05 is more than six seconds faster than her previous best and moves her past former IU standout Kelly Siefker's time of 10:10.79. Pease had the ninth-best qualifying time in the event, and she will run in the final on Friday.
Howard was the first Hoosier to advance through the qualifying rounds on the day. She posted just one legal throw in her three attempts, but she made that one count. Her heave of 16.10m (52-10) was the eighth-best in the event, easily putting her among the 12 qualifiers for finals competition on Thursday. Howard was just .25 inches out of seventh place, and she was 2.5 inches better than the ninth-place mark. Thursday competition will consist of three semifinal throws from all twelve competitors, and the eight-best marks will advance to a final, where each student-athlete will get three more attempts.
Advancing next for Indiana was Beckwith. She took third in her heat of the 800 meters to earn a spot in the Thursday semifinals. Beckwith finished in 2:05.43 to automatically advance out of her heat. Beckwith will run in the semifinals on Thursday, hoping to advance to a Saturday final. Beckwith has the third-best time in Division I this season.
Rhoades was one of 15 jumpers to clear 1.77m (5-9.75) and advance to a Friday final. Rhoades cleared 1.70m and 1.74m on her first two jumps, and at 1.77m, Rhoades got a clearance on her third attempt, nailing down her spot in the final. Rhoades has cleared 1.81m (5-11.25) this season. Finals competition will take place on Friday at 5 p.m. ET.
The rain delay showed its effect on several of the top athletes in the men's high jump and women's pole vault. Neuenswander didn't show the consistency that is her trademark, but she qualified for the finals nonetheless with a clearance of 4.00m (13-1.5). She tied for eleventh in the qualifying round, and she will advance to a 15 person final on Friday.
Freshman Derek Drouin was one of several top competitors in the men's high jump to struggle. He cleared 2.05m (6-8.75) but was unable to clear 2.10m (6-10.75), which proved to be the qualifying height. Drouin will continue his season at the Canadian National Games in two weeks.
Three Hoosiers will see action on Thursday at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Howard will compete in the shot put final at 5:45 p.m. ET, Beckwith will run in the 800-meter semifinals at 8:15 p.m. ET and junior Wendi Robinson will run in the 10,000m finals at 9:55 p.m. ET. For complete coverage of the Hoosiers at NCAAs, stay tuned to IUHoosiers.com.
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