Jan. 10, 2009
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Hoosiers opened the 2009 indoor season at the Indiana Open. Senior Tiffany Howard and sophomore Ben Stephen led the way, both recording provisional qualifying marks to win the shot put. The Hoosiers won nine events on the day and had 35 top-five finishes. Howard and Stephen were joined by senior Jeff Coover in posting provisional qualifying marks. Coover’s came in the pole vault.
Howard improved her indoor best by 1.5 meters (previous best was 14.33m) in her winning effort. Her heave of 15.83m (51-11.25) was 76 centimeters better than Faith Sherrill who came in second while competing unattached. She bettered the NCAA provisional standard by 63 centimeters. The mark is the fourth best in the IU record books. Howard also increased her career best in the weight throw by 11 centimeters with a heave of 15.06m (49-5), which is good for tenth all-time at Indiana.
Stephen drew huge cheers with his career-best toss of 18.18m (59-7.75). The shot put was the last event to finish up, and Stephen made sure to end the meet with a bang. His toss was 1.19 meters better than Steve Hnat’s second-place throw. He bettered the provisional standard by 43 centimeters. His mark is the eighth best in Hoosier history. Stephen also finished sixth in the weight throw with another career-best heave of 17.14m (56-2.75). His mark in the weight throw is the seventh best ever at IU.
Coover matched his indoor career best vault of 5.20m (17-0.75) to win the pole vault. Coover, an outdoor all-American in 2008, was 20 centimeters better than his closest competition. He matched the provisional standard with his clearance.
Junior Ashley Rhoades and freshman Derek Drouin narrowly missed provisional heights in their winning efforts in the high jump. Rhoades posted a career best clearance of 1.75m (5-8.75) to win the event, and she narrowly missed on her three attempts at clearing the 1.78m NCAA provisional standard.
Drouin won in much the same fashion. His career-best clearance of 2.10m was five centimeters better than his competition. He also barely missed on three attempts at the 2.16m provisional standard.
Also winning events at the meet were senior Wil Glover in the 60m dash (6.80), sophomore De’Sean Turner in the 800m run (1:53.75), sophomore Cole Hardacre in the mile run (4:13.17), and freshman Olumide Olamigoke in the triple jump (14.46m (47-5.25)).
Senior Molly Beckwith took second in the 400 meter dash, finishing only behind Beijing Olympic gold medalist Mary Weinberg. Her time of 55.41 was .70 seconds faster than the runner in third. The time is the ninth fastest in IU history.
The Hoosiers return to action next weekend, when they host the Indiana Invitational. For complete coverage of Indiana track and field, stay tuned to www.IUHoosiers.com.