Hoosiers Head South, West to Start Outdoor Season
March 23, 2010
Indiana opens the outdoor track and field season this weekend at the Alabama Relays and the Stanford Invitational. A small group of Hoosiers will travel to Palo Alto, Calif., and a majority of the team will compete in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Competition at the Alabama Relays begins on Thurs., March 25, when combined events action gets underway and concludes on Sun., March 28. The Stanford Invitational is a two-day meet, taking place on Fri., March 26 and Sat., March 27.
Although there is a new system for regional qualification in 2010, the Alabama Relays proved to be a very successful meet for the Hoosiers in 2009. Hoosiers recorded eight regional qualifying marks, including five by current Hoosiers. NCAA high jump champion Derek Drouin will compete in the decathlon at the Alabama Relays, looking to improve on a third-place finish at the meet in 2009.
LAST TIME OUT
Drouin is Indiana's first NCAA champion since Aarik Wilson won the long jump and triple jump titles in 2005 and the school's first ever in the high jump. He cleared 2.28m (7-5.75) for the title. The sophomore had only one miss prior to his final bar and he cleared the winning height on the first attempt.
Senior Molly Beckwith took fifth in the 800m for her first career All-America certificate. Her time of 2:04.46 is .04 faster than her previous best, improving on her IU record.
Redshirt freshman Andy Bayer led with a lap to go in the men's 3K. He recorded a time of 8:11.19 for third place. He was followed in by teammate Poore, who took eighth for his first career All-America certificate.
Senior Jeff Coover cleared 5.45m (17-10.5) for third place in the men's pole vault. The finish is the best in the career of the La Jolla, Calif., native.
Junior Faith Sherrill becomes Indiana's first All-American in the women's weight throw. Her heave of 20.00m (65-7.5) earned her seventh place.
Rhoades became IU's second All-American in the women's high jump. She matched Nathalie Belfort's effort from 1997, finishing in seventh place.
A RECORD 12 HOOSIER ALL-AMERICANS
The 12 combined All-Americans mark the most ever in one season by the Indiana track and field program. Hoosiers earning All-America honors were Drouin in the high jump, Bayer in the 3,000m and distance medley relay (D.M.R.), senior Jeff Coover in the pole vault, senior Molly Beckwith in the 800m, Sherrill in the weight throw and shot put, senior Ashley Rhoades in the high jump, junior De'Sean Turner in the D.M.R., sophomores Kind Butler and Daniel Stockberger in the D.M.R., and redshirt sophomore Andrew Poore in the 3,000m.
Indiana director and head coach Ron Helmer said his team performed very well on the national stage, which bodes well for the future. "It is very promising to see our student-athletes perform well at the NCAA Championships, especially with that group including seven underclassmen," said Helmer. "We need to take the experience of competing on that level and build on it."
DROUIN, BECKWITH NAMED REGIONAL ATHLETES OF THE YEAR
Indiana track and field director and head coach Ron Helmer said the two student-athletes are very deserving of the recognitions. "Molly and Derek were outstanding this season and have put themselves into position to compete with the best in the country," Helmer said. "These two have committed to improving and it has shown from meet to meet throughout the season."
Drouin added another notch to his belt with an outstanding performance at the Big Ten Championships. The Corunna, Ontario, native won his second career Big Ten title and was named Big Ten Field Athlete of the Year by the conference's coaches. Drouin set a Big Ten Championships record in the high jump with a clearance of 2.26m (7-5). His clearance was also an IU record, breaking a 26 year-old record set by Ron Jones in 1984. Every one of Drouin's clearances came on his first attempt. His clearance is the best in Division I on the season.
Beckwith was the Big Ten Champion in the 600m, running a Big Ten and IU record time of 1:27.22, which is the second fastest ever by an American. The conference title is the first of her career. Making the 600m time more impressive is the fact that Beckwith ran a career-best time of 4:40.50 for third place in the mile earlier in the same day of competition. She qualified for the NCAA Indoor meet with school record times in the 800 meters and the distance medley relay.
HOOSIERS EARN BIG TEN HONORS
Indiana track and field director and head coach Ron Helmer said the three Hoosiers show the progress his program is making.
"These three have been outstanding this season, and the Big Ten Championships were no different," said Helmer, "It is exciting to know that these three student-athletes will all be back for at least another year of competition."
Drouin also earned USTFCCCA Great Lakes Region Field Athlete of the Year honors prior the NCAA Championships, where he won his first NCAA crown in the high jump. Drouin became Indiana's first NCAA champion since Aarik Wilson won the long jump and triple jump titles in 2005 and the school's first ever in the high jump. He cleared 2.28m (7-5.75) for the title. The sophomore had only one miss prior to his final bar and he cleared the winning height on the first attempt. Drouin was 1.25 inches better than his closest competitor and improved his school record by .75 inches. He scored 10 points for the IU cause.
For his efforts at the Indiana Open, the Big Ten conference named him Big Ten Field Athlete of the week. The award marks the first weekly laurel for Drouin's career and was the first accolade for an Indiana men's field athlete since senior Jeff Coover won the award two weeks in a row in 2009.
BACK IN CRIMSON
Indiana's distance corps on the men's side took a hit in 2009, as six of the IU runners redshirted at least one season. Highlighting that group were redshirt freshmen Andy Bayer, Zach Mayhew and Nate Morrow and redshirt sophomores Andy Weatherford, Ben Hubers and Cole Hardacre. Bayer redshirted the indoor campaign and the three sophomores redshirted outdoors. The group helped lead Indiana to a successful cross country season that saw them enter the national rankings.
After an indoor campaign where he earned All-America honors and a Big Ten pole vault crown, Jeff Coover sat out the outdoor season to train. Coover finished fourth at the NCAA Indoor Championships in 2009.
IU's best threat in the 400 to 600m races sat out the 2009 campaign to get stronger as well. Senior Martin Stephen II will return in 2010 after doing heavier mileage training this summer and fall. Stephen will look to bolster an improved sprints group for the Hoosiers this season.
IU LOOKS TO THE GREAT WHITE NORTH
The 2010 roster features six Canadian-born student-athletes. The Canucks are led by returning All-Americans Drouin and Ben Hubers as well as redshirt freshman Daniel Novia. New to the IU squad are freshmen Shona Dunkley, Arianne Raby and Emma Kimoto.
Drouin, the pride of Corunna, Ontario, took second at the NCAA Indoor meet, won the Big Ten outdoor meet and the NCAA regional. He also posted wins at the Drake Relays and the Junior Pan-Am games. His clearance of 2.27m (7-5.25) at the Pan-Am games is the IU outdoor record.
Hubers, who was born in Canada before his family moved to Georgia, earned All-America honors as a member of the IU distance medley relay team. Hubers ran the 3,200m leg on the seventh-place team at NCAAs. The Hoosiers advanced in the DMR because of an automatic qualifying time of 9:31.81 at the Alex Wilson Invite. The time is the second-fastest in school history.
Novia redshirted in 2009. The Mississauga, Ontario native finished second at the Canadian Jr. Championships in the shot put.
Dunkley, from Pickering, Ontario, was the runner-up in the 100m hurdles at the 2009 Canadian Jr. Championships. Kimoto was the high jump champion in British Columbia and finished fifth at the 2009 junior nationals.
Raby, from Repentigny, Quebec, was a provincial medalist in cross country and has placed as high as second in the 800m at the Francophone Games. Raby ran cross country for IU this fall and was in the top seven at the NCAA Championships for the Hoosiers.
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