NCAA Regional - Day 1 Recap
Columbus, Ohio The Indiana men's and women's track and field teams enjoyed a productive first day Friday at the NCAA Mideast Regional at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the campus of Ohio State University. With the completion of five events, the Hoosier women are tied for third place with 16 points, while the men are fourth with 14 points.
Both Hoosier teams opened the day on a strong note, claiming individual titles in both the women's javelin and the men's hammer. All-American Ira Kharun broke the stadium record (185-11) en route to the regional crown in the javelin, while All-American Adam Judge lived up to his No. 1 seed in the hammer, placing first with a throw of 221-4.
The bad news for the other national javelin qualifiers is that despite recording a personal best for the second straight meet, Kharun hardly feels that she is in championship form.
"My workout schedule was set for me to peak in the last three meets (Big Tens, NCAA Regionals and NCAAs), but I can't say that I am peaking right now," Kharun said. "I am slowly growing, and I know the coaching staff hopes that growth continues."
Judge has a methodical approach to the hammer - clinch a spot in the finals first and then concentrate on throwing for place. He clinched a spot in the finals with his first throw of 205-4, but he fouled his final two preliminary throws. Thus, he had to make some adjustments in the finals.
"I had to switch gears," he said. "I had a great week of practice and came in hoping to throw 70 (meters, or 229-8). I don't know if I was in the wrong frame of mind, or what. I just had to go smoother and let the technique do the work."
Senior All-American Rose Richmond, the defending national indoor runner-up in the long jump, is heading to the outdoor championships in that event for the third straight year. Richmond took third in the regional with a leap of 6.42m/21-00.75.
Sophomore Aarik Wilson is the defending national runner-up in the outdoor triple jump, and while he looks forward to defending his second place in that event, he has already qualified for the NCAA long jump as well. Wilson finished fifth with a jump of 7.76m/25-5.5.
Indiana also advanced to the finals in four of the first five preliminary events. IU's All-American 4x100 women's relay of Richmond, Rachelle Boone, Ara Towns and Danielle Carruthers posted the third-fastest time (44.37), while sophomore Mindy Peterson turned in a personal-best 4:26.26 in the 1500 to qualify for Saturday's 6:15 p.m. final. The top five finishers in each regional final advance to the NCAA Championships June 11-14 in Sacramento.
Carruthers took one step closer to becoming a three-time All-American in the 100m hurdles when she won her heat in 13.09. The Paducah, Ky., native was one of three Hoosiers to advance to the finals in the 100m. Boone broke her own school record with the top qualifying time of 11.22, outdistancing 2003 national indoor 60m champion Muna Lee of LSU. Towns was fifth overall in 11.43 and Carruthers was seventh in 11.49.
On Friday evening, Boone qualified for the 200m final, again posting the top qualifying time of 23.32. This is three one-hundredths of a second off the Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium record.
As she winds down her collegiate running career, Boone is poised to finish with a flourish.
"We finished our tapering. We've been doing a lot of short, quick workouts the last few weeks, and they're paying off for everyone today," Boone said. "I'm real happy with where I'm at now and for two weeks from now and at the USA Championships (June 19-22 in Stanford, Calif.)."
For the men, sophomore John Jefferson was the national runner-up in the 1500m, and he looks to duplicate that success outdoor in the 1500m. Jefferson finished second in his heat and fifth overall with a 3:48.05 finish.
Saturday's action gets underway at 12 p.m. EDT with the women's hammer (Indiana's Kelley McKinney) and the men's javelin (Pat Miller and Jake Wiseman).
Check back soon