Hoosiers Head South for 2008 Outdoor Debut
March 26, 2008
SETTING THE SCENE
The Hoosiers will visit the Sam Bailey Track and Field Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., for the Alabama Relays Thursday through Sunday, March 27-30. The meet is the first in the outdoor season for Indiana. The meet will consist of 71 events in total, including the decathlon and heptathlon. Competition is set to begin at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, 9 a.m. on Friday and at 8 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
RECAPPING THE INDOOR SEASON
The Hoosiers wrapped up the indoor season on March 14-15 at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark. Three Indiana athletes competed at the national meet. They were juniors Molly Beckwith and Wendi Robinson and freshman Stephanie Chin. The meet was the first trip to the NCAA Championships for all three.
Robinson competed in the 5,000m run, as she qualified in the event at the Gladstein Invitational on Jan. 25th. When she qualified, Robinson lapped the competition three times en route to a career best time of 16:16.23. The mark was good enough for third all-time at Indiana. Robinson finished in 16:39.86, which was good for 14th place at the NCAA Championships. Her time was 1.6 seconds faster than the 15th place finisher and more than 14 seconds faster than the 16th place finisher. Robinson also provisionally qualified in the 3,000m, the mile and the distance medley relay.
Beckwith competed in the 800m run, as she qualified in the event at the Alex Wilson Invitational on March 7-8, where she improved her career best in the 800m run by 4.18 seconds with her fifth-place time of 2:06.67. The mark is the fastest in IU history, surpassing Colette Goudreau's 1988 mark of 2:07.21. Beckwith's time was 2.33 seconds better than the 2:09.00 provisional standard. Beckwith finished 15th at the NCAA Championships with a time of 2:12.29. Beckwith also provisionally qualified in the distance medley relay.
Chin competed in the pole vault, as she also qualified in the event at the Alex Wilson Invitational. Chin also set a new Indiana record at the meet, besting the IU record she set at the Meyo Invite on Feb. 9th. Chin's mark of 4.14m improved the previous IU best by two centimeters. Chin did not clear the opening height at the NCAA Championships.
Four other Hoosiers provisionally qualified for the championships. Senior Kyle Jenkins provisionally qualified in the triple jump with his mark of 15.66m. He finished just short of getting into the championships. Juniors Caity Lauer and Audrey Smoot teamed with Robinson and Beckwith to provisionally qualify in the distance medley relay. They recorded a provisional mark of 11:21.18.
Sophomore Vera Neuenswander provisionally qualified in the pole vault with a height of 4.05m. Neuenswander was awarded the Big Ten Sportsmanship award after her performance at the Big Ten Championships on March 1-2.
All-American junior Kyle Jenkins started out the indoor season with a big mark in the triple jump. He recorded a mark of 15.49m at the Indiana Open on Jan. 12. The mark was only .37m short of his career best indoors. He bettered his season mark on March 2, with a 15.66m leap at the Big Ten Indoor Championships. His leap was just one centimeter shorter than the first place finisher, netting him second-team All-Big Ten honors.
After senior Paul Fearnow finished sixth in the weight throw at the Big Ten Indoor Championships he was awarded the Big Ten Sportsmanship award. It was the first time Fearnow has won the award.
His mark of 18.66m earned three points for the Hoosiers. Just one centimeter shy of his career best, Fearnow's heave was 21 centimeters better than the seventh place finisher. The senior's career best mark, 18.67m, is currently the third best in IU history.
INVITE MARKED END OF INDOOR SEASON
The men's team competed well at the Alex Wilson Invitational, recording three top-five finishes, two top-three finishes, and three career bests. Senior Kyle Jenkins also posted a provisional qualification in the triple jump.
Jenkins leap of 15.49m was good for third in the event. He finished just one centimeter shy of second place, a week after finishing a centimeter shy of the Big Ten Championship in the triple jump. His mark is nine centimeters better than the provisional qualifying mark of 15.40m. His best mark on the season is the 15.66m jump he had last weekend at the Big Ten Indoor Championships.
Senior Paul Fearnow finished third in the weight throw with a toss of 17.94m. His heave was 1.20m better than the fourth place finisher, Greg Davis of Notre Dame.
Sophomore Jared Nuxoll finished in fifth in the high jump. His clearance of 2.06m is just four centimeters shy of his career best, 2.10m. He was also just four centimeters out of second place.
Senior Brennon Plotner recorded a career best in the mile run, improving his best by nearly four full seconds. His time of 4:07.15 is a 3.98 second improvement over his previous mark, 4:11.13. Plotner finished just over a second out of eighth place.
Two Hoosiers recorded career bests in the 800m run. Junior Tyler McCreary improved his career mark by .52 seconds. He finished in 1:52.39. Fellow junior Evan Bardach finished in 1:52.79, which was a .44 second improvement on his previous best.
Senior Tyler Skelton finished seventh in the long jump, recording a mark of 6.89m. Skelton just edged out Ryme Mackinson of Wisconsin for seventh, bettering Mackinson's mark by one centimeter.
HOT BIG TEN ACTION IN COLD WISCONSIN
The Hoosiers finished ninth in the Big Ten Indoor Championships with a total of 35 points. The team recorded eight top-ten finishes, three top-five finishes, and two top-three finishes, including a second-place finish by senior Kyle Jenkins in the triple jump.
Jenkins recorded a mark of 15.66m, which is just .20m shy of his career best leap. Jenkins finished just one centimeter shy of a share of the Big Ten Championship, as first-place finisher Clarence Smith of Penn State recorded a mark of 15.67m for the win. The mark by Jenkins is a provisional qualifying mark and is the third such qualifying mark on the season for the senior. The second-place finish makes Jenkins second-team All-Big Ten. Jenkins won the event in 2007.
Jenkins finished fifth in the long jump, matching his career best in the event. His leap of 7.32m duplicates his performance at the Big Ten Indoor Championships in 2007. Jenkins was just one centimeter short of fourth-place and only six centimeters out of third. The mark is only 18 centimeters shy of the provisional qualifying mark of 7.50m.
Freshman De'Sean Turner scored six points for the Hoosiers when he finished in third-place in the 800m run. His time of 1:53.35 was just five hundredths of a second out of second-place. The third-place finish is the first trip to the Big Ten medals stand for the freshman.
IN THE RECORD BOOKS
Three Hoosiers recorded marks in the indoor season that stand up with the best in IU history. Senior Paul Fearnow, junior Martin Stephen and sophomore Chris Sackmann have all recorded marks that stand as the third best in school history in their respective events.
In the weight throw, Fearnow had a heave of 18.67m at the Meyo Invite on Feb. 2. His marks steadily improved throughout the season, and he added 29 centimeters to his best over the course of the season.
In the 600m, Stephen recorded a time of 1:19.47 for third best in school history. His time currently trails only Ryan Hubers (2000) and current teammate, and IU record holder, senior Ryan Smith.
In the 60m Hurdles, sophomore Chris Sackmann has moved from fourth all-time to third after shedding .07 seconds off of his career best.
Indiana opens the outdoor season at the Alabama Relays in Tuscaloosa, Ala. on March 27-30, before splitting up to compete at the Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif., and the Texas Relays in Austin, Texas, on April 4-5.
The Hoosiers will split up again the very next weekend as IU will compete in both the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif., and the Sea Ray Relays in Knoxville, Tenn., on April 11-12.
The Hoosiers host their first outdoor meet of the season with the Indiana Relays on April 19. Indiana will then head back out to compete in the 99th running of the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa on April 24-26.
Indiana begins the month of May at the Jesse Owens Invitational in Columbus, Ohio on May 3, prior to hosting the annual Billy Hayes Invitational on May 9. The Big Ten Championships will be held on May 16-17 in Champaign, Ill., and the NCAA Mideast Regional will take place on May 30-31, in Fayetteville, Ark.
The 2008 NCAA Outdoor Championships will be held at Drake Stadium, the same location for the Drake Relays, on the campus of Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.
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