BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -The Indiana track and field teams head to the 2004 Big Ten Outdoor Championships this weekend, May 14-16. This years championships are hosted by Purdue and all competition will take place at the Rankin Track and Field in West Lafayette. The first event, the decathlon 100-meters is set to begin on Friday at Noon. The mens 4x400m relay is the final event of the weekend and is slated to begin at 3:45 p.m. on Sunday.
HOW TO GET RESULTS Visit bigten.org for complete coverage, including live updates, of this year's Championships. For post-event results and recap, visit the official web site of Indiana athletics, iuhoosiers.com. Final results will be posted upon completion of the days action.
RECAP OF BILLY HAYES INVITATIONAL On Friday, May 7, at the 26th annual Billy Hayes Invite, the Indiana men and womens teams had solid performances. The men were highlighted by the relay teams, both of which finished first.
The 4x100m relay team of Kiwan Lawson, Andre Grimes and IU football players Herana-Daze Jones and Courtney Roby hadnt run together prior to the meet, but proved they were stronger than the competition. Neck and neck with Indiana State, Roby, the anchor of the team, kicked it into high gear down the straight away and ended up winning by a nose clocking in a time of 40.73.
The 4x400m relay team of Trey Warfield, Kevin Kempf, David Neville and Andre Grimes got off to a rather slow start but things changed when speedster Neville, the third-leg for the Hoosiers, received the baton. Neville took off and quickly moved ahead of the pack, helping the Hoosiers go from second-to-last place to first. The team turned in a season-best regional qualifying time of 3:09.86.
In addition to these great relays, two new Hoosiers, Russell Hollis and Lawson were added to the NCAA Regional Qualifying list. Hollis clocked in a personal best time of 1:50.60 in the 800m and Lawson turned in a personal best in the long jump with a leap of 7.49m (24-07.00). Ryan Ketchum was already qualified in the shot put, but updated that mark with a personal-best heave of 18.71m (61-04.75)
The IU team also got personal bests from Aarik Wilson, Greg Garrett, Andy Shives, Stephen Haas, Matt Sweetman and Charlie Koeppen. Wilson took a break from taking part in his normal jumping events and ran a 11.03 in the 100m, Garrett turned in a time of 11.16 in the 100m, Shives ran a 22.45 in the 200m and Haas ran a 3:49.73 in section A of the 1500m.
In the last running event of the evening, two Hoosiers went out in a strong fashion as Sweetman and Koeppen both turned in PRs in the 3000m steeplechase with times of 9:10.22 and 9:27.11 respectively.
On the womens side, one of the best races of the night was the 1500-meter. In this event, four out of five Hoosiers turned in personal bests as Audrey Giesler clocked in a time of 4:31.35, Kelly Siefker shaved seven seconds off her previous personal best with a time of 4:31.38, Julie Shields turned in a 4:43.09, Kristin Whitezell ran a 4:45.36.
Hurdler Courtney Johnson, who has made steady improvement over the last few weeks turned in yet another personal best in the 100m hurdles with a regional qualifying time of 13.55, good for a first-place finish.
Also turning in personal bests was Abby Paul in the pole vault after she cleared a height of 3.45m (11-03.75) and Abby Rinker in the hammer throw with a heave of 44.23m (145-01.00).
LAST YEAR AT BIG TENS At last years Big Ten Championship meet, Indiana was the only Big Ten school to have both its mens and womens track and field teams each finish among the top three in the league championships. The Hoosier women finished tied for second with Penn State at 124 points, while the men posted their best finish since 1992. Indiana was third with 113 points.
Michigan won the womens crown with 137 points, followed by Penn State and IU at 124 each, Ohio State at 83, Wisconsin (74), Iowa (70), Illinois (66), Purdue (49), Minnesota (47) and Michigan State (45).
The host Gophers captured the mens crown with a record 168.5, followed by Purdue (148), Indiana (113), Ohio State (111.5), Penn State (81), Wisconsin (61), Michigan (56), Illinois (44), Iowa (27) and Michigan State (9).
The womens 4x100 relay team of Rose Richmond, Rachelle Boone, Ara Towns and Danielle Carruthers posted the Hoosiers first championship, recording a season-best time of 44.06. This marked the fourth straight year that the Hoosiers won the womens 4x100.
A pair of fifth-year senior pole vaulters, Dino Efthimou and Ian Curry, closed their Big Ten careers on an impressive note, taking the top two spots in their event. Each athlete cleared 5.10m/16-8.75.
One day after winning the long jump title, Aarik Wilson successfully defended his league triple jump crown, leaping 16.61m/54-6. Indianas Hasaan Reddick came in third with a season-best 15.79m/51-9.75.
Indianas final individual title of the day came in the womens 200m, where Boone finished with a career-best 22.87. The 200m victory was sweet redemption for Indianas All-American sprinter who finished third in the 100 (11.51).
In addition to anchoring the womens 4x100 relay, Carruthers also finished second in the 100m (11.5) and the 100m hurdles (12.95).
The Hoosier women also received steady performances in the middle and long distance events. Larra Overton (personal-best 2:10.76) and Stephanie Magley (2:12.44) took fourth and seventh, respectively, in the 800m. Mindy Peterson had the top qualifying time in the 1500m and finished fifth in the final at 4:28.91. And one day after she set the Big Ten record in the 3000m steeplechase, Audrey Giesler placed sixth in the 5000m (personal-best 17:01.21).
Junior Lauren Chesnut, a transfer from George Mason, broke her own school record in the triple jump, placing fourth overall at 13.0m/42-8.
For the men, John Jefferson placed second in the 1500m (3:53.54), Pat Miller placed third in the javelin (65.22/214-0) and Matt Harris finished fourth in the 110 hurdles (14.26).
Daniel Martin took fifth in the 400 hurdles (52.37), and the 4x100 relay team of Martin, Andre Grimes, Harris and Ryan Sarbinoff placed fifth in 41.02. Chris Powers finished seventh in the 5000m (14:33.97), Sarbinoff took seventh in the 400m (48.78) and Ryan Ketchum took seventh in the shot (17.10m/56-1.25).
FOUR HOOSIERS ATTEMPT TO QUALIFY FOR OLYMPIC TRIALS On Friday, April 30, four Hoosiers traveled out west to take part in the Cardinal Invitational at the Cobb Track & Angell Field in an attempt to qualify for the Olympic Trials.
The team had two Hoosiers that likely succeeded in doing just that. Tom Burns, who ran unattached in the 3000-meter steeplechase finished 13th overall with a life-time best 8:42.45. This time keeps him fourth on IU all-time list behind Steve Kelly (8:42.2), Charles Marsala (8:38.02) and Tom Chorny (8:30.97). Burns missed the Olympic Trial B standard by .35 seconds however, still has a decent shot at getting into the trials with this time.
Joining him was Chris Powers, who competed in Section A of the 5000m and clocked in an impressive time of 13:48. 45. Powers shaved 12 seconds off his previous personal best (14:00.43) and this also puts him fourth on IUs all-time list behind Terry Brahm (13:38.04), Jim Spivey (13:33.47) and Bob Kennedy (13:22.17). Powers found himself in the same situation as Burns, just barely missing the Olympic B standard time by .45 seconds however, is still likely to get in the trials.
Sean Jefferson, the 2004 NCAA Indoor Champion in the mile competed in Section A of the 1500m and finished 11th overall with a time of 3:47.95.
Stephen Haas competed in Section B of the 5000m. Haas took the lead at 2000-meters, pressed and held the lead to 3200 meters, but then suffered a cramp. He went from about 1st to 20th in half a lap, wasnt able to shake the cramp off, and had to step off the track.
TWO HOOSIER FOOTBALL PLAYERS JOIN TRACK TEAM Courtney Roby and Herana-Daze Jones of the IU football team have both joined the track and field team just prior to the Billy Hayes Invitational on May 7. Roby was quiet impressive during last weekends meet. The Indianapolis, Ind., native had only practiced with the team for one week, but ran the second fastest time on the team in the 100-meter (10.70), behind Andre Grimes time of 10.61.
Roby also competed during the indoor track season in the 60-meter dash and posted a personal and team-best time of 6.90 at the Hoosier Hills Invite.
QUICK TO QUALIFY Below is a list of athletes who have their ticket punched to the NCAA Regional meet which is on May 28-29 at LSU.
Ara Towns, 100m, 11.69
Kelly Siefker, 3000m Steeplechase, 10:26.84
Audrey Giesler, 3000m Steeplechase, 10:27.09
Audrey Giesler, 5000m, 16:44.88
Lauren Chesnut,Triple Jump 12.65m (41-06.00)
Andrea Dalla Rosa, Shot Put, 14.90m (140-06.00)
Jennifer Cobbina, Long Jump, 6.00m (19-08.25)
Kristin Whitezell, 3000m Steeplechase, 10:48.75
Jessica Gall, 5000m, 16:51.01
Courtney Johnson, 100m H, 13.55
Stacey Clausing, 200m, 23.80
Indiana "A" 4x400m Relay Team, 3:42.14
David Neville, 200m, 20.83
David Neville, 400m, 46.18
Rodney Hollis, 800m, 1:48.69
Sean Jefferson, 1500m, 3:40.90
Sean Jefferson, 5000m 14:18.35
Chris Powers, 5000m, 13:48.45
Aarik Wilson, Long Jump, 7.73m (25-04.50)
Aarik Wilson, Triple Jump, 16.85m (55-03.50)
Ryan Ketchum, Discus, 53.74m (176-04.00)
Ryan Ketchum, Shot Put, 18.71m (61-04.75)
Mike Minton, Shot Put, 17.30m(56-09.25)
Mike Minton, Discus, 51.59m (169-03.00)
Wil Fleming, Hammer Throw, 60.61m (198-10.00)
Stephen Haas, 1500m, 14:12.73
Jake Wiseman, Javelin, 62.24m (204-02.00)
Marcus Aguilar, 3000m Steeplechase, 9:05.71
Russell Hollis, 800m, 1:50.60
Kiwan Lawson, Long Jump, 7.49m (24-07.00)
Indiana "A"4x400 Relay Team 3:09.86
**Tom Burns, 3000m Steeplechase, 8:42.45 (unattached)
JEFFERSON NABS ATHLETE OF THE WEEK FOR THIRD TIME Sophomore Sean Jefferson was named the Big Ten Mens Track and Field Co-Athlete of the Week for the period ending April 18. Jefferson shared the honor with Wisconsins Matt Tegenkamp.
The 2004 NCAA Indoor Champion in the mile, finished second in the 1,500 meters at the Mt. SAC Relays to claim a share of this weeks league honors. Jefferson ran a personal-best time of 3:40.89, the second-fastest time in the nation this year, behind BYUs Nathan Robinson, who only bested Jefferson by .01 seconds, clocking in at 3:40.90.
Distance coach Robert Chapman said it is easy to tell that Jefferson is very strong right now.
"He was really able to shift gears smoothly and move from about sixth to first in the final 150 meters," said Chapman. "The scary thing is that we both can tell that there is more there. 3:40 may just be the tip of the iceberg.
While this is the first time Jefferson has received the leagues weekly honor for track and field, it marks the third time in his career he has been honored by the conference office.
He received his first Athlete-of-the-Week award during the cross-country season on Oct. 9, 2002 after his fifth place effort at the 20-team Indiana State Invitational helped the Hoosiers to a second place team finish.
He also received this honor again on Oct. 5, 2003 when he was first for Indiana and fifth overall in a career-best 24:01 for 8000m. This helped the No. 19 Hoosiers to a third place team finish at the Murray Keatinge Invitational.
WILSON NAMED ATHLETE OF THE WEEK Aarik Wilson earned Big Ten Conference Athlete of the Week for the period ending April 5. This is the second time Wilson has earned this honor as he was recognized back on March 31, 2003.
Wilson, the 2002 NCAA outdoor and 2003 NCAA indoor runner-up in the triple jump continued his dominance in the triple jump and long jump at the prestigious 77th annual Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays. He posted NCAA Regional qualifying leaps en route to a first-place finish in the triple jump and a fourth-place finish in the long jump. The Fallon, Nev., product posted a new personal best in the triple jump with a leap of 16.85m/55-3.50. Entering the weekend, that would be the top mark in the nation . In the long jump, Wilson jumped 7.67m/25-02.00.
ALL-TIME PERFORMANCES After six outdoor meets, several Hoosiers have etched their name into IUs all-time record book. On the mens team, David Neville now sits fourth on the all-time list in the 200-meters (20.83) and fifth in the 400-meters (46.18), Rodney Hollis is eighth in the 800-meters (1:48.69), Chris Powers holds up fourth on the all-time list in the 5000-meters (13: 48.45) and Ryan Ketchum is now third in the shot put (18.71m/61-04.75). In addition, Aarik Wilson also moved one spot closer to holding the school record in the triple jump, as he now sits at second on the all-time list with a leap of 16.85m (55-03.50). Wil Fleming tossed a mark of 60.61m (198-10.00) in the hammer throw at the Purdue meet, which puts him at third in the record books.
On the womens team, Kelly Siefker moved up to third on the all-time list in the 3000-meter steeplechase after she ran a 10:26.84 at this years Penn Relays.
Audrey Gielser still holds the school record in this event with a time of 10:14.19 in which she ran at the 2003 Outdoor Big Ten Championship meet. Giesler most recently posted the fifth-best time in school history in the 5000m with a time of 16:44.88 at the Indiana Relays.
In addition, Jessica Gall made her mark on the all-time list in the 5000m race with a time of 35:14.87, a time which puts her fifth on the all-time list.
FOR THE RECORD Wilson is right on track to break the school record in the triple jump this season. His leap of 16.85m (55-03.50), a personal best mark that Wilson jumped at the Texas Relays, is just behind the 16.87m (55-04.25) jumped by Olympian Robert Cannon in 1978 at the National Sports Fest.
MEN RANKED NATIONALLY According to Trackwires May 11 Top 25 poll, the Indiana mens team ranks 22nd nationally. The Hoosiers are one of four Big Ten Conference squads to appear in the poll. Ohio State leads the way at fifth, Wisconsin is 14th and Minnesota is tied for 17th. .
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. Jeffersons 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 womens side, junior Ara Towns figures to lead the way. A two-time Outdoor All-American and Outdoor Big Ten champion as part of Indianas 4x100 meter relay team, Towns is the Hoosiers top returning sprinter and was Indianas lone representative at the NCAA Indoor Championships.
INDIANA AT THE 2004 NCAA INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS In addition to Sean Jeffersons 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 mens 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 Indianas 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 IUs 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.
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.
COACHS CORNER Randy Heisler, who has served as the head womens coach since 1999, took over the mens program in a collborative coaching effort beginning in the 2004 season.
Heisler assumed the duties of Marshall Goss with the mens 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 womens 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 womens 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 mens 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 mens and womens track and field programs. Judy Wilson and Robert Chapman continue to serve as head cross country coaches and assistant track and field coaches.
UP NEXT The Indiana track and field teams will be back in action on May 28-29 when the 23 individuals that met the qualifying standards will head to Baton Rouge, La., to compete at the NCAA Regional Championships.