Women's Track

    Hoosiers Prepared for First Two-Day Meet of 2009

    Go Hoosiers! Senior Molly Beckwith posted a provisional mark in the 800m run at the Indiana Invite.
    Go Hoosiers!
    Senior Molly Beckwith posted a provisional mark in the 800m run at the Indiana Invite.
    Go Hoosiers!

    Jan. 21, 2009

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    The Gladstein Invitational is the third of four consecutive home meets to open the 2009 indoor season for the Hoosiers. The meet will be hosted at Gladstein Fieldhouse on Jan. 23-24, 2009, with multi-events beginning at noon ET on Friday.

    The meet is expected to include more than 1,200 athletes. Included in the large field will be Gladstein Fieldhouse record holder in the shot put Liz Wanless of the New York Athletic Club and 2008 NCAA champion in the shot put and weight throw Cory Martin. Martin is also a Gladstein Fieldhouse record holder.

    The Hoosiers won ten events in their second meet of the indoor season. The Indiana Invitational is the second of four consecutive home meets to open the indoor slate for IU. On top of the 10 wins, the Hoosiers had 22 top-three finishes and five provisionally qualifying marks. The high jumpers and pole vaulters led the way for Indiana on the day, as IU swept the events on the men's and women's sides.

    Junior Ashley Rhoades posted the first provisional qualification of her career to win the women's high jump, as did freshman Derek Drouin in the men's high jump. Rhoades' clearance of 1.79m (5-10.5) is a career best and the second best in IU history. The jump is also the fifth best in Division I and the best in the Big Ten on the 2009 season. Rhoades is now just two centimeters shy of the IU record. This win comes on the heels of a win at the Indiana Open.

    Drouin cleared 2.15m (7-00.50) to become the collegiate champion at the meet. He came in second to professional jumper Adam Shunk. His jump is the third best in Division I this season, the second best in the conference in 2009 and ties him for eighth in the IU record book. The freshman jumper recorded his second win in the high jump in as many weeks.

    Sophomore Ben Stephen drew huge cheers with his career-best toss of 18.18m (59-7.75) at the Indiana Open. 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.

    In the pole vault, junior Vera Neuenswander took first place at the Indiana Invite. Neuenswander cleared 4.10m (13-05.25), just a centimeter shy of her career best. The mark ties her for sixth in Division I and is the best in the conference this season. Her clearance was ten centimeters better than the second-place finisher, Mallory Peck of Purdue.

    Senior Jeff Coover matched his indoor career-best vault of 5.20m (17-0.75) to win the pole vault at the Indiana Open. Coover, an outdoor All-American in 2008, was 20 centimeters better than his closest competition. He matched the provisional standard with his clearance, and his mark is the best in the Big Ten this season.

    Senior Molly Beckwith posted a provisional mark in the 800m run at the Indiana Invite. Her time of 2:08.65 is the second best in Division I and the Big Ten this season. She finished 0.35 seconds ahead of the provisional standard for a second-place finish.

    Senior Molly Beckwith took second in the 400 meter dash at the Indiana Open, finishing only behind Beijing Olympic gold medalist Mary Weinberg. Her time of 55.41 was 0.70 seconds faster than the runner in third. The time is the ninth fastest in IU history, and her time stands as the fastest by a Big Ten runner this season.

    The Big Ten Conference announced the Big Ten track and field athletes of the week for the week of Jan. 3-10, and Indiana's Tiffany Howard has been selected as the field honoree. Howard posted an NCAA provisional qualification in the shot put to win the event at the Indiana Open.

    Indiana track and field director and head coach Ron Helmer said that the award could be a sign of things to come this season for Howard and the rest of the IU throwers under the direction of assistant coach Jermaine Jones.

    "Tiffany has worked very hard in preparation for her senior year," Helmer said. "It is very exciting to see her hard work start to pay off with a great early season personal record. Both Tiffany and Coach Jones should be very excited about her potential for success this year."

    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 and the sixth best in Division I this season.

    Others winning events at the Indiana Open 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)). Glover's time is the second best in the Big Ten this season. Hardacre's mile stands at the Big Ten's fifth best this season. Olumigoke holds the conference's fourth-best jump in the triple jump this season.

    Others winning events for IU at the Indiana Invite were sophomore De'Sean Turner in the 800m (1:53.07), sophomore Ben Stephen in the shot put (17.48m (57-4.25)) and a 4x800m relay team of sophomores Andrew Poore, Andrew Weatherford and Turner and senior Evan Bardach (7:43.30). Turner's 800m run was the fifth fastest in the conference in 2009.



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