Bayer, Coover and Engel Named Big Ten Athletes of the Week
March 31, 2010
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Sophomore Andy Bayer, senior Jeff Coover and sophomore Caitlin Engel have been named Big Ten Track and Field Athletes of the week for the first week of the outdoor season, the conference has announced. Bayer and Coover each posted marks over the weekend that rank third in Division I on the season. Engel posted a win over the weekend with the fourth-fastest time in school history in the 3,000m steeplechase.
Indiana director and head coach Ron Helmer said that his student-athletes showed great competitiveness in the first weekend of the outdoor season.
"Our student-athletes went out looking to compete in our first weekend outdoors, and I'm very pleased with the performances they were able to record," Helmer said. "This was a good start to the outdoor season, and we need to build on it."
Bayer led a talented crop of Hoosier runners at the Stanford Invitational on Friday, placing third in the 5,000-meter run and crossing the finish line in 13:45.75. His effort stands as the third-best time in Division I this season and is the fifth-fastest in school history, behind only IU legends Bob Kennedy, Jim Spivey, Terry Brahm and Stephen Haas.
This is the first Big Ten Outdoor Athlete of the Week award for the Leo, Ind., native. Bayer also has Big Ten Athlete of the Week awards to his credit during the indoor and cross country seasons.
Coover kicked off the 2010 outdoor season by claiming top honors in the pole vault competition on the final day at the Alabama Relays in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The La Jolla, Calif., native cleared 5.35m (17-6.5) to better the field by a foot and nearly six inches for the individual title. His clearance was just a centimeter off his outdoor career best and ranks as the third-best mark in Division I this season.
The selection marks the first Big Ten Outdoor Field Athlete of the Week award for Coover since he collected his first weekly honor as a junior in April 2008. Coover has won four indoor weekly honors from the conference, including two in 2010, and his six career weekly honors are matched only by Kennedy in IU history. Kennedy garnered three honors in cross country and three during the indoor season.
Engel claimed top honors in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the Alabama Relays on Saturday. The product of Indiana was the first to cross the line in a time of 10:46.67. The mark is the fourth-fastest in IU history and the 18th-best in Division I this season. Engel closed out the weekend by contributing to Indiana's runner-up finish in the 4x1,500-meter relay with a time of 19:16.70. This is the first Big Ten Outdoor Track Athlete of the Week award for Engel's career.
The Hoosiers return to action at the Border Battle "Kentuckiana" on April 10 in Louisville. For complete coverage of IU track and field, stay tuned to IUHoosiers.com.
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