March 24, 2009
Weekly Notes in PDF Format
Indiana heads to the Heart of Dixie to open the outdoor season at the Alabama Relays. The Hoosiers competed at the meet in 2008, winning ten events and posting seven regional qualifications. Senior Kiwan Lawson and sophomore Ben Hubers both posted regional qualifications at the meet last season. Lawson will make his 2009 debut, as he will finish out his eligibility with the 2009 outdoor season. The Columbus, Ohio product was an outdoor All-American in the long jump last year.
The meet will take place at Sam Bailey Track Complex on the Alabama campus in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The meet will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Thurs., March 26, at 9 a.m. on Friday, 8:30 a.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m. on Sunday. Thursday and Friday will see the multi-competitors in action, and the full meet will begin on Saturday with the men's and women's 10,000-meters kicking things off.
LAST TIME OUT
Indiana claimed seven All-America certificates at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in College Station, Texas. Leading the way for the Hoosiers was freshman Derek Drouin. Drouin claimed a national runner-up finish in the high jump, clearing 2.14m (7-0.25) for second place. Drouin was joined as an All-American by senior Jeff Coover, who took fourth in the pole vault, the distance medley team of seniors John Gunnell and Evan Bardach and sophomores Ben Hubers and De'Sean Turner, who took seventh, and junior Vera Neuenswander, who finished sixth in the pole vault.
The seven were the first All-Americans for IU since 2006, and Neuenswander is the first indoor All-American for Indiana on the women's side since 2004. The men scored 15 points, which was good for 14th place. The point total is the ninth highest indoor total in school history, and the 14th place finish and team point total are the best since 2005, when Aarik Wilson won two national titles by himself.
Coover cleared three heights on the way to fourth place, earning the Hoosiers five team points. All three clearances came on his first attempt, with the biggest coming at 5.35m (17-6.5).
The D.M.R. team took second in the first heat of the relay. Their time was good for seventh place in the two-heat final, garnering the IU quartet All-American honors. The group became the first All-Americans in the D.M.R. in school history.
Neuenswander is the first ever All-American in the pole vault for the IU women's program, and the first indoor All-American in any event since Ara Towns in 2004. She cleared 4.15m (13-7.25), which put her in a tie for sixth with Melissa Gergel of Oregon and KC Dahlgren of Idaho.
FRESHMAN DROUIN MAKING A MARK IN HIS DEBUT CAMPAIGN
Freshman Derek Drouin turned a good indoor season into a great indoor season on day two at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Drouin took second place in the high jump for the best finish by a Hoosier since David Neville took second in the 400-meters in 2006.
Drouin cleared 2.14m (7-0.25) for second place, successfully clearing on his first two jumps in the competition. Only Kansas State's Scott Sellers cleared the third height, claiming first place. Because he had zero misses on the first two heights, Drouin held the tie-breakers to get himself into second place.
The Corrunna, Ontario native is the fourth Hoosier all-time to take the silver in the high jump, joining Gary Haupert (1970), Dennis Adama (1974) and Ron Jones (1984) as national runners-up in the event. He is also the 13th All-American high jumper in IU history. His finish earned the Indiana men eight points for a total of 15, which is the most since 2005, when Aarik Wilson claimed two national titles. The point total is the ninth highest indoor total in school history, and the 14th place team finish is the best since 2005 as well.
Drouin took second in the high jump at the Big Ten Indoor Championships. Drouin's second place finish was good for eight team points. The Corunna, Ontario native matched his career best mark with a clearance of 2.18m (7-1.75). He was just three centimeters out of first place.
COOVER IS ALL-AMERICAN, GREAT LAKES REGION ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Senior Jeff Coover took fourth place in the pole vault on day one at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. Coover earned All-America honors with his efforts. Coover is an All-American for the second time in his career. He took seventh at the 2008 outdoor championships.
Coover cleared three heights on the way to fourth place, earning the Hoosiers five team points. All three clearances came on his first attempt, with the biggest coming at 5.35m (17-6.5). By clearing the height on his first jump, Coover beat out the fifth and sixth-place finishers who both cleared 5.35m on their third try. Coover had three good attempts at 5.45m (17-10.5), but he was unable to match his career best with a clearance. The first place finisher in the event, Jason Colwick of Rice, cleared 5.60m (18-4.5). Coover will get the opportunity to return in 2010, as he holds junior eligibility.
The National Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association announced the regional and national athletes of the year on Thurs. March 12. Indiana junior Jeff Coover garnered the Field Athlete of the Year Honor for the Great Lakes Region.
Indiana director and head coach Ron Helmer said that Coover earned the award by competing at a high level from start to finish over the course of the season.
"Jeff was appropriately recognized by the coaches in our region for both his outstanding performance this season and his incredible consistency," Helmer said.
VERA IS ALL-TIME BEST AT IU
Junior Vera Neuenswander took sixth in the pole vault at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in College Station, Texas. Neuenswander is the first ever All-American in the pole vault for the IU women's program, and the first indoor All-American in any event since Ara Towns in 2004.
She cleared 4.15m (13-7.25), which put her in a tie for sixth with Melissa Gergel of Oregon and KC Dahlgren of Idaho. Because the all three cleared the first two heights on the first attempt and the third height on the second attempt, the tie isn't broken. Neuenswander earned two team points for Indiana, the first team points for the IU women at the indoor meet since 2004.
Neuenswander took fourth place at the Tyson Invite. Neuenswander broke her own IU record with a clearance of 4.20m (13-9.25). She matched the automatic qualifying standard, ensuring her spot in the national meet. Neuenswander improved her IU record by five centimeters.
Neuenswander tied for third at the Big Ten meet, clearing 3.97m (13-0.25). The finish earned 5.5 team points for the Hoosiers.
MEN'S DMR RUNS AUTO TIME, SECOND-FASTEST IN IU HISTORY
The distance medley relay team of seniors John Gunnell and Evan Bardach and sophomores De'Sean Turner and Ben Hubers took second in the first heat of the relay. Their time was good for seventh place in the two-heat final, garnering the IU quartet All-American honors.
Gunnell, Bardach, Turner and Hubers finished in 9:37.47, slower than their automatic qualifying time from a week earlier, but still the fourth fastest in the IU record books. Hubers moved from fourth to second on the last straightaway, out-leaning the runners from Georgetown and Penn State for second place and the All-American finish. The group became the first All-Americans in the D.M.R. in school history. The finish earned Indiana two team points.
BECKWITH WRITES HER NAME THROUGHOUT IU RECORD BOOKS
Molly Beckwith has had one of the best indoor seasons in IU history. Beckwith took home three Big Ten medals on day two at the Big Ten Indoor Championships, leading the Hoosiers to a fourth-place finish, the best for IU since 2003. Beckwith took second in the 400-meters and the 600-meters and led the 4x400m relay team to third.
Beckwith saw eerily similar results in the 400m and 600m finals. She finished second in both events to runners from the opposite heat of the two heat finals. Beckwith recorded career bests in both events, finishing in 54.67 in the 400, less than a second out of first.
In the 600m final, she was .18 seconds out of first with her IU record time of 1:27.96. She improved more than a full second on the IU record she set earlier this season. In the relay, Beckwith ran the fastest leg, leading the Hoosiers to the fourth-fastest time in IU lore. Just 1.5 seconds slower than the provisional qualifying mark, their time of 3:41.50 was more than a second faster than the quartet's season best.
Senior Molly Beckwith improved her provisional mark and school record in the 800m run at the Meyo Invitational. Her time of 2:05.55 is the ninth best in Division I and the third best in the Big Ten.
Beckwith also provisionally qualified as a member of the distance medley relay team. Their time at the Meyo Invite is the second best in IU history, slower than only the relay team that she helped to the record in 2008.
Beckwith took tenth in the 800-meters at the NCAA Indoor Championships. She finished third in her heat and was just shy of qualifying for the event finals.
FORECAST CALLS FOR WENDI CONDITIONS AT NCAAS
Senior Wendi Robinson took fifth in the 5,000m run at Big Tens. She solidified her spot in the national meet with a time of 16:09.67. She earned the team four points with her fifth-place finish. Robinson finished 14th in the 5,000-meters at the NCAA Indoor Championships.
Robinson improved her provisional qualification in the 3,000-meters at the Big Ten Indoor Championships, finishing in 9:26.69 to shed nearly two seconds off of her mark this season and her career best. Her time is the fifth best in IU history. The mark was good for fourth-place in the impressive field of Big Ten runners. She earned five team points.
Robinson provisionally qualified as a member of the distance medley relay team as well at the Meyo Invite. The group recorded the second fastest time in school history, slower than only the school record setting group that Robinson led last season.
RHOADES RAISES THE BAR
Junior Ashley Rhoades posted the first provisional qualification of her career to win the women's high jump at the Indiana Invite. Rhoades' clearance of 1.79m (5-10.5) is a career best and the second best in IU history. The jump also tied for the best in the Big Ten on the 2009 season. Rhoades is now just two centimeters shy of the IU record. This win comes on the heels of a win at the Indiana Open.
HOWARD WINS BIG TEN SHOT PUT
Senior Tiffany Howard took a convincing win in the shot put for her first career Big Ten title on day one of the Big Ten Indoor Championships. Howard's championship scored 10 team points for the Hoosiers and was a big reason why they finished in fourth place with 69.5 points.
Howard matched her career mark with her winning toss of 15.83m (51-11.25) and was more than a foot better than the second place finisher. The mark is the fourth best in IU history. Howard is the first Hoosier to win a Big Ten Indoor shot put crown since Heather Brown in 2000. The title is the senior's second conference honor of the season.
The Big Ten Conference announced the Big Ten track and field athletes of the week for the week of Jan. 3-10, and Indiana's Tiffany Howard was selected as the field honoree. Howard posted an NCAA provisional qualification in the shot put to win the event at the Indiana Open.
Indiana track and field director and head coach Ron Helmer said that the award could be a sign of things to come for Howard and the rest of the IU throwers under the direction of assistant coach Jermaine Jones.
"Tiffany has worked very hard in preparation for her senior year," Helmer said. "It is very exciting to see her hard work start to pay off with a great early season personal record. Both Tiffany and Coach Jones should be very excited about her potential for success this year."
Howard improved her indoor best by 1.5 meters (previous best was 14.33m) in her winning effort. Her heave of 15.83m (51-11.25) was 76 centimeters better than Faith Sherrill who came in second while competing unattached. She bettered the NCAA provisional standard by 63 centimeters. The mark is the fourth best in the IU record books and the 14th-best in Division I this season. Her mark is more than 10 inches better than her closest Big Ten competitor this season.
BARDACH, TURNER JOIN IU ELITE IN THE 800M
Sophomore De'Sean Turner moved into fifth in the IU record books, cutting just over two seconds off of his previous career best in the 800m with his time of 1:50.08 at the Meyo Invitational. Turner moved into elite company, as he bypassed IU legend Mark Deady on the all-time list and sits just .01 seconds behind another former IU great, Ryan Huber. His time is the sixth best in the Big Ten this season.
Turner also posted an automatice qualification on the season as a member of the distance medley relay team, joining seniors Evan Bardach and John Gunnell and sophomore Ben Hubers. The team's time of 9:31.81 is the second best in IU history.
Bardach posted his first career provisional qualification at the Big Ten Championships. His time of 1:50.19 was the fastest time in the prelims of the 800m at Big Tens. He is now eighth in the IU record books, moving past Deady and behind Turner.
STEPHEN STEPS UP HIS GAME, STEPS INTO IU RECORDS
Sophomore Ben Stephen drew huge cheers with his career-best toss of 18.18m (59-7.75) at the Indiana Open. The shot put was the last event to finish up, and Stephen made sure to end the meet with a bang.
His toss was 1.19 meters better than Steve Hnat's second-place throw. He bettered the provisional standard by 43 centimeters. His mark is the eighth best in Hoosier history. Stephen has the third-best heave in the Big Ten this season. Stephen also had a career-best heave of 17.14m (56-2.75) in the weight throw. His mark in the weight throw is the seventh best ever at IU.
Stephen continued his breakout season by winning a collegiate championship at the Tyson Invitational. Stephen posted the second-best throw of his career to win the title in the shot put. His mark of 18.04m (59-2.25) was more than four feet better than his closest competitor and was 29 centimeters better than the provisional NCAA standard. Keith Lloyd of Nebraska took second with a heave of 16.78m.
MCLEOD OVERTAKES IU LEGEND IN THE 5,000M RUN
Senior Timothy McLeod was the collegiate champ in the invitational section of the 5,000m finishing behind four professionals at the Indiana Relays. His time of 14:09.67 is a provisional qualifying time and moves him into seventh in the IU record books. The Tuscon, Ariz., native surpassed one of Indiana's all-time greats in Bob Kennedy. McLeod was just the second athlete in Division I to post a provisional mark in the event in 2009.
Freshman Olumide Olamigoke got past the seven-meter barrier in the men's long jump, leaping 7.11m (23-4) for the collegiate title at the Indiana Relays. He finished behind only unattached John Berry. In his young career Olamigoke has already moved into striking distance of the impressive marks in the IU record books. His career best is less than two feet from entering Indiana's all-time top-ten. He is also just 39 centimeters shy of the NCAA provisional mark.
In the triple jump, Olamigoke has the Big Ten's second-best mark this season, behind only senior Clarence Smith of Penn State. He also holds the conference's fifth-best mark in the long jump.
Olamigoke took third in the triple jump at the Big Ten Indoor Championships. The freshman from Virginia hopped, skipped and jumped 14.98m (49-1.75). He joins a long Hoosier tradition of medalists in the long and triple jumps. He won IU six team points.
HARDACRE TAKES TYSON CROWN
Hardacre took the collegiate crown in the 3,000m at the Tyson Invitational, finishing less than a half second behind unattached runner Kevin Williams.
Hardacre also finished fifth in the 3,000-meters at the Big Ten Indoor Championships. He shed more than four seconds off of his career best with his 8:09.12 finish.
Hardacre finished just behind fellow sophomore Andrew Poore in the 3K at Big Tens. Poore finished in 8:08.59 to improve his career best by exactly six seconds, taking fourth place. Poore took fifth in the 5,000-meters. He finished in 14.11.28, beating Jacob Nachel across the line for fifth. He inched out the Illinois runner by .03 seconds.
RELAY TEAMS BREAK INTO STRIDE
The Hoosiers took third in the 4x400m relay at the Big Ten Championships. Seniors Audrey Smoot and Molly Beckwith, freshman Ann-Marie Clarke and junior Kayla Smith joined forces for a bronze-medal effort in the relay. Beckwith ran the fastest leg, leading the Hoosiers to the fourth-fastest time in IU lore. Just 1.5 seconds slower than the provisional qualifying mark, their time of 3:41.50 was more than a second faster than the quartet's season best.
For the second straight year, the Hoosiers have provisionally qualified in the women's distance medley relay. Beckwith, Clarke, Smoot and Wendi Robinson posted a mark of 11:23.91 at the Meyo Invite. The time is the second best in IU history and ranks as the third best in the Big Ten this season. The time ranks as the 19th best in Division I this season.
In the 4x800m relay, a quartet of sophomores dominated for the Hoosiers at the Indiana Relays. Daniel Stockberger, Ben Hubers, Andy Weatherford and De'Sean Turner won the relay by nearly eight seconds. Their time of 7:35.48 is the fifth fastest in IU history. The team defeated a talented field that included solid teams from Rend Lake College and Michigan.
The Indiana team won the distance medley relay at the Indiana Relays. Freshmen Breanne Ehrman, Jordan Gray and Chelsea Blanchard and senior Courtney Freiberger finished in 11:54.77 for an eleven second victory. The group finished 100 meters ahead of the Xavier team that took second place.