NCAA Qualifiers Announced (03-09-04)
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Junior Ara Towns (60 meter dash), redshirt sophomore Sean Jefferson (mile) and sophomore David Neville (200 meter dash) and the men's distance medley relay team of junior Eric Redman, Neville, senior Rodney Hollis and Jefferson will compete in the 2004 NCAA Track and Field Championships March 12-13 at the University of Arkansas.
All of Indiana's athletes will be making their first career appearance at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Meet.
The Hoosier men's distance medley relay team Redman, Neville, Hollis and Jefferson enter this weekend's meet with the second-best time (9:31.26) in the field. Earlier this season, the quartet shattered the school record by 10 seconds on the same track it will be running on this weekend. Redman opened the relay by running the 1200m in 2:56.5. Neville followed with a 46.1 split in the 400m, and Rodney Hollis finished the 800m leg in 1:48.3. Sean Jefferson anchored the distance medley relay at 1600m and finished in 4:00.1.
Jefferson and Neville are also set to run in individual events. Jefferson will battle for the title in the mile. On Feb. 6, he ran the mile in 4:00.83 at the Indiana Invitational at Gladstein Fieldhouse. The time ranks as the No. 6 qualifying time coming into the meet. The mark also ranks as the fourth-best in IU history behind three former Olympians, Jim Spivey, Bob Kennedy and Terry Brahm. Another former Olympian, Mark Deady, ranks fifth. Sean's twin brother, John Jefferson, finished runner-up in the mile at the 2003 indoor meet. John is redshirting during the 2004 indoor season.
Neville earned a personal best by clocking a time of 21.08 on March 7 at the Alex Wilson "Last Chance" Meet. The time ranks tied for No. 15 among this weekend's competitors.
Towns will represent the Indiana women's team and compete in her first NCAA Indoor Championship. The junior clocked a career-best 7.34 on Feb. 29 at the Big Ten Indoor Championships, a time that ranks No. 12 heading into the weekend. IU has had at least one women's athlete compete in the 60 meters at the national indoor meet in each of the last three seasons. Towns is looking for her first individual All-America honor, but is already a two-time honoree as a part of IU's 4x100 relay team during the outdoor season.
Both the Indiana men's and women's teams placed eighth at the 2003 NCAA Indoor Championships. It marked the best finish for the Hoosier men since 1991. The IU women also finished eighth at the 2002 championship.
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