March 28, 2009
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Five Hoosiers posted regional qualifications on day three at the Alabama Relays. In the pole vault, junior Vera Neuenswander and sophomore Stephanie Chin punched their tickets to Louisville. Senior Tiffany Howard and sophomore Kristen Crawford did the same in the shot put. Senior Kiwan Lawson punched his ticket in the long jump. The Hoosiers have a total of six regional marks over three days, as freshman Derek Drouin qualified in the high jump on day one.
Neuenswander claimed the pole vault crown, clearing 4.05m (13-3.5). The height is eight inches better than the regional standard. The Jefferson City, Mo., native holds an lifetime outdoor best of 4.12m. The IU record holder is Chin, who cleared the regional standard of 3.85m (12-7.5). Chin's mark got her fourth place.
Howard was third in the shot put, recording a career best heave of 15.07m (49-5.5). Her toss was nearly three feet better than the regional standard of 14.30m (46-11). Her mark is the sixth best in school history. Crawford took fifth with the eighth best throw in school history. Her mark of 14.66m (48-1.25) is good for the first regional qualification in her career at IU.
Lawson was third in the long jump. The 2008 All-American recorded a leap of 7.64m (25-0.75). His mark is just 23 centimeters off his career best and 30 centimeters better than the regional standard.
Indiana also performed well in the distance events on the day. IU runners took second through fifth in the both the men's and women's 1,500-meters. Freshman Andy Bayer was second in the men's race, and he was followed in immediately by senior Brennon Plotner and sophomores Jacob Laird and Andrew Poore. On the women's side, junior Molly Beckwith was the second to cross the line. She was followed in by fellow junior Wendi Robinson, assistant coach Rebecca Walter (who ran unattached) and freshman Chelsea Blanchard. Also running well were sophomore Jenny Kulow, who won the 10,000-meters, and senior Kristina Trcka, who took second in the 5,000-meters.
Indiana continues competition at the Alabama Relays on Sunday. For complete coverage of all things IU track, stay tuned to IUHoosiers.com.