March 13, 2009
Results | NCAA Indoor Championships Day Three Photo Gallery
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Senior Jeff Coover took fourth place in the pole vault and the distance medley relay team was seventh on day one at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. Coover and the relay team earn All-America honors with their efforts. Coover is an All-American for the second time in his career. He took seventh at the 2008 outdoor championships. Coover was named the Great Lakes Region Field Athlete of the Year on Thursday.
The distance medley relay team of seniors John Gunnell and Evan Bardach and sophomores De'Sean Turner and Ben Hubers took second in the first heat of the relay. Their time was good for seventh place in the two-heat final, garnering the IU quartet All-American honors. The team finished the day with seven team points, putting them in a tie for 13th place. The five are the first indoor All-Americans since 2006 for Indiana.
Coover cleared three heights on the way to fourth place, earning the Hoosiers five team points. All three clearances came on his first attempt, with the biggest coming at 5.35m (17-6.5). By clearing the height on his first jump, Coover beat out the fifth and sixth-place finishers who both cleared 5.35m on their third try. Coover had three good attempts at 5.45m (17-10.5), but he was unable to match his career best with a clearance. The first place finisher in the event, Jason Colwick of Rice, cleared 5.60m (18-4.5). Coover will get the opportunity to return in 2010, as he holds junior eligibility.
Gunnell, Bardach, Turner and Hubers finished in 9:37.47, slower than their automatic qualifying time from a week ago, but it is still the fourth fastest in the IU record books. Hubers moved from fourth to second on the last straightaway, out-leaning the runners from Georgetown and Penn State for second place and the All-American finish. The split times for the Hoosiers were 2:55.88 by Turner in the 1,200-meters, 48.43 by Gunnell in the 400, 1:49.62 by Bardach in the 800 and a blazing 4:03.05 by Hubers in the 1,600. Bardach and Hubers were both much faster than their career best in the individual 800m and mile. Gunnell was less than a half-second off of P.R. pace. The group became the first All-Americans in the D.M.R. in school history. The finish earned Indiana two team points.
Also competing for the Hoosiers on the day were seniors Molly Beckwith and Wendi Robinson. Beckwith was tenth in the prelims of the 800-meters, finishing third in her heat with a time of 2:06.07. The top eight runners advanced to the final. Robinson finished 14th in the 5,000-meter finals. She recorded a time of 16:15.01. Both runners were competing in their second consecutive indoor championships, and both will have the chance to return in 2010, as they hold junior eligibility.
On Saturday, Junior Vera Neuenswander will compete in the women's pole vault. Her event is slated for a 5 p.m. ET start. For complete coverage of all things IU track, stay tuned to IUHoosiers.com.