IU Finishes Fifth in Big Tens
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Hoosiers came away with three individual Big Ten titles en route to finishing fifth overall in the 2003 Men's Big Ten Indoor Track and Field Championships. Aarik Wilson picked up his second title of the meet in today's Triple Jump competition adding to the Long Jump title he received in Saturday's competition. John Jefferson was the winner in the Mile, finishing just five one-hundredths of a second ahead of Michigan's Nick Willis.
"Our kids really put it on the line," head coach Marshall Goss said. "We are pleased with the effort and the growth in this particular meet, and I think that it will take us to another level. I am very happy with the team attitude. We are building towards number one all the time."
With a come back victory late in the competition from its distance runners, the University of Wisconsin was named the 2003 Big Ten Champions with a point total of 133.5. Minnesota followed close behind with 131.5. The Badgers swept the second through fifth places in the 5000m run to take an overall four-point lead. Although Minnesota was able to win the 4x400 Medley Relay, Wisconsin finished second, holding onto a two-point lead over the second-place Golden Gophers. Purdue came in third while Ohio State finished fourth after entering day two with the lead.
After taking first place in Saturday's Long Jump event, Wilson jumped an NCAA Provisional mark of 16.05m (52'8"), good enough to take the Triple Jump title. Senior Hasaan Reddick also had a solid performance in the Triple Jump event, finishing third with a jump of 15.47m (50'9-1/4").
"Aarik had a great meet winning the Triple Jump and the Long Jump with a personal-best," Goss said. "In the Triple Jump he had to come from behind to win, he had a couple of huge jumps where he fouled, but he was able muster a victory."
John Jefferson also came away with an NCAA Provisional Qualifying mark and a victory in the Mile finishing in 4:05.43.
"John (Jefferson) ran a great mile in a strong field," said coach Goss. "At Big Tens you run for the place not for the time and he came out on top."
Sophomore Jake Wiseman competed in the two-day long Heptathlon finishing fourth overall with 5,119 points. The leader, Ryan Tremelling from Wisconsin, accumulated 5,495 points. Second and third place finishes went to Hence Williams from Penn State (5,432 points) and Nathan Brown from Wisconsin (5,125 points). In the shot put portion of the Heptathlon Wiseman threw a personal-best of 13.45m (44'1-1/2") bettering his Jan. 18 Michigan Quad mark of 13.22m (43'-03.50"). Wiseman had a stellar performance in the 60-meter dash where he tied Purdue's Hence Williams for first with a time of 7:09.
The Hoosiers had many competitive performances today from Rodney Hollis, Contrell Ash, Wil Fleming and Matt Harris. Freshman Fleming had a personal-best in the weight throw competition with 18.39m (60'4") placing him eighth overall. Fleming entered the meet ranked 15th. Ohio State's Dan Taylor set a Big Ten Meet Record with his NCAA Automatic Qualifying throw of 22.35m (73'4").
Senior Harris placed fourth with a personal record in the 60-meter Hurdles (7.69), junior Hollis finished third in the 600-meter (1:19.21) and Ash took third in the 200-meter (21.70), a personal-best for the junior. Adam Steele from Minnesota captured first place in the 600-meter as Purdue's Kenneth Baxter and Jacques Reeves took the first two spots in the 200-meter run.
Indiana now turns its attention to the NCAA Indoor Meet, which is on March 14-15 in Fayetteville, Ark. IU will also compete in a pair of "Last Chance" qualifying meets this weekend in either South Bend, Ind. at Notre Dame or at Iowa State in Ames, Iowa, this coming weekend, March 7-8.
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