IU Women Finish t-Eighth at the NCAA Championships
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FINAL RESULTS FAYETTVILLE, Ark. -- In front of a crowd of 5,583, the second largest in the Randal Tyson Track Center on the campus of the University of Arkansas, Indianas Aarik Wilson finished second in the Triple Jump, setting a new Indiana record and personal-best with his mark of 16.99m (55-09.00). Another stellar performance for the mens team was John Jefferson who finished second in the Mile. The Hoosiers women finished t-eighth with UCLA amassing 24 team points. The LSU womens track and field team accumulated 62 points, capturing the team title. On the mens side, Arkansas collected 52 points to attain the championship and the IU men finished ninth with 19 points.
On the mens and womens side together we brought down five athletes and everyone performed third or better in at least one of their events, that is just fantastic, head coach Marshall Goss said. Coach (Robert) Chapman and coach (Wayne) Pate have just done an incredible job with John Jefferson and Aarik Wilson. We are very excited with our team finishes as well. We are also very excited about what can happen outdoors coming off of this.
After posting a personal-best, sixth place, performance in Fridays Long Jump Event, Aarik Wilson competed in his second event of the 2003 NCAA Championship in the Triple Jump today. Wilson, who finished fourth in 2002 NCAA Championship, entered the event ranked fourth nationally with a personal-best jump of 16.56m (54-4.00) which he achieved at the Cannon IV Classic on Feb. 14, 2003. This mark is also the second best indoor distance in Indiana history.
Wilsons fifth jump of the day not only secured his second place finish but it also improved his personal-best by over a foot as he posted a new Indiana University Triple Jump record of 16.99m (55-09.00). Wilson surpassed Robert Cannons March 10, 1979 NCAA jump of 16.67m (54-8.5).
Aarik not only destroyed the indoor record but he destroyed the outdoor record, Goss said. I told him that I was most impressed with his Long Jump performance coming into today, but I take that back because I am now most impressed with his Triple Jump performance. To be most impressed in two events is pretty darn good!
Sophomore John Jeffersons time of 4:06.68 in Fridays Mile competition advanced him to todays finals where he pulled from behind to finish second in a time of 4:06.46. Jefferson bettered his placement from last years NCAA Championship where he finished 10th, earning All-American honors.
Jefferson stayed in the middle of the pack for the majority of the race, falling off to ninth with a quarter of the race remaining. Using his most favorable asset, Jefferson broke through the crowd in the final 180 meters passing Luke Watson from Notre Dame to take second place. The winner of the competition was Arkansas Chris Mulvaney who finished in 4:05.70.
In yesterdays race the first heat went out really slow and being in the second heat is a huge advantage, so we knew that we had to take a look at what the first heat ran and when it went out slow we basically knew had to make sure the pace is somewhat honest and dont come in last, distance coach Robert Chapman said. Going into today we knew that Johns best asset was his kick so we were hoping for a slow race where he could use his speed to be a factor. But then again, Johns weakness is that in the third quarter of the race he tends to back off. He had an incredible kick in the final 180 meters, going from ninth to second. It is great because he has always wanted to be a national competitor and last year he got his feet wet and now he is a national player.
Rachelle Boone entered the finals of the 60m-dash owning the nations second-best time of 7.21 this season. Boone achieved this personal-best time in the Big Ten semifinal race on March 1, 2003. Boone recorded the third fastest time in Fridays preliminary race with a time of 7.25 and finished ninth in todays finals with a time of 7.35.
The winner of the 60m Event in a time of 7.17 was LSUs Muna Lee who captured her third 2003 NCAA title. In Fridays competition Lee took first in the Long Jump and today she captured the Triple Jump and the 60m championships. Lee also became the new world leader with her preliminary time of 22.49 in the 200m-dash. In addition this mark broke the NCAA Meet time of 22.82 (which Lee set in last year's Championship), the collegiate time of 22.79 and lastly the Randal Tyson Track Center time of 22.63. The only time that Lee did not beat is the American record that was set by Gwen Torrence on March 2, 1996.
The men and women track and field teams are back in action on March 28 to open its outdoor track and field season in Gainsville, Fla., at the Florida Relays.