Feb. 2, 2009
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Big Ten Conference announced today that Indiana’s Jeff Coover is the Big Ten Field Athlete of the Week for the week of Jan 25-31. Coover posted an NCAA provisional qualification in the pole vault at the Indiana Relays, recording the third-best clearance in Division I this season and the fourth-best all-time at IU.
Indiana track and field director and head coach Ron Helmer said that the award could be a sign of things to come this season for Coover.
“Jeff continues to improve each week,” Helmer said, “and the exciting thing for our coaching staff is he continues to put things in place that suggest he will continue to do so.”
Coover took a big step toward the NCAA Indoor Championships, as the La Jolla, Calif. native improved his career 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 the senior third on the Division I list and is the 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, matching a 1991 clearance by former IU great Jimm Stack.
Kyle Jenkins was the last Hoosier to garner the field athlete of the week honor during the indoor season. He earned the distinction on Jan. 23, 2007.
Coover looks to improve on his season mark when the Hoosiers return to action on Feb. 6-7 at the Meyo Invitational on the campus of Notre Dame. For complete coverage of IU track and field, stay tuned to www.IUHoosiers.com.