OUTDOOR SEASON IS HERE Indiana starts its outdoor track and field season this weekend when the Hoosiers fan out to the Florida Relays in Gainesville and the Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto. Both are all-day events.
WHO'S GOING WHERE? Both the Hoosier men's distance and women's distance runners will compete at the Stanford Invitational, with the men's and women's throwers, jumpers, sprinters and vaulters competing at the Florida Relays.
HOW TO GET RESULTS For post-event results and recap, visit the official web site of Indiana athletics, iuhoosiers.com. Final results from each day will be posted upon completion of the day's action.
WILSON BACK ON THE SCENE Junior Aarik Wilson, the 2003 Big Ten Outdoor Champion in both the long jump and triple jump and the 2002 Outdoor National Runner-up in the triple jump will compete during the outdoor season after redshirting the indoor season in preparation for Olympic qualifying.
Junior distance runner John Jefferson, the 2003 Big Ten Outdoor Runner-up in the 1,500 meter run as well as the 2003 Indoor runner-up in the mile run continues to battle a persistent leg injury that forced him to sit out of the indoor season, but heads into the outdoor season with the approach that he will compete.
NATIONAL CHAMPION IS ONE TO WATCH Sophomore Sean Jefferson put an exclamation point on the 2004 Indoor season by winning the national championship in the mile run with a time of 4:00.16. Jefferson's time not only marked a personal best and the fourth-best time in school history, but it was his second four-minute mile of the indoor season. He ran a 4:00.83 at the Indiana Invitational five weeks earlier.
On the women's side, junior Ara Towns figures to lead the way. A two-time Outdoor All-American and Outdoor Big Ten champion as part of Indiana's 4x100 meter relay team, Towns is the Hoosiers' top returning sprinter and was Indiana's lone representative at the NCAA Indoor Championships.
HIGHLIGHTS OF LAST YEAR'S FLORIDA RELAYS Aarik Wilson turned in his best performance of the 2003 outdoor season at the Florida Relays, emerging as the champion in both the triple jump and the long jump. Wilson posted a 16.69m/54-9.25 in the triple jump and a 7.89m/25-10.75 in the long jump. He was recognized as Big Ten Athlete of the Week for his effort.
On the women's side, Rose Richmond also earned Big Ten Athlete of the Week after her showing in the long jump, winning the event championship with a 6.42m/21-00.75 performance.
HIGHLIGHTS OF LAST YEAR'S STANFORD INVITATIONAL Jessica Gall took second in her section of the 5000m (16:49.53), and Julie Shields (17:07.87) was eighth in the same section at the 2003 Stanford Invitational.
INDIANA AT THE 2004 NCAA INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS In addition to Sean Jefferson's national championship in the mile run at the NCAA Indoor Championships, junior Ara Towns (60 meter dash), sophomore David Neville (200 meter dash) and the men's distance medley relay team of junior Russell Hollis, senior Rodney Hollis, junior Eric Redman and Neville competed in the 2004 NCAA Track and Field Championships.
Neville earned All-American recognition in the 200 meters, finishing seventh in the event with a personal-best time of 20.92, while Towns did not qualify for the event final with a 7.39 that placed her 12th in the preliminary round. With Russell Hollis filling in for Sean Jefferson on the distance medley relay team, the squad finished 13th with a 9:56.63.
DISTANCE MEDLEY SQUAD SETS INDOOR RECORD Indiana's distance medley relay team of Eric Redman, David Neville, Rodney Hollis and Sean Jefferson broke the school record at the Tyson Invitational. The quartet's time of 9:31.26 was the third-best time in the country during the indoor season, shattered the school record by 10 seconds.
Redman opened the relay by running the 1200m in 2:56.5. David Neville followed with a 46.1 split in the 400m, and Rodney Hollis finished the 800m leg in 1:48.3. Sean Jefferson anchored the distance medley relay at 1600m and finished in 4:00.1.
MORE ON THE DMR Indiana's distance medley relay performance was extremely impressive when you consider the following:
IU now ranks as the No. 7 school indoors all-time (the only schools to run faster are Stanford, Arkansas, Villanova, Alabama, Michigan, and Georgetown).
Because all four of IU's relay legs are American born, the 9:31.24 ranks as the sixth-best U.S. indoor performance of all-time and ranks as the No. 3 school indoors all-time with an all-US squad (behind Stan ford and Alabama).
The Hoosier relay also came very close to the American record, which is 9:28.83 by Stanford in 2000. Indiana is just 2.41 seconds from the American record.
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.
MEN RANKED NATIONALLY According to Trackwire's March 9 Top 25 poll, the Indiana men's team ranks tied for 16th nationally. The Hoosiers are one of six Big Ten Conference squads to appear in the poll. Michigan leads the way at fifth. Minnesota is eighth, Ohio State ranks tied for No. 11, Purdue is tied for 18th and Wisconsin is tied at the No. 22 spot.
INDIANA RELAYS TO MAKE HISTORY The Robert C. Haugh Track and Field Complex on the Indiana University campus plays host to the biggest meet in the state of Indiana this year from April 9-10.
This year's relays are set to begin at 4 p.m. on April 9, making it the first event held under the new lights at the Robert C. Haugh Track and Field Complex. Action begins at 10 a.m. on April 10.
The 2004 Indiana Relays will not only bring some of the top collegiate talent to Bloomington for a scored meet, but it will also showcase some of the top high school talent from the state and give high school teams a chance to compete in advance at the site of the IHSAA Track and Field Championships, held June 5 at the Robert C. Haugh Track and Field Complex.
The rich tradition of Indiana track and field will be on display, as Indiana's former Olympians will be honored as part of the meet. In addition, both the Haugh and Gladstein families will also be recognized as part of the event. The two families are the namesakes of Indiana's outdoor and indoor track facilities, respectively.
COACH'S CORNER Randy Heisler, who has served as the head women's coach since 1999, took over the men's program in a collaborative coaching effort beginning in the 2004 season.
Heisler assumed the duties of Marshall Goss with the men's program. Goss announced his retirement from coaching and is now serving a new role as an assistant athletics director at IU.
A former Olympic athlete, Heisler has directed the resurgence of the Indiana women's track and field program over the last five seasons. He led the Hoosier women to their highest finish ever at the 2003 NCAA Outdoor Championship. IU finished sixth in the team standings behind five top-five performances, including an American collegiate record and a national title by senior javelin thrower Ira Kharun.
Indiana has won three Big Ten women's championships in his five years as head coach. The Hoosiers captured the conference indoor title in 2000 and won the outdoor title in both 2000 and 2001.
His first indoor season as head coach on the men's side resulted in sophomore Sean Jefferson winning the national championship in the mile. In doing so, Jefferson became the first male national champion at Indiana since 1993.
In addition, Wayne Pate (horizontal jumps, high jumpers) and Ed Beathea (sprints) were promoted to associate head coaches for the men's and women's track and field programs. Judy Wilson and Robert Chapman continue to serve as head cross country coaches and assistant track and field coaches.