31 Hoosiers Headed to NCAA East Prelims
May 24, 2010
Next up on the schedule for Indiana track and field are the NCAA Preliminaries in Greensboro, N.C. The meet puts East's 48 best in each event against each other, looking to cut the field down to 12 qualifiers for the national meet in Eugene, Ore., on June 9-12. A group of 31 Hoosiers will compete on the campus of North Carolina A&T this weekend.
Indiana sent 23 student-athletes to the NCAA Mideast Regional last year. This season is the first with a new regional format. Twelve of the 31 Hoosiers headed to the meet are seeded amongst the top-12 heading into the weekend, and six IU athletes are ranked among the region's top five, including Molly Beckwith, Sarah Pease, Faith Sherrill, Derek Drouin, Andrew Poore and De'Sean Turner. Indiana will look to match or improve upon the 13 NCAA qualifiers it managed during the indoor campaign.
The 2009 regional proved very productive for the Hoosiers. Derek Drouin and Vera Neuenswander each won regional titles with record-breaking marks in the high jump and pole vault, respectively. IU advanced seven student-athletes on to the NCAA Championships from the 2009 regional.
LAST TIME OUT
Molly Beckwith won the IU's fifth Big Ten title in the 800m with a time of 2:04.11. The Worthington, Ohio, native won her second career Big Ten crown by a margin of more than 2.5 seconds.
Andrew Poore won the 5,000m by more than three seconds. Poore was in second with 200 meters left and took the lead, pulling away from the field all the way to the finish for a time of 13:49.23.
Derek Drouin won his third career Big Ten high jump crown, and his second straight outdoor title. Drouin cleared 2.21m (7-3) to win by 3.5 inches. He was the only athlete to clear seven feet.
Sherrill won the shot put with a Big Ten Championship heave of 17.03m (55-10.5). Sherrill bettered defending champion and former record holder Aja Evans by 10.25 inches. Sherrill is the second Hoosier ever to put the shot more than 17 meters, joining IU legend Katrin Koch.
De'Sean Turner and Poore finished 1-2 in the steeplechase, bringing home 18 points for the IU cause. Turner's time of 8:43.72 is the fifth-fastest in IU history and ranks among the nation's top-10 this season. The two Hoosiers finished nearly three seconds ahead of the third-place runner.
BIG TEN'S BEST FIELD ATHLETES
Eight Hoosiers earned All-Big Ten accolades, with Molly Beckwith, Faith Sherrill, Derek Drouin, Andrew Poore and De'Sean Turner claiming first team honors and Kelsie Ahbe, Sarah Pease and Ashley Rhoades being named to the second team.
"We had several student-athletes really step up and perform well at the Big Ten meet," said Indiana director and head coach Ron Helmer. "Any time you can get eight people performing at an All-Big Ten level, good things are going to happen. It was nice to have five of our kids win Big Ten titles in front of a home crowd."
Beckwith was followed in by Lindsey Hartman who took second in 2:06.40, which is second in the Big Ten this season behind Beckwith. Hartman's time is seventh fastest in IU lore. Ashley Baker took fourth with a time of 2:08.21 and Jordan Gray was sixth with a time of 2:09.57.
The inaugural meet on the new Billy Hayes Track proved to be worthwhile, as all four of the Hoosiers that finished under 2:10 are in the field of 48 at the NCAA East Preliminaries.
THE AIR UP THERE
Senior Ashley Rhoades won the high jump at the ISU Quadrangular, clearing 1.81m (5-11.25). Rhoades bettered the facility record by a centimeter and was 4.25 inches better than the rest of the field. The clearance ties her career best outdoors and puts her among the nation's top 13 this season. She is currently tied for seventh in the East.
Ben Hubers took seventh in the event with a time of 14:09.00 at Big Tens, but he enters the regional riding his 5k from the Stanford Invitational. He finished in 13:56.21, which is the eighth-fastest time in school history, surpassing Sean Jefferson. Hubers is ninth in the region this season. Cole Hardacre will also run the 5k for IU. He has a season best time of 14:17.98.
Chelsea Blanchard will run the 5,000m at the east prelims as well. She clocked a time of 16:22.62 at the Stanford Invite. Her time is the 14th best in the East this season.
KEEPING WITH TRADITION
Coover won the pole vault with a clearance of 5.35m (17-6.5) at the Alabama Relays. He was a foot and nearly six inches better than his closest competitor. His clearance is just a centimeter off his outdoor career best. His jump is good for the 13th spot on the national list. Coover is seventh in the East this season.
Ahbe joined the four-meter club for second in the college section of the pole vault at the Penn Relays. Ahbe was one of only two vaulters to clear 4.06m (13-3.75) on the day and finished second after tie breakers. Ahbe is the third Hoosier ever to clear four meters and the third to clear 13 feet. Her jump is the third highest in IU lore. The clearance is 2.25 inches better than the previous meet record for the college section. Ahbe's clearance is among the nation's top 36 this season and is 13th in the East.
10K = OK Indiana enters the NCAA East Preliminaries with three Hoosiers slated to run the 10,000m. Senior Wendi Robinson has the East's seventh-best time this season, as she clocked a time of 33:57.31 at the Stanford Invitational. Redshirt freshman Zach Mayhew is seeded 12th with a time of 29:19.57, also from the Stanford Invite. Senior Tim McLeod will also run the 10k, and he is seeded 24th heading into the meet with a time of 29:38.70.
HAVE FAITH IN THE HOOSIERS
Sherrill bettered defending champion and former record holder Aja Evans by 10.25 inches. Sherrill is the second Hoosier ever to put the shot more than 17 meters, joining IU legend Katrin Koch. Sherrill's title is the first by a Hoosier woman in the shot put since 2001, when Jennifer Brown took the gold medal. Sherrill joins defending national champion Mariam Kevkhishvilli of Florida as the only two throwers in the country to better the 17 meter mark this season and is seeded second in the region behind Kevkhishvilli.
Sherrill followed up a second-place Penn Relays performance in the shot put by crushing the school record in the hammer throw. At the Billy Hayes Invitational, Sherrill broke the IU record in the hammer throw with a huge improvement on her career mark. Her heave of 58.46m (191-9) is 13 feet and five inches better than her previous mark and 13 feet and four inches better than the previous IU record. The mark is 18th in the east region. Sherrill added team points at the Big Ten meet in the hammer and discus, with fourth-place finishes in each event. In the discus, Sherrill had a career best heave of 50.47m (165-7). The mark is the seventh-best in IU lore and ranks 26th in the region this year.
Engel posted a time of 10:31.27 at the Big Ten Championships, which is the fourth-best in IU history. She took sixth to score three points for the Hoosier cause. Ehrman clocked a time of 10:40.46 at the Penn Relays. That is the fifth-best time in IU lore.
Not to be outdone by the women, the men have made their mark in the steeple this season as well. At the ISU Quadrangular, De'Sean Turner clocked a time of 8:48.28 for the win, breaking a 30-year old ISU track record in the process. Turner then teamed up with Andrew Poore to provide one of the most exciting moments for IU at the Big Ten Championships. Turner and Poore finished 1-2 in the steeplechase, bringing home 18 points for the IU cause. Turner's time of 8:43.72 is the fifth-fastest in IU history and ranks among the nation's top-10 this season. Poore finished in 8:44.10 which is the sixth-best in IU lore. The two Hoosiers finished nearly three seconds ahead of the third-place runner. Turner enters the east prelims with the second-fastest seed time.
NINE A.O.W.'S FOR IU THIS SEASON Junior Faith Sherrill was named Big Ten Track and Field Athlete of the week for the week of May 2-8. Sherrill broke the IU record in the hammer throw at the Billy Hayes Invitational by more than 13 feet.
Indiana director and head coach Ron Helmer said that Sherrill was one of many Hoosiers that took a step forward in the team's final tune up before the Big Ten Championships.
"It is always important to be at your best heading into the championship schedule," Helmer said. "Faith had a big breakthrough this weekend and was a part of a good overall performance from our team, leading into the Big Ten Championships."
Sherrill broke the IU record in the hammer throw with a huge improvement on her career mark. Her heave of 58.46m (191-9) is 13 feet and five inches better than her previous mark and 13 feet and four inches better than the previous IU record. The mark is the best in the Big Ten this season and 13th in the east region. Sherrill also took first in the discus with a heave of 46.50m (152-7). The award is the ninth earned by a Hoosier this season and is the second of Sherrill's career.
VIRGINIA: LAND OF TRIPLE JUMPERS Sophomore Olu Olamigoke (OH-lamb-eh-GO-kay) came to IU as a heralded horizontal jumper from Virginia with a hard-to-pronounce name. At his high school meets, PA announcers would actually pronounce his name as Okie-Dokie. In two years at Indiana, he has made sure that people know his name.
Olamigoke recorded a leap of 15.62m (51-3) at the Billy Hayes Invitational. His jump is the ninth best in IU history and is just 1cm out of seventh in a section of the IU records that includes two NCAA Champions and 13 Big Ten crowns, which is five more than the next most in Big Ten history.
Rex Parker came to Indiana in the same recruiting class and from the same state. He and Olamigoke have provided IU with a triple jump tandem as good as any in the Big Ten. The two young jumpers have both scored team points for IU in the event at the Big Ten meet in both of the past two outdoor seasons. Parker recorded a jump of 15.25m (50-0.5) for fourth at Big Tens, improving on a sixth-place finish in 2009.
Olamigoke is seeded 17th in the NCAA East Preliminaries and Parker enters the meet with the 33rd best mark.
BIG TEN HONORS TWO MORE
Drouin cleared 2.22m (7-3.25) for the Penn Relay crown. He was 2.25 inches better than the rest of the field and matched his season mark. Drouin was able to clear bars on his first attempts despite a raucous and distracting crowd. Drouin is the second IU high jumper to win the Penn crown, joining Cal Boyd, who won in 1954 with a clearance of 6-7.
Pease won the 3,000m steeplechase championship with a time of 10:16.51. She was nearly two seconds ahead of the second-place finisher. Pease's Penn Relays title is the first by a Hoosier since 2006. Pease's time is the sixth fastest in Penn Relays history. She is the first Hoosier to win the event at the Penn Relays and just the second Big Ten athlete to win the steeplechase at the meet.
BIG TEN HONORS THREE HOOSIERS
Bayer led a talented crop of Hoosier runners at the Stanford Invitational, placing third in the 5,000-meter run and crossing the finish line in 13:45.75. His effort is the fifth-best in IU history, behind only legends Bob Kennedy, Jim Spivey, Terry Brahm and Stephen Haas.
Coover kicked off the 2010 outdoor season by claiming top honors in the pole vault competition on the final day at the Alabama Relays in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The La Jolla, Calif., native cleared 5.35m (17-6.5) to better the field by a foot and nearly six inches for the individual title. His clearance was just a centimeter off his outdoor career best.
The selection marked the first Big Ten Outdoor Field Athlete of the Week award for Coover since he collected his first weekly honor as a junior in April 2008. Coover has won four indoor weekly honors from the conference, including two in 2010, and his six career weekly honors are matched only by Kennedy in IU history. Kennedy garnered three honors in cross country and three during the indoor season.
Engel claimed top honors in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the Alabama Relays on Saturday. The product of Indiana was the first to cross the line in a time of 10:46.67. The mark was the sixth-fastest in IU history. Engel closed out the weekend by contributing to Indiana's runner-up finish in the 4x1,500-meter relay with a time of 19:16.70. This is the first Big Ten Outdoor Track Athlete of the Week award for Engel's career.
BIG TEN HONORS THREE... AGAIN
Bayer collects his second Big Ten Athlete of the Week award in 2010 after posting a winning time of 3:41.87 in the 1,500-meter open. The Leo, Ind., native bested the field by more than two seconds and now owns the fifth-best time in Division I this season, and the 10th best time in school history in the event. After his victory in the 1500m, Bayer crossed the line first again in the 800-meter run at 1:50.70. Bayer came around the final turn in third-place and made a pass in the last 10 meters to win by 0.24 seconds. Overall, Bayer's two wins scored 10 points for the Hoosiers' cause.
Drouin posted 13 points for the Hoosiers, winning the high jump and 110m hurdles, while taking second in the javelin at the Border Battle. Drouin's clearance of 2.20m (7-2.5) is just two centimeters off his season high and bested the next closest competitor by a full inch. Drouin's clearance is 1.5 inches better than the closest jumper in Big Ten this season and also ranks sixth in the nation. Drouin also won the 110m hurdles in 14.45. It was a career best for Drouin and a .35 improvement on his career mark. The time was the fifth-best in the Big Ten this season. In the javelin, Drouin's heave of 51.29m (168-3) was just five inches shy from the winning toss.
Pease led the 3,000-meter steeplechase from the start and won in a school-record time of 10:05.67. The Indiana native finished nearly 40 seconds ahead of the field and owns the Big Ten's best time this season by the same margin. Her time also ranks fifth in Division I and seventh in the world this season, eclipsing her own school record by 0.35 seconds, which she set at the NCAA Championships last year. This is the first Big Ten Athlete of the Week award for the Hoosier junior.
BACK IN CRIMSON
Faith Sherrill redshirted during indoor and outdoor last season after a breakout campaign in 2008. Sherill will look to pick up where she left off, as she advanced to the NCAA Regional in 2008.
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.
FOLLOW IU ON TWITTER!
Weekly Twitvid videos, previews, recaps, photo galleries, results and much, much more will be available all season long. You can get updates sent straight to your mobile device or computer via Twitter by following Johnson at twitter.com/KJatIU.
Check back soon