Big Ten Track - Day 1 (5-16-03)
Minneapolis, Minn. - Indiana senior All-American hammer thrower Adam Judge took a methodical approach to the Big Ten Championships Friday afternoon at Bierman Stadium.
"I fouled on my first throw, so the goal of my second throw was just to make the finals," Judge said. "That left me four throws to really get after it."
Judge executed his gameplan perfectly, recording a second throw of 205-8. On his third throw, Judge captured what turned out to be the Big Ten title with a school and league record heave of 223-5. His performance is a large reason why the Hoosier men are in first place with 22 points after one day of action. The women's team is currently in fifth place with 12 points.
Although this is Judge's fourth year of college eligibility, it is his debut campaign with the Hoosiers. An All-American in the hammer at Southern Illinois and a two-time national junior college champion at Barton County Community College, Judge could not be more pleased with his decision to transfer to IU.
"(Volunteer Assistant) Coach (Jerry) England has been working in this event a long time," Judge said. "We have a great squad, good kids to throw with, guys like Wil Fleming, who has the second-best throw in school history. You can't help but get better when you have guys like that pushing you every day."
Judge is the first Hoosier to win a Big Ten throwing title since Kurt Krick won the 1999 shot put crown. Not only does this mark the fourth time this season that Judge broke the school record in the hammer throw, but it also qualifies him for the USA Track and Field Championships June 26-29 in Stanford, Calif. While this is a great honor, it also alters his training routine.
"We didn't taper as much for the league meet as we have done in the past," Judge said. "That's because of the new regional format (where the top five performers in each event at the May 30-31 NCAA Regionals advance to the NCAA Meet. It's hard to peak at three straight meets."
Junior Chad Andrews turned in another top performance for the Hoosiers, taking second in the men's 10000m in 31:42.5. This marks the second time in three years that Andrews has finished among the league's top three in the 10000m. He placed third in 2001. Stephen Haas also scored for IU, finishing fifth in 31:49.1.
"Going into the race, I figured it would start out slow, but it was even slower than I anticipated," Andrews said. "But at the 5K mark, things really picked up. I was in the back of the pack and with 800 meters to go, I was able to make up a lot of ground."
"Both Chad and Stephen ran a very technical race," Indiana men's coach Marshall Goss said. "Starting out, it looked like it was going to be Haas' race, but Chad took over and brought it in. That's a big 12 points for us. The first day is very important. You can get off to a good start and carry the momentum."
In other first day action, senior Kelly McKinney finished seventh in the hammer throw (53.47m/175-5). Ellison Tipton became the 17th IU women's athlete to qualify for the NCAA Regionals with a sixth place finish in the pole vault (3.66m/12-0). Freshman Lindsay Hattendorf (36:30.40) and Becky Obrecht (36:41.08) finished fifth and sixth, respectively, in the women's 10000m.
Although fifth place is right about where IU women's coach Randy Heisler figured his Hoosiers would be, it makes Saturday's performance even more vital.
"It hurt us that Emily Tharpe no-heighted in the pole vault after she was seeded third. But it helped that Ellison Tipton was seeded 21st and finished sixth," Heisler said. "Kelly McKinney was seeded 11th in the hammer and took seventh. Lindsay and Becky scored in the 10000m.
"But Saturday is everything. There are four events that have Saturday finals (long jump, javelin, shot put and 3000m steeplechase), and we have the potential to score well in each of those events. And in the other events, if we don't do well Saturday, then we're not coming back on Sunday."
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