BATON ROUGE, La.--
In the final day of the 2004 NCAA Mideast Regionals, three Hoosiers guaranteed themselves a trip to the NCAA Championships in Austin, Tx., when Aarik Wilson
placed second in the triple jump by breaking the school record (16.91m (55-05.75), Sean Jefferson
took home a fourth-place finish in the 1500m (3:51.23) and David Neville
placed third in the 400m (45.88). These three IU athletes joined Chris Powers who qualified for NCAA's in the 5K yesterday.
The IU men finished tied sixth place with conference foe Wisconsin in the Mideast Regionals with a total of 30 points. The only other Big Ten schools to finish higher than IU was Ohio State (4th place, 48 points) The IU women placed 33rd with five points.
Aarik Wilson, who held the nation's best triple jump mark coming into the meet, was taken out by Leevan Sands of Auburn who bested Wilson's previous mark (16.85m (55-03.50)) by jumping an 17.30m (56-09.25) However Wilson still took a second-place finish and broke the school record with a leap of 16.91m (55-05.75). The previous school record was held by Robert Cannon in 1978 16.87m (55-04.25).
Although the men's 1500m was later in the afternoon, the 101 degree temperatures were still stifling. To no one's surprise, Jefferson still fought through the tough conditions and took a fourth-place finish in his signature event with a time of 3:51.23. At the start, Jefferson lagged behind the 11 other runners through the entire 400 meters, but those who know Jefferson's style, knew it was only a matter of time before he made his move. The pack really separated at the 800m spilt, but Jefferson was still in last. After the bell sounded for the final lap, Jefferson inched his way into sixth/seventh and made great strides at the 200m mark to move into fifth. Down the 100-meter straight away Jefferson pushed through to hold on and cross the finish line behind Said Ahmed of Arkansas (3:50.40), Rob Myers of Ohio State (3:50.35) and first-place finisher Chris Mulvaney of Arkansas (3:49.75).
Neville was poised and confident from start to finish in the 400m. Neville really caught up on the 200m curve and took off down the straight away to capture third overall with his second fastest time of the season, 45.88. The Merrillville, Ind., native finished behind Jamal Ashley of Mississippi State (45.62) and Kelly Willie of LSU (44.81).
Both the men and women's 4x400m relay teams took the track for the final running events of the night and ended on a good note.
The women's team of Michele Huber, LaDonna Ray, Stacey Clausing and Charlene Maddox ran an excellent race with a season-best time of 3:40.19, putting them eighth overall.
The men's 4x400 put on an outstanding show in their heat. Both Hollis brothers were stellar in their first two laps to keep Indiana in the race. Grimes did his part as well, earning a comfortable enough stance to allow Neville to get in great position to anchor out the relay. It was all over when Neville got the baton in his hands. He took the Hoosiers from a fifth-place stance into a steady third through the first 200 meters. It looked as if he let up a little with 200 meters left, but exploded down the stretch and shocked everyone when crossed the finish line, with a season-best time of 3:09.23.
Audrey Giesler will have to hope for an at large bid in order to go to the NCAA's as she just missed the cut, taking a sixth-place finish in the 3000m Steeplechase. Giesler was anywhere between sixth and eighth through the first 1k, but really stepped it up around the 1200m mark in which she stood in at a steady fifth-place stance. The pressure came on when Cassie Hunt of Illinois crept up on Giesler. The two traded fifth and sixth place throughout the final lap. It appeared as if Giesler would squeeze past Hunt when she got caught up in the water pit, but Hunt was able to re-gather and muster enough energy to get past Giesler in a very close finish. Giesler finished with a time of 10:17.96, Hunt clocked in a time of 10:17.55. Although she did not get an automatic bid, Giesler did however, get the Hoosier women on the board, earning the team three points. Kelly Siefker was also in this heat and finished 15th overall with a time of 10:53.57. Freshman Kristin Whitezell was in the earlier heat, but did not finish the race.
In the men's 3000m steeplechase, Marcus Aguilar ran a decent race, but it would not be enough, as he took a 24th-place finish overall with a time of 9:36.76.
School record-holder in the triple jump, Lauren Chesnut placed eighth overall with a leap of 12.91m (42-04.25)
Jake Wiseman's throw of 57.63m (189-01.00) in the javelin was not enough to advance him to the finals and gave him a 12th-place finish overall.
Shot-putter Andrea Dalla Rosa finished 16th overall with a heave of 14.59m (47-10.50), and discus thrower Mike Minton finished 21st overall with a toss of 48.54m (159-03.00).
The Hoosiers that have met the standards will be back in action on June 9-12 at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at the University of Texas in Austin, Tx.
IU Results: Day Two NCAA Mideast Regionals
Women's High Jump
Women's Triple Jump
Lauren Chesnut-8th-12.91m (42-04.25)
Women's 4x400m Relay
Maddox, Clausing, Ray, Huber-7th-3:40.19.
Women's 3000m Steeplechase
Women's Shot Put
Andrea Dalla Rosa-16th-14.59m (47-10.50)
Men's Triple Jump
Aarik Wilson-2nd-16.91m (55-05.75)
Mike Minton-21st-43.70m (143-04.00)
Men's 1500 Meter Finals
Men's 400 Meter Finals
Jake Wiseman-12th-57.63m (189-01.00)
Men's Pole Vault
Men's 3000m Steeplechase
Men's 4x400m Relay
Hollis, Hollis, Grimes, Neville-6th-3:09.23