April 4, 2009
EUGENE, Ore. – Indiana’s women’s track team took second at the Pepsi Team Invitational, behind only the #3 Eugene Ducks. The Hoosiers recorded six regional qualifications on the day and scored 167 points. Oregon won with 233.5 points, while Utah State was third with 132.5 and Kansas State was fourth with 119. The meet used the international scoring format of 9-7-6-5-4-3-2-1. Only two athletes from each team could score in an event.
Leading the way for the Hoosiers was junior high jumper Ashley Rhoades who had the second best clearance in IU history. Her regional qualifying mark was one of six for Indiana. Fellow juniors Vera Neuenswander, Molly Beckwith, Sarah Pease and Kayla Smith, as well as senior Tiffany Howard recorded regional marks on the day, all six Hoosiers won their events.
Rhoades cleared 1.81m (5-11.25) for first place in the high jump. She added six centimeters to her career best and put herself just a centimeter away from the IU record. The Columbia City, Ind., native was 5.5 inches better than her closest competitor, who happened to be sophomore Laura Morris.
Neuenswander finished 3.75 inches better than her closest competitor in the pole vault. She added five centimeters to her season best and moved to within two centimeters of her all-time best. The All-American is now 25 centimeters better than the regional standard.
Beckwith won the 800 meters, finishing a full second ahead of Zoe Buckman of Oregon, the second-place finisher. Beckwith’s time of 2:07.28 is more than two seconds faster than the regional standard.
Howard won the shot put, adding 12 centimeters to her regional mark on the season. Her toss of 15.19m (49-10) was 3 feet and 6.75 inches better than the second place throw by Spela Hus of Utah State. Howard’s mark is the sixth best in school history.
Smith recorded her first career regional qualification en route to a first place finish in the 400-meter hurdles. Her time of 1:00.33 is .59 seconds better than the regional standard and is the sixth best in school history. She is now just .07 seconds out of fifth in the IU record book.
Pease posted her first regional mark as well. The junior had the fastest time in the 3,000m steeplechase, besting the regional mark by 28 seconds. Her time of 10:22.26 is the third best in IU history. She cut more than 32 seconds off her previous career mark.
The outdoor season continues for Indiana on April 10, when the team opens the Sea Ray Relays in Knoxville, Tenn. For complete coverage of all things IU track, stay tuned to IUHoosiers.com.