Four Hoosiers Earn All-American in Final Day of NCAA's (6-12-04)
AUSTIN, Texas--In the finale of the 2004 NCAA Outdoor Championship meet, four Hoosiers received the prestigious All-American honor, including a trio of men that helped Indiana to its best finish since 1994, 19th -place with a total of 16 points. Audrey Giesler became the first female IU All-American in the 3000M Steeplechase, after she placed 11th with a time of 10:35.98. Junior Aarik Wilson had the highest finish of any Hoosier, taking a runner-up finish in the triple jump. In doing so, Wilson not only turned in a career-best, but broke his own school record with a leap of 16.93m (55-06.50). David Neville earned the second All-American honor of his career after he finished seventh overall in the 400-meter dash with the second fastest time of his career 45.31 and Chris Powers nabbed the last spot on the All-American list in the 5000-meter, finishing ninth with a time of 14:24.99.
It is safe to say that the triple jump finals could have very well been scripted before the competition even began. Spectators who follow this event knew it would be the same scenario as it was at the NCAA Mideast Regionals just two weeks ago, boiling down to two competitors: Wilson vs. Leevan Sands of Auburn, the one and two leaders in the nation in this event.
Wilson knew he had his work cut out for him. Despite Sands fouling on his first attempt and Wilson taking the lead with a jump of 16.72m on their first jumps, Sands would come back in the end and take the lead with a mark of 17.12m (56-02.00) on this fifth attempt to win the event. Wilson bested his own school record by two meters. The previous record was 16.91m (55-5.75), in which Wilson jumped at the Mideast Regionals. Wilson was definitely a big help to Indiana's 19th-place finish as he brought in 14 points on his own. Not only did he finish runner-up in the triple jump, but the Fallon, Nev., product also finished third in the long jump just two days ago.
In the 400-meters, Neville was pitted in what was noted as one of the strongest fields ever in the history of the NCAA Championships, as eight of the competitors had turned in sub-45's throughout the season. Just as he had done in the 200-meter two days prior, Neville clocked in the second-fastest time of his career with a time of 45.31.
Associate head coach/sprints coach Ed Beathea said he was very happy for Neville and was proud of all he has been able to accomplish this season
"David is a pleasure to work with and be around," said Beathea. "He had a tremendous outdoor season and represented Indiana very well at this national meet."
Chris Powers also earned the second All-American honor of his career (his first came during this year's cross country season) after running an excellent 5000m race. In a field of 27, Powers never showed signs of fatigue. Powers seemed to get stronger and stronger as the race went on. He steadily moved up on the pack and used quick strides to never stay in one place for too long. He made a very strong move into 12th-place with six laps stashed away and kept the pace to move him into seventh at one point. Heading into the final lap, Powers was in eighth, he fell off a little to Steve Sundell of Columbia (14:23.97), but still managed to nab the last All-American spot, turning in a time of 14:24.99.
Senior Hoosier Audrey Giesler ended her career on a high-note when she participated in the finals of the 3000-meter steeplechase and turned in a time of 10:35.98, good for an 11th-place finish. Giesler was one of three competitors from the Big Ten, with Cassie Hunt of Illinois and Amber Ferner of Purdue also in the race.
After an exhausting two days of the decathlon, Jake Wiseman gutted out a 21st-place finish with a total of 6943 points. Wiseman's highest finish of the day was in his best event, the javelin. Wiseman tossed a 60.73m (199-03.00), which put him third overall.
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