May 13, 2009
Big Ten Championships Live Results | Weekly Notes in PDF Format
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana women's track and field team garnered two national honors on Wednesday. The Big Ten announced that junior Molly Beckwith has been named the Big Ten Track Athlete of the Week, and Beckwith's outstanding performance this past weekend combined with great performances from the rest of the Hoosier women has also landed IU in the USTFCCCA Weekly Top 25 rankings at No. 25.
Indiana track and field director and head coach Ron Helmer is very pleased with the progress the team has shown this season, and he feels that Beckwith's recognition is expected and well-deserved.
"We've seen this coming for a while with Molly," Helmer said, "It is great that she was finally able to run a time that is deserving of this kind of recognition."
Beckwith set a new standard of excellence for half-milers this season, running an NCAA-leading time of 2:02.51 at the Billy Hayes Invitational. Her time ranks as the third fastest by an American and the seventh-best in the world during the outdoor season this year, and she set a new IU track record. She now appears second on Indiana's all-time list and bettered the 800-meter regional qualifying standard more than seven seconds. Beckwith earns her first Outdoor Track Athlete of the Week laurel, and she is the first Hoosier to receive the honor since Stacey Clausing earned it in May of 2007.
"This group of young women has worked very hard this season," said Helmer. "With the number of student-athletes we have that are ranked in the top 15 nationally, a national team ranking was sure to follow. Hopefully we can continue to improve and follow through with qualifying several for the national championships."
Beckwith has the country's best time in the 800m, and senior Tiffany Howard and junior Wendi Robinson hold top-ten marks. Juniors Ashley Rhoades and Vera Neuenswander are 11th and 12th respectively in their events, and sophomore Sarah Pease is 18th in the 3,000m steeplechase. Each ranking garners the team placement points, and IU's 86.12 points put the Hoosiers at 25th in the country.
IU returns to action on Friday, May 15, when competition commences at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships in Columbus, Ohio. For complete coverage of all things IU track and field, stay tuned to IUHoosiers.com.