BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana womens track and field team will compete for the 2004 Big Ten Conference Indoor Championship on Saturday, Feb. 28 and Sunday, Feb. 29, at the University of Iowa. The competition will be held at the University Recreation Building on the Iowa campus. Tickets are $7 per day for adults and $5 for youth and students.
Indianas Big Ten Indoor Championship History Since the inception of the Big Ten womens indoor track and field championship, Indiana has captured three team titles in 1988, 1991 and 2000. Under head coach and director of track and field Randy Heisler, the Hoosiers have finished no lower than third since 1999.
Indiana has finished as the runner-up the last two seasons. Heres a look at the where the Hoosiers have finished year-by-year.
Towns, Giesler Provisionally Qualified for NCAAs A pair of athletes from the Indiana womens track and field team are provisionally qualified for the NCAA Indoor Meet, which set for March 12-13 at the University of Arkansas. Junior sprinter Ara Towns owns the No. 19 time nationally in the 60 meter dash. Towns ran a 7.41 on Feb. 13 at the Tyson Invitational.
Senior Audrey Giesler ranks No. 40 on the national 3,000 meter list. Giesler crossed the finish line in 9:34.70 on Feb. 13 at the Tyson Invitational.
Towns in the Hunt For 60 Meter Title Heading into this weekends meet, there does not seems to be a clear cut favorite in the 60 meter dash. Penn States Consuella Moore and Illinois Yvonne Mensah are tied with this seasons fastest time at 7.40. Hoosier junior Ara Towns is close behind with a time of 7.41. Towns finished third in the 60m at the 2003 Indoor Championship in Bloomington. The Hampton, Va., native completed a 1-2-3 sweep for Indiana. Former Hoosiers Rachelle Boone (7.26) and Danielle Carruthers (7.34) placed first and second, respectively. Towns ran a career-best 7.39 to place third.
Johnson Steps in as Hoosiers Top Hurdler Freshman Courtney Johnson currently owns the second-fastest 60 meter hurdle time among Big Ten Conference athletes. Johnson, a native of Columbus, Ohio, clocked a new personal best, 8.48 at the Indiana Invitational on Feb. 7. In the Big Ten, Johnson trails only Illinois Yvonne Mensah at 8.29. Johnson also set a Hearnes Fieldhouse record at the Tiger Classic in Columbia, Mo. on Jan. 30, with a time of 8.53.
Giesler Looks For Second Big Ten Crown Last spring, senior distance runner Audrey Giesler won the 2003 Big Ten Outdoor title in the 3,000 Meter Steeplechase. Giesler looks to be in the mix the 3,000 meter indoor title this weekend. The Downers Grove, Ill., native currently owns the conferences third-best time in the event. She finished in 9:34.70 at the Tyson Invitational on Feb. 13. Michigans Lindsay Gallo leads the conference with a time of 9:28.02 and Iowas Nikki Chapple is second at 9:34.17.
Tharpe Sidelined With Injury Junior pole vaulter Emily Tharpe will not compete at the Big Ten Indoor Championships. Tharpe, the Indiana school recorded holder in both the indoor and outdoor pole vault, suffered a broken left arm two weeks ago at the Tyson Invitational, and will be unable to compete for remainder of the indoor season. Tharpe finished third at the 2003 Big Ten Indoor Championships.
Towns Competes at Millrose Games Junior sprinter Ara Towns competed in the prestigious Millrose Games at Madison Square Garden in New York on Feb. 6. Towns was one of five collegiate sprinter invited to participate in the 60 meter dash. Towns finished third with a time of 7.53.
Towns best time of the season in the 60-meters came on Feb. 13 at the Tyson Invitational when she clocked a 7.41, which is an NCAA provisional qualifying time and is No. 17 nationally this season. Her career best in the 60 came in the finals at the 2003 Big Ten Championships in Bloomington when she clocked a 7.39 to take third place behind former Hoosier teammates Rachelle Boone and Danielle Carruthers.
Recapping Last the 2003 Big Ten Indoor Championship The Hoosier womens track and field team fell just short of winning the Big Ten Indoor Championship in 2003, finishing second in the conference meet in Bloomington at Gladstein Fieldhouse. Michigan claimed the title for the second time in as many seasons over the Hoosiers, scoring 129.5 points to IUs 115.
Indiana had three athletes win individual titles. Senior Rose Richmond claimed the top spot in the long jump with a leap of 4.68m/21-3.75. The distance marked a personal-best, set a new Gladstein Fieldhouse record and replaced the Indiana record held by Olympic heptathlete Dee Dee Nathan. Senior Rachelle Boone was the champion in the 60 meters and the 200 meters. Senior Chioma Ndubisi captured the 400 meter crown.
In the 60m, it was a 1-2-3 finish for the Hoosiers. Boone claimed the 60 meter title with a time of 7.26, Danielle Carruthers took runner-up honors in 7.34 and Ara Towns raced a personal-best in 7.39 to finish third. The trio supplied 24 points to Indianas effort. Boone set a meet-record on Saturday by running a 7.21 in the semifinals of the 60m.
Ndubisi turned in a career-best time of 55.08 to win the 400 meters for the Hoosiers. Ndubisi was seeded fourth entering the Big Ten Championships and ran the fourth-fastest qualifying time in Saturdays preliminary.
In the 60 meter hurdles, Carruthers was just edged by Illinois' Perdita Felicien for the title in a battle of the countrys two best hurdlers. Felicien ran an 8.02 and Carrurthers clocked a season-best 8.07 to score eight points for the Hoosiers.
Freshman Jean Schaffer, participating in her first Big Ten Championship meet, cleared a season-best 1.73m/5-8.00 in the high jump, good for fourth-place. Kelley McKinney finished sixth in the weight throw with a toss of 17.62/57-9.75
In the 800m, a pair of sophomores scored for the Hoosiers. Mindy Peterson ran a 2:13.25 to place sixth and Larra Overton followed right on her heels in 2:13.25, taking seventh.
Indiana entered Saturdays competition just a half point behind the first-place Wolverines. The lead changed hands several times throughout the day, but Michigan took advantage after finishing second and third in the high jump and held on with strong performances in the 5,000 meters to seal the win.
2003 Final Team Standings
1) Michigan 129.50
2) Indiana 115
3) Penn State 87
4) Ohio St 69
5) Wisconsin 68
6) Illinois 65
7) Minnesota 61.50
8) Purdue 50
9) Iowa 29.50
10) Michigan State 27.50
Freshman Andrea Dalla Rosa collected a fourth-place finish in the shot put with a personal-best toss of 15.62m/51-3.00. Freshman Jessica Gall placed seventh in the 3000m with a time of 9:56.56 to pick up two points for IU.
Sophomore Emily Tharpe finished in a three-way time for first and ended up third in the pole vault. Tharpe cleared a season-best 3.91m/12-10 and exceeded the NCAA Provisional mark (3.90m).
Michigan leads the team scoring with 36.5 points and Indiana is next with 36. Wisconsin is in third with 33 points and Purdue occupies fourth with 32. U of M won the 2002 team title, edging the Hoosiers 116 to 114.5.