Neuenswander is NCAA Runner-Up, Pease an All-American
June 13, 2009
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Vera Neuenswander becomes the first All-American pole vaulter for the IU women's program, and she does it in style as the NCAA runner-up. The junior was one of two All-Americans on the day for Indiana. Sophomore Sarah Pease took seventh in the 3,000m steeplechase, becoming the first Hoosier ever to score in the event. The duo scored 10 points for the Hoosiers, and the team sits in 19th place.
Neuenswander was perfect through her first four jumps, clearing 4.00m (13-1.5), 4.10m (13-5.25), 4.20m (13-9.25) and 4.30m (14-1.25). The only jumper with zero misses, she began her attempts at 4.40m (14-5.25) with the lead, and it proved valuable as it garnered her second place. Neuenswander is the first outdoor All-American in the pole vault for the IU women's program. She is the highest finisher for IU since Irina Kharun won a national title in 2003. The 4.30m clearance is the second best jump in school history, behind only Neuenswander's own career mark, which she recorded two weekends ago at the NCAA Mideast Regional. It is also just the second clearance of over 14-feet in school history. Neuenswander took fourth at the NCAA indoor meet. Neuenswander will compete at the U.S. Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore., on June 24-28. It was an all state of Indiana finish, as Kylie Hutson of Indiana State was first, Neuenswander was second and Mary Saxer of Notre Dame tied for third. The Mideast Regional also was responsible for six of the top-eight finishers.
Pease claimed her first career All-America honors with a seventh-place finish in the 3,000m steeplechase. The Elizabeth, Ind., native passed three runners on the last lap and a half to score points for Indiana. The two points she earned are the first points at the outdoor championships for the IU women's program since 2003. Pease finished in 10:11.77. Her closing burst increased the gap between her and the eighth-place finisher to nearly a second. Pease is the third All-American in the steeplechase in IU history, and her finish is the best in school history, bettering a ninth-place finish by Kelly Siefker in 2006. Pairing the Friday finish with a school record in the qualifying round on Wednesday makes this a very successful week for Pease. Pease will also compete at the U.S. Outdoor Championships.
Junior Ashley Rhoades cleared 1.77m (5-9.75) for 13th place. The junior concludes her first trip to a national meet with two clearances in the event finals. Rhoades cleared both 1.74m (5-8.5) and 1.77m before getting three good attempts at 1.80m. Rhoades season draws to a close after a breakout campaign that included a Big Ten title.
Next up for Indiana are the U.S. Outdoor Championships. For complete coverage of the Hoosiers at NCAAs, stay tuned to IUHoosiers.com.
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