Bayer, Blanchard Named Big Ten Track Athletes of the Week
Jan. 24, 2011
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Andy Bayer and Chelsea Blanchard have been named the Big Ten Track Athletes of the Week for the week of Jan. 16-22, the conference has announced. Bayer and Blanchard won the men's and women's 3,000m invitational races at the Gladstein Invite. Bayer posted the fourth-best indoor 3,000m time in history by an American-born collegiate. Bayer takes home his fifth Big Ten weekly honor (two cross country, two indoor, one outdoor) and Blanchard wins her first.
Indiana track and field director and head coach Ron Helmer said both runners showed they are able to step up in situations that call for them to compete at an elite level.
"We hosted an outstanding meet this weekend, with some of the top marks in the nation and the world," Helmer said. "I was very happy to see our kids respond to that in a positive way. Andy and Chelsea both executed race plans this weekend to put themselves in position to do special things."
Bayer's time of 7:48.35 in the 3,000m is the fastest in the world this year. His time is also the fastest in school history and a new facility record. Bayer got an assist from the man whose record he ended up breaking as IU legend Stephen Haas set the pace for the first 2,000 meters in the race before stepping off to cheer on the current Hoosiers. Bayer's time was 2.65 seconds better than the school record and 3.01 seconds better than the Gladstein Fieldhouse record. He also finished 6.15 seconds faster than the NCAA Automatic Qualifying standard, making him the only runner to do so in the 3,000m this season. Bayer's time is the 10th-fastest all-time by a collegiate indoors, the fourth-fastest all-time by an American collegiate indoors and the ninth fastest all-time by an American collegiate regardless of venue.
In the women's 3,000m, Blanchard took the win with a time of 9:24.41, the third fastest in the NCAA and the seventh-best in the world this season. The time is the fifth-best in IU history and the fastest in the Big Ten this season by 5.75 seconds. She is one of only three runners to finish a 3K in less than 9:30 this season.
The Hoosiers return to action when they host the Indiana Relays on January 28-29. For complete coverage of all things IU track and field, stay tuned to IUHoosiers.com.
Check back soon