Fourteen Hoosiers to Compete at NCAA Championships
May 30, 2006
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Fourteen Indiana track and field student-athletes have qualified for the 2006 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, scheduled for June 7-10 at the Alex G. Spanos Sports Complex on the campus of Sacramento State. This marks the third time in the last four years that the Hoosiers have sent nine or more individuals to the national outdoor championships.
Ten Indiana men's track and field athletes have advanced to the NCAA meet, led by the All-American trio of John Jefferson (1500m), Stephen Haas (a 2005 5000m All-American who qualified in the 10000m this season) and David Neville (400m). Not only are these three All-Americans, but Jefferson and Neville have also contended for national titles. Jefferson was the national runner-up in the indoor mile in 2003, while Neville took second in the 400m at the NCAA Indoor meet two months ago. Neville heads to Sacramento next week on the momentum of a second-place finish (45.84) in the 400m at the NCAA Mideast Regional in Knoxville on May 27.
In addition to the veteran trio of All-Americans, seven Hoosiers will make their national championship debut this spring. Seniors Ryan Ketchum (shot put) and Wil Fleming (hammer) will compete in the field events, and the 4x400m relay quartet of Neville, Doug Dayhoff, Ryan Smith and Trey Warfield and alternate John Gunnell ran the seventh-fastest time in the nation (3:04.67) at last week's regional meet. Finally, Kyle Jenkins is a national qualifier in the triple jump after a second-place finish (15.86m/52-00.50) at regionals.
The four women's national qualifiers have significant NCAA experience as well. Ara Towns (100m) was a member of the Hoosiers' All-American 4x100m relay teams of 2002 and 2003, and she also earned All-American honors in the 60m dash at the 2004 NCAA Meet. For the second straight year, Kelly Siefker qualified for the national meet in the 3000m steeplechase, as she hopes to improve upon her personal best of 10:18.59, the second-best effort in school history. Jessica Gall qualified for nationals in the 10000m. Finally, Larra Overton will make her second straight NCAA appearance in the 1500m.
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