- Indiana was the only Big Ten school to have both its men's and women's track and field teams each finish among the top three in the league championships. The Hoosier women finished tied for second with Penn State at 124 points, while the men posted their best finish since 1992. Indiana was third with 113 points.
Michigan won the women's crown with 137 points, followed by Penn State and IU at 124 each, Ohio State at 83, Wisconsin (74), Iowa (70), Illinois (66), Purdue (49), Minnesota (47) and Michigan State (45).
The host Gophers captured the men's crown with a record 168.5, followed by Purdue (148), Indiana (113), Ohio State (111.5), Penn State (81), Wisconsin (61), Michigan (56), Illinois (44), Iowa (27) and Michigan State (9).
Indiana men's coach Marshall Goss and women's coach Randy Heisler
each had high goals for their respective teams, and both were pleased with the results.
"The meet was there for us to win, and I think especially our younger kids learned that every point, every opportunity to score, counts," Heisler said. "You always come to Big Tens looking for the perfect meet, but that is hard to do in track and field."
"We tried to project t he scores coming in, and we thought we could score 117 points," Goss said. "Now, we didn't get those points as we planned, but you never do in track. All-in-all, our kids had a real nice meet."
The women's 4x100 relay team of Rose Richmond, Rachelle Boone,Ara Towns and Danielle Carruthers posted the Hoosiers' first championship Sunday, recording a season-best time of 44.06. This marks the fourth straight year that the Hoosiers won the women's 4x100, and Towns, the youngster of this year's quartet, has learned from her older teammates.
"I have only been here for two of the titles, but this still feels pretty good," she said. "Coming to the Big Tens and running your best, this what its all about."
A pair of fifth-year senior pole vaulters, Dino Efthimou and Ian Curry, closed their Big Ten careers on an impressive note, taking the top two spots in their event. Each athlete cleared 5.10m/16-8.75.
Considering his mindset at the start of the championships, Efthimou's title is particularly rewarding.
"This is the first Big Ten meet where I have really felt nervous," Efthimou said. "It's been a different year. I had already used up my indoor (track and field) eligibility, so I spent the winter interviewing and getting ready for my career after track.
"The weather conditions were good, but there was a lot of wind. It was a really the luck of the draw when you vaulted, who had what wind.But we needed the team points, that's what it came down to."
One day after winning the long jump title, Aarik Wilson successfully defended his league triple jump crown, leaping 16.61m/54-6. Indiana's Hasaan Reddick came in third with a season-best 15.79m/51-9.75.
Indiana's final individual title of the day came in the women's 200m, where Boone finished with a career-best 22.87. The 200m victory was sweet redemtpion for Indiana's All-American sprinter who finished third in the 100 (11.51).
"I didn't finish like I wanted in the 100, so I had to come back and make up for it in the 200. I made up my mind before the race even started," Boone said. "I'm very proud of the 22.87. I've been training well, doing a lot of speed work, so it was a matter of time before I broke 23 (seconds)."
Boone attributed her third place in the 100 to a lapse in concentration.
"The starter held us long in the blocks, so I should have been more focused," she said. "My mind wasn't focused on the gun."
In addition to anchoring the women's 4x100 relay, Carruthers also finished second in the 100m (11.5) and the 100m hurdles (12.95). The fact that Carruthers performed so well in three events scheduled within one hour was not lost on Heisler.
"I'm going to miss those seniors so much next year," Heisler said. "Danielle fell and hurt her wrist in the hurdle prelims, scrapes her elbow. But no matter what happens, those kids have always raced their hearts out."
The Hoosier women also received steady performances in the middle and long distance events. Larra Overton (personal-best 2:10.76) and Stephanie Magley (2:12.44) took fourth and seventh, respectively, in the 800m. Mindy Peterson had the top qualifying time in the 1500m and finished fifth in the final at 4:28.91. And one day after she set the Big Ten record in the 3000m steeplechase, Audrey Giesler placed sixth in the 5000m (personal-best 17:01.21).
"The distance girls have grown up a lot this season," Heisler said. "Mindy Peterson ran well in the 1500m, and she'll keep getting better. Audrey Giesler did great in the steeplechase, and to come back and do the 5K, that's a tough double."
Junior Lauren Chesnut, a transfer from George Mason, broke her own school record in the triple jump, placing fourth overall at 13.0m/42-8.
For the men, John Jefferson placed second in the 1500m (3:53.54), Pat Miller placed third in the javelin (65.22/214-0) and Matt Harris finished fourth in the 110 hurdles (14.26).
Daniel Martin took fifth in the 400 hurdles (52.37), and the 4x100 relay team of Martin, Andre Grimes, Harris and Ryan Sarbinoff placed fifth in 41.02. Chris Powers finished seventh in the 5000m (14:33.97), Sarbinoff took seventh in the 400m (48.78) and Ryan Ketchum took seventh in the shot (17.10m/56-1.25).
The Hoosiers return to action May 30-31 in the NCAA Mideast Regional Championships in Columbus, Ohio.