Minneapolis, Minn. - Heading into the final day of the Big Ten Track and Field Championships, the Indiana mens and womens teams are each among the top four in the team standings. The Indiana women are currently third with 44 points, while the men are fourth with 42 points.
Minnesota leads the mens standings with 58.5 points, followed by Ohio State (50), Purdue (43), Indiana (42) and Wisconsin (29). Penn State is first in the womens race with 66 points, followed by Michigan (51), Indiana (44), Iowa (30) and Ohio State and Purdue (29 each).
Audrey Giesler became the first IU athlete to win a Big Ten 3000m steeplechase title when she crossed the finish line in 10:14.19. This is a Bierman Field record, a Big Ten championship record, and qualifies her for the USA Track and Field Championships June 26-29 in Stanford, Calif. Kelly Siefker placed eighth for the Hoosiers with a career-best 10:41.24.
Giesler credits her previous career-best performance at the April 24 Penn Relays (10:25.90) for helping propel her to a league crown.
Ive been happy with my steeple workouts and had a lot of confidence after Penn Relays, she said. The plan was pretty much try and lead or stay with the leaders as long as I could before making a move. It ended up working.
For the men, sophomore Aarik Wilson captured the Hoosiers second individual crown with a first place finish in the long jump (7.73m/25-4.5). Wilson, who will defend his league triple jump title Sunday afternoon, is the first IU mens athlete to win the long jump since Alan Turner won it in 1991.
Despite emerging on the national scene last season, Wilson hardly felt like the odds-on favorite on Saturday.
I actually felt more pressure from my teammates, Wilson said. Were doing real well in the team standings right now, and I just wanted to do what I had to do to win.
Wilson led a balanced field that saw just 1.25 inches separate the second (Minnesotas Steffen Landgraf), third (Ohio States Drew Carter) and fourth (Purdues Jamar Green) place finishers.
The competition was strong. Just look how close the second, third and fourth place guys are, Wilson said. We probably should have been jumping in the other direction. The weather is great, except that you had the wind in your face. That can push you or pull you.
Senior All-American Rachelle Boone became the fourth IU athlete to qualify for the US Track and Field Championships June when she set a Bierman Field 100m record at 11.4. Boone led a trio of IU sprinters to the 100m finals. Danielle Carruthers finished in 11.6, while Ara Towns matched her personal best of 11.74.
Larra Overton (2:12.4) and Stephanie Magley (2:13) finished second and third, respectively, in the 800m to move on to Sunday's final.
The Hoosiers qualified two athletes each in the mens and womens 1500m. For the women, Indiana sophomore Mindy Peterson posted the fastest qualifying time, turning in a career-best 4:27.32, surpassing her previous PR by nearly two seconds. Junior Alyson Hammond also advanced to Sundays 1:05 p.m. final with a preliminary time of 4:35.59.
On the mens side, sophomore John Jefferson also finished with the fastest qualifying time (3:48.16). Jefferson will be joined in Sundays 1:15 p.m. final by teammate Eric Redman (3:53.31).
Junior Mike Minton scored points for the Hoosiers in the discus, finishing sixth in with a throw of 50.17m/164-7. Sophomore Jake Wiseman took fifth in the decathlon with a score of 6929. He recorded a new career-best in the javelin (63.89/209-7). Tom Burns placed sixth in the 3000m steeplechase (9:00.22).
Twenty Indiana mens athletes have now qualified for the NCAA Regionals, as Ryan Sarbinoff (400m), Matt Harris (110m hurdles) and Daniel Martin (400m hurdles) met the standard in their respective events. Sarbinoff qualified for the Big Ten finals and NCAA Regionals with a finish of 47.78, just six one-hundreths off his career-best. Harris qualified for Sundays final with a time of 14.25. Martins 52.57 finish in the 400 hurdles also earned him a spot in Sundays final.