Women's Track

    Hoosiers Get Last Chance at Alex Wilson Invite

    Go Hoosiers! Junior Stephanie Chin
    Go Hoosiers!
    Junior Stephanie Chin
    Go Hoosiers!

    March 3, 2010

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    The Alex Wilson Invitational provides the Hoosiers with one last chance at qualifying for the NCAA Indoor Championships. The invitational will open at 5 p.m. ET on Fri., March 5 and continue at 10:30 a.m. ET on Sat., March 6. Five Hoosiers are breathing easy with automatic qualifying marks. Others are comfortable with their spot on the national list. For everyone else, the Alex Wilson Invitational will be the place to lower times and improve marks.

    The Hoosiers have had great success at Alex Wilson in recent years. In 2009, the Hoosiers posted an automatic qualifying time in the distance medley relay at the meet, punching a ticket to NCAAs, where the relay squad earned All-America honors. In 2008, current junior Stephanie Chin posted a clearance of 4.14m in the pole vault to earn her spot in the national meet.

    Indiana finished the women's Big Ten Indoor Track and Field Championships in third-place with 83 points. Leading the way for the Hoosiers were seniors Ashley Rhoades and Molly Beckwith and junior Faith Sherrill, all of whom claimed Big Ten titles. Beckwith set a new Big Ten Championships record in the 600m.

    Beckwith improved on her own school record in the 600m, finishing in 1:27.22 to break the facility and championship records. Beckwith won her first career Big Ten title.

    Sherrill won her first career conference title a day after claiming runner-up honors in the shot put. Sherrill won the weight throw with a heave of 20.35m (66-9.25). The mark is more than a foot improvement on her own IU record.

    Rhoades won the high jump with an NCAA auto clearance of 1.85m (6-0.75). She improved on her own school record by one centimeter. Rhoades' jump is her third of over six feet this season.

    Indiana finished the men's Big Ten Indoor Track and Field Championships in sixth-place with 51 points. Leading the way for the Hoosiers was Big Ten high jump champion Derek Drouin, the sophomore broke the IU record and the Big Ten Championships record on his way the the best mark in Division I this season. Five Hoosiers earned Big Ten medals by finishing in the top-three on the day.

    Drouin cleared 2.26m (7-5) for the Big Ten crown. The sophomore bettered the IU record by a centimeter, adding two centimeters to his career best. The Corunna, Ontario native won his second career Big Ten title with every clearance he had on the day coming on his first attempt. Drouin won the conference high jump crown at the outdoor meet in 2009.

    Indiana men's track and field moved into the top 10 of the national rankings, the USTFCCCA announced. The men are ranked 10th and the women are ranked 20th. On the season, the men have been ranked as high as seventh and the women as high as 18th.

    Indiana track and field director and head coach Ron Helmer said the rankings provide reinforcement to his program to keep working hard and maintained that February rankings aren't the goal for IU track and field.

    "It is great to see our student-athletes recognized for what they've accomplished this season, but as always, our eyes are set on earning high rankings at the Big Ten Championships in two weeks and at the NCAA Indoor Championships in March," Helmer said.

    The Hoosiers have recorded nine marks this season that rank among the top 10 in the nation, led by NCAA Automatic qualifiers Molly Beckwith, Jeff Coover, Derek Drouin and Andy Bayer. Drouin's mark in the high jump is the best in Division I this season.

    Senior Jeff Coover captured the Tyson pole vault title for the second-consecutive year with an NCAA auto standard mark of 5.50m (18-0.5). He matched his season and career mark. After taking 42 career attempts to clear the 5.50m NCAA auto standard for the first time, it took only three attempts at the height to clear it a second time. Coover was the only jumper to clear the height.

    Coover was named Big Ten Field Athlete of the Week after his win in the pole vault at the Tyson Invitational. The award was for meets between Feb. 8-14. Coover's second weekly honor of the season is his fourth career weekly accolade for indoor track and field from the conference and his fifth including outdoor, which breaks the IU record for Big Ten Athlete of the Week awards.

    Indiana track and field director and head coach Ron Helmer said Coover's consistency at a high level of competition allows him to win awards like this one.

    "Consistency is a pole vaulter's best friend and two times in a row at over 18 feet bodes well for the rest of the season," Helmer said.

    Coover wins his fifth Big Ten Athlete of the Week award in track and field, passing IU legend Aarik Wilson for the most in school history. Wilson won two national championships in the triple jump.

    In the dual with Purdue, senior Ashley Rhoades proved to be the story of the day, breaking the IU indoor high jump record by becoming the first female Hoosier to clear six feet. Rhoades' clearance of 1.84m (6-0.5) was within one centimeter of the NCAA automatic qualifying standard.

    Proving the first time wasn't a fluke, Rhoades cleared the six-foot barrier again at the Meyo Invitational. Her clearance of 1.83m (6-0) won her the Meyo crown in the women's high jump.

    Rhoades improved her season mark with a clearance of 1.85m (6.75) to win the Big Ten high jump title. Rhoades broke the facility record at Penn State's Ashenfelter Multi-Sport Facility en route to her second career Big Ten crown. Her NCAA automatic clearance is the third-best in Division I this season.

    Sophomore Derek Drouin added yet another notch to his belt with an outstanding performance at the Big Ten Championships. The Corunna, Ontario native won his second career Big Ten title and was named Big Ten Field Athlete of the Year by the conference's coaches. Drouin set a Big Ten Championships record in the high jump with a clearance of 2.26m (7-5). His clearance was also an IU record, breaking a 26 year-old record set by Ron Jones in 1984. Every one of Drouin's clearances came on his first attempt. His clearance is the best in Division I on the season.

    Drouin began the 2010 indoor campaign with a pair of top-three finishes at the Indiana Open on Jan. 9, posting two career bests and an NCAA automatic qualifying mark. The sophomore cleared 2.24 meters (7-4.25) in the high jump.

    The height is an automatic NCAA qualifying mark and was 8.5 inches better than the next best competitor in the event. Drouin completed the day by posting a career best in the long jump, claiming third in the event with a leap of 7.08 meters (23-2.75), bettering his previous best by 60 centimeters (1-11.5).

    For his efforts at the Indiana Open, the Big Ten conference named him Big Ten Field Athlete of the week. The award marks the first weekly laurel for Drouin's career and was the first accolade for an Indiana men's field athlete since senior Jeff Coover won the award two weeks in a row in 2009.

    Drouin also ran the team's best 60m hurdle time of the season against Purdue. His time of 8.20 seconds is the sixth-fastest in school history.

    Senior Molly Beckwith was the Big Ten Champion in the 600m, running a Big Ten and IU record time of 1:27.22, which is the second fastest ever by an American. The conference title is the first of Beckwith's career. Making the 600m time more impressive is the fact that Beckwith ran a career-best time of 4:40.50 for third place in the mile earlier in the same day of competition. Beckwith's mile time ranks 13th on the descending order list.

    Beckwith recorded two NCAA qualifying marks, including an NCAA auto time in the 800-meter run on the second day of the Meyo Invitational. Her time of 2:04.50 is a new school record and the fifth fastest in the NCAA this season. The time is a half second better than the NCAA auto standard and is the first auto time of her career. Beckwith cut a full second off her own school record of 2:05.55, which she set at the Meyo Invitational last season.

    The Worthington, Ohio, native also ran the lead leg in the distance medley relay, leading the Hoosier quartet to an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 11:17.06. The time bested the IU record by more than four seconds and is among the top-10 in the nation this season.

    Beckwith was named Big Ten Track Athlete of the Week, the conference announced on Mon., Feb. 8. She collected the second weekly conference accolade of her career after running to two IU records, including her NCAA automatic qualifying time in the 800m at the Meyo Invitational.

    Indiana track and field director and head coach Ron Helmer said Beckwith ran her race plan well and was rewarded with record times. "Her performance was nothing less than what we anticipated and expected," Helmer said. "Hopefully that performance sets her up for an outstanding end to her indoor season."

    Beckwith blazed to a time of 2:06.78 in the 800m at the Indiana Open. Her time was the first provisional in Division I this season. Beckwith ran the mile at the Tyson Invitational. Her time of 4:42.23 finished fourth overall. The time was her second provisional mile time of the year, improving on the time she recorded at the Indiana Relays.

    Redshirt freshman Andy Bayer earned second team All-Big Ten honors with a second-place finish in the mile at the Big Ten Indoor Championships. His stellar indoor campaign garnered him Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors.

    A week after provisionally qualifying in the 3,000m at the Gladstein Invitational, Bayer finished fourth in the mile at the Indiana Relays, posting a time of 3:58.972. The time is the fifth-best in school history and nets him the first automatic NCAA qualification of his career. The Leo, Ind., native is the first Hoosier to break four minutes since Sean and John Jefferson did in 2005. Bayer is the fifth Hoosier to perform the feat indoors and the first to do so in Gladstein Fieldhouse. He is the 10th person with IU ties to join the U.S. Sub-4:00 Club, a list put together by Track and Field News. (Three of the Hoosiers on the list completed the feat post-collegiately.)

    In his first collegiate 3,000-meters at the Gladstein Invitational, Bayer finished as the collegiate winner while competing against six professional runners at the Gladstein Invitational. The redshirt freshman took third place in a race that saw four runners finish faster than the Gladstein Fieldhouse record. Bayer's time of 7:55.25 was faster than the 1991 3K clocked by IU legend Bob Kennedy. By eclipsing the 19-year-old mark, Bayer moves into second in the IU record books.

    His time is just .75 seconds off the NCAA Automatic qualifier and is almost 10 seconds faster than the provisional standard, marking the first NCAA provisional qualification of his career. Bayer, a native of Leo, Ind., has the nation's ninth-best time.

    Bayer was named Big Ten Track Athlete of the Week, the conference announced on Jan. 25. The award was for meets between January 17-23. Bayer wins his first weekly nod and the first indoor track honor since 2006 by a Hoosier.

    Indiana track and field director and head coach Ron Helmer was very pleased with Bayer's performance at the Gladstein Invitational and feels that the recognition is well-deserved.

    "In the young season, Andy ran the fastest time in the country and the second-fastest in school history. He is very deserving of this award. Fittingly, he is the first to win it since Stephen Haas, who holds the IU record ahead of Andy," said Helmer.

    Senior Kristen Crawford's heave of 18.96m (62-2.5) in the weight throw is the fourth best in school history and ranks 29th in Div. I. The senior bettered the provisional mark by 21 centimeters at the Indiana Relays. She is the second Hoosier to qualify in the weight throw this season, joining Faith Sherrill on the national list. The two Hoosiers have two of the best throws in the Big Ten this season.

    Against Purdue, sophomore Olu Olamigoke posted his first career provisional mark to win the triple jump. He hopped, skipped and jumped 15.48m (50-9.5), good for ninth in the impressive IU triple jump records. His jump is the 34th best in Division I this season and is the second-best in the Big Ten Conference.

    Junior Faith Sherrill continued her outstanding season at the Big Ten Championships, taking the weight throw title for her first Big Ten Championship. She also took second in the shot put, earning Athlete of the Championships honors. Sherrill improved her school record in the weight throw, recording a heave of 20.35m (66-9.25) to win by more than two and a half feet. Sherrill is currenty seventh on the national list.

    Sherrill opened the 2010 indoor campaign with a bang at the Indiana Open by breaking an IU record that stood for 18 years. Sherrill recorded a heave of 16.70m (54-9.5), obliterating her career mark of 15.05m in 2008. After redshirting last year, Sherrill moved from seventh in IU lore to better than the previous IU record, besting NCAA shot put champion Katrin Koch (1992) and Jennifer Brown (2000).

    Sherrill recorded a heave of 16.80m (55-1.5) against Purdue, improving her provisional mark and moving to within 10 centimeters of the NCAA automatic standard. She finished nearly six feet ahead of her closest competitor. Sherrill holds the seventh-best mark in Div. I.

    Sherrill recorded her second IU record of the season at the Tyson Invitational. She let go of a 70 centimeter P.R. in the weight throw, taking second place at the meet. Her heave of 20.00m (65-7.5) passes Jennifer Brown on IU's all-time list for the top spot and puts her at No. 11 on the national list. She bettered the NCAA provisional standard by 4' 1.25".

    The Big Ten Conference honored Sherrill's performance at the Indiana Open with Big Ten Field Athlete of the Week honors. It was the first weekly award for Sherrill. Tiffany Howard was the last Hoosier to win a field accolade as she won the award on Jan. 12 last season.

    Redshirt sophomore Andrew Poore broke a Gladstein Fieldhouse record that stood for 28 years, finishing the 5,000 meters in 13:48.88 at the Indiana Relays. The time is just off the NCAA auto standard of 13:47.00 and is the eighth-fastest in Division I this season. It is his second provisional qualification of the season and in his career. He moved into second in the IU record books with a nearly 22-second improvement on his career best. He trails only Stephen Haas in the IU records.

    Poore took fifth in a historic 3,000m race at the Gladstein Invitational with a time of 7:57.44. He is one of only five Hoosiers to finish the 3,000 meters in under eight minutes. His time is the fourth fastest in school history and was good enough to qualify for the NCAA Indoor meet last season. The mark was the first provisional indoor qualification of his career and currently puts him 17th on the national list.

    Sophomore Derek Drouin was named Big Ten Field Athlete of the Year when the Big Ten announced individual honorees for the indoor season on Tuesday. Three Hoosiers were named individual honorees, as redshirt freshman Andy Bayer was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year and junior Faith Sherrill was named Big Ten Field Athlete of the Championships.

    Five Hoosiers also garnered All-Big Ten honors. Drouin, Sherrill, Molly Beckwith and Ashley Rhoades were named first team All-Big Ten, while Bayer was named second team All-Big Ten. Rhoades and Bayer were also named Sportsmanship Award winners.

    Indiana track and field director and head coach Ron Helmer said the three Hoosiers show the progress his program is making.

    "These three have been outstanding this season, and the Big Ten Championships were no different," said Helmer, "It is exciting to know that these three student-athletes will all be back for at least another year of competition."

    Senior Wendi Robinson posted the sixth provisional NCAA mark of her career at the Indiana Relays. Robinson finished third in the mile, recording a time of 4:45.88. The time was just .01 seconds out of second. Robinson was well under the NCAA provisional standard of 4:47.00. Robinson is sixth in the IU record books. Teammates Molly Beckwith and Chelsea Blanchard finished ahead of Robinson in the race.

    Robinson ran a provisional qualifying time in the 3,000m at the Meyo Invitational. She finished in 9:26.55 for her third NCAA mark of the season. The time is the fifth best in school history.

    Robinson finished third in the 5,000 meters. Her time of 16:34.12 is more than 10 seconds faster than the NCAA provisional standard of 16:44.50. The time was Robinson's fourth NCAA mark of the season.

    Robinson ran the anchor leg of IU's distance medley relay at the Meyo Invitational. The group finished in 11:17.06, beating the IU record by more than four seconds. The time is nine ticks faster than the provisional standard.

    Seniors Molly Beckwith and Wendi Robinson, sophomore Jordan Gray and freshman Arianne Raby finished the D.M.R. in 11:17.06 at the Meyo Invitational, beating the IU record by more than four seconds. The time is the 16th-fastest in the nation this season and is nine seconds faster than the NCAA provisional standard. The group bettered the IU record that Beckwith and Robinson were a part of at the Meyo Invitational in 2008.

    At the Tyson Invitational, redshirt freshman Andy Bayer led the way, running a 3:58.48 split in the 1,600m anchor leg. After receiving the baton with a 3.5 second deficit to make up, Bayer caught Chris Gowell of Baylor for the win. Junior De'Sean Turner, senior Martin Stephen and sophomore Daniel Stockberger combined with Bayer to record a time of 9:38.39, the seventh-fastest in Div. I this season. They bettered the NCAA provisional standard with the fourth-fastest time in IU history.

    In the women's 3,000m Invitational at the Gladstein Invitational, sophomore Chelsea Blanchard posted her first career NCAA qualifying time. Her time of 9:31.62 beat the provisional standard. Blanchard was more than seven seconds faster than the second-place finisher and led almost the entire way in the 15-lap race.

    Blanchard ran seven seconds faster than her previous career mark in the 3k to win the Tyson Invitational crown by nearly 5.5 seconds. Her time of 9:24.66 is better than the provisional standard of 9:32.00 and is the fifth fastest in IU history. The time is Blanchard's second NCAA mark in the 3k this season, moving her up the national list by seven seconds.

    Blanchard posted her second provisional qualification in two weeks at the Indiana Relays. Blanchard finished second in the mile with a time of 4:45.87. The two runners joining Blanchard in the top three were both teammates, Molly Beckwith and Wendi Robinson.

    Blanchard improved on her mile time at the Big Ten Championships. She finished in 4:43.82 for sixth place. The time is the fifth-fastest in school history.

    Indiana has been very good in the 2010 Indoor season, and the Big Ten Conference has taken notice. In a span of six weekends, Hoosiers earned Big Ten Athlete of the Week honors six times.

    Indiana sophomore Derek Drouin and junior Faith Sherrill both were named as field athletes of the week when the Big Ten Conference office announced the first weekly indoor track and field awards of the season on Jan. 11.

    Redshirt freshman Andy Bayer garnered the honor on Jan. 25, the first of his career in track and field. He garnered the accolade in cross country on Oct. 6, 2009.

    Senior Jeff Coover claimed the fourth weekly honor of his career on Feb. 1.

    Senior Molly Beckwith claimed the honor on Feb. 8. The award is the second of Beckwith's career.

    Coover set a new school record for track and field athlete of the week awards by winning his fifth on Feb. 15.

    Freshman Arianne Raby recorded the second NCAA provisional time of her career, finishing in 2:08.60 in the 800m at the Tyson Invitational. Her time is .40 seconds better than the provisional standard and ties her for the seventh fastest in school history. Raby ran a leg on IU's record-setting distance medley relay at the Meyo Invitational. Raby, a native of Repentigny, Quebec, is a fluent French-speaker and has competed at the Francophone Games in Canada.

    Raby ran the 800m leg of IU's distance medley relay at the Meyo Invitational. The group finished in 11:17.06, beating the IU record by more than four seconds. The time is nine ticks faster than the provisional standard.

    Junior Lindsey Hartman recorded her first career NCAA provisional qualification with a medal-winning performance at the the Big Ten Indoor Championships. Hartman recorded a time of 2:08.64 for third in the 800m. She won her first Big Ten medal. Hartman is the third Hoosier to post an NCAA qualifying time in the 800m, joining Molly Beckwith and Arianne Raby.

    Junior Stephanie Chin posted her second career provisional qualifying mark in the pole vault at the Big Ten Championships. Chin cleared 4.05m (13-3.5) for fourth-place at Big Tens. Chin is one of two Hoosiers ever to clear 13 feet in the pole vault. Chin posted a career best of 4.14m (13-7) at the 2008 Alex Wilson Invitational for a berth into the NCAA Championships.

    Since his arrival at Indiana in 2007, Ron Helmer has routinely redshirted talented student-athletes, including upperclassmen, to help them develop. Several Hoosiers will compete in Cream and Crimson this season after donning the redshirt in 2009.

    Faith Sherrill redshirted during indoor and outdoor last season after a breakout campaign in 2008. Sherill will look to pick up where she left off, as she advanced to the NCAA Regional in 2008.

    Indiana's distance corps on the men's side took a hit in 2009, as six of the IU runners redshirted at least one season. Highlighting that group were redshirt freshmen Andy Bayer, Zach Mayhew and Nate Morrow and redshirt sophomores Andy Weatherford, Ben Hubers and Cole Hardacre. Bayer redshirted the indoor campaign and the three sophomores redshirted outdoors. The group helped lead Indiana to a successful cross country season that saw them enter the national rankings.

    After an indoor campaign where he earned All-America honors and a Big Ten pole vault crown, Jeff Coover sat out the outdoor season to train. Coover finished fourth at the NCAA Indoor Championships in 2009.

    IU's best threat in the 400 to 600m races sat out the 2009 campaign to get stronger as well. Senior Martin Stephen II will return in 2010 after doing heavier mileage training this summer and fall. Stephen will look to bolster an improved sprints group for the Hoosiers this season.

    After a 2009 season that included freshman phenom Derek Drouin soaring to new heights, the Hoosiers have dipped back into Canada's talent pool, hoping to bring further success across the border.

    The 2010 roster features six Canadian-born student-athletes. The Canucks are led by returning All-Americans Drouin and Ben Hubers as well as redshirt freshman Daniel Novia. New to the IU squad are freshmen Shona Dunkley, Arianne Raby and Emma Kimoto.

    Drouin, the pride of Corunna, Ontario, took second at the NCAA Indoor meet, won the Big Ten outdoor meet and the NCAA regional. He also posted wins at the Drake Relays and the Junior Pan-Am games. His clearance of 2.27m (7-5.25) at the Pan-Am games is the IU outdoor record.

    Hubers, who was born in Canada before his family moved to Georgia, earned All-America honors as a member of the IU distance medley relay team. Hubers ran the 3,200m leg on the seventh-place team at NCAAs. The Hoosiers advanced in the DMR because of an automatic qualifying time of 9:31.81 at the Alex Wilson Invite. The time is the second-fastest in school history.

    Novia redshirted in 2009. The Mississauga, Ontario native finished second at the Canadian Jr. Championships in the shot put.

    Dunkley, from Pickering, Ontario, was the runner-up in the 100m hurdles at the 2009 Canadian Jr. Championships. Kimoto was the high jump champion in British Columbia and finished fifth at the 2009 junior nationals.

    Raby, from Repentigny, Quebec, was a provincial medalist in cross country and has placed as high as second in the 800m at the Francophone Games. Raby ran cross country for IU this fall and was in the top seven at the NCAA Championships for the Hoosiers.

    Fans of IU track and field will have access to greatly expanded coverage of the Hoosiers in 2010. Media Relations contact Kyle Johnson will be covering the Hoosiers all season long on Twitter and IUHoosiers.com. His Twitter posts will include live updates from meets all season long.

    Weekly Twitvid videos, previews, recaps, photo galleries, results and much, much more will be available all season long. You can get updates sent straight to your mobile device or computer via Twitter by following Johnson at twitter.com/KJatIU.



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