BATON ROUGE, La.--Competition began Friday at the 2004 NCAA Mideast Regionals at the Bernie Moore Stadium on the campus of LSU and one Hoosier, Chris Powers earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships after he placed third in the 5k with a time of 14:18.09. Two Indiana runners made the cut for tomorrow's finals in their respective events with Sean Jefferson advancing to tomorrow's final of the 1500m, and David Neville making the cut in the 400m.
The IU men stand in 10th place overall with a total of eight points, the points where earned when Powers took third in his event, and Aarik Wilson placed seventh in the long jump. Also earning points among Big Ten schools was Purdue (T1st place-23 points), Ohio State (5th-place-12 points), Wisconsin (7th-place-11 points) and Michigan State (10th-place-8 points).
The first running event of the afternoon for the Hoosiers was the men's 4x100m relay in which the quartet of Kiwan Lawson, Stephanos Ioannou, Andre Grimes and Courtney Roby turned in a season best team of 40.58. This time however, was not enough to push the relay team into the finals, as they took a 12th-place finish overall.
Jefferson did not exert himself too much, but did what he needed to do in order to advance in to tomorrow's finals in the 1500-meter run, taking a fifth-place finish overall (third in his heat) with a time of 3:47.25. Jefferson ran a decent race, making a pretty big move into second on the straight away of 100m during the first lap. He paced himself into third with half way to go and then got a good kick going with 200-meters remaining, almost moving into first, but conference foe Rob Myers of Ohio State broke out into a sprint with about 70m left to finish first in the heat, and Said Ahmed of Arkansas crept in for second place.
Freshman Courtney Johnson and Lorian Price competed in the preliminaries of the 100-meter hurdles. Johnson, the runner up at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships last week in this event, finished tied for 11th overall, just barely missing the qualifying cut (top 9 go), clocking in a time of 13.56. Price, who took a fifth place finish at the Big Ten Meet, came in 20th overall with a time of personal best time of 13.87.
Ioannou not only competed in the 4x100m relay, but the 110m hurdles as well. Ioannou went up against some very tough competition, including the Big Ten Champion in this event, Joel Brown of Ohio State and finished 18th with a time of 14.19, which is one one-hundredth of a second off his personal best.
Big Ten Freshman of the Year, Neville, competed in both the 400m and the 200m on Friday evening. In the 400m, Neville was a little more anxious than usual due to two false starts in his section, but still managed to finish first in his heat and fifth overall with a time of 47.19 to land a spot in tomorrow's finals. Despite finishing second in his heat in the 200m, Neville was up against some fierce competition with other respective conference champions and claimed a tenth-place finish with a time of 20.98, just barely missing the cut to advance to the finals. Stacey Clausing was the lone female Hoosier in the 200m, finishing 14th overall with a time of 24.00.
Junior All-American Aarik Wilson came in seventh in the long jump with a jump of 7.55m (24-09.25), which earned the Hoosiers two team points.Lawson also competed in this event and jumped at 7.43m (24-04.50), putting the freshman 10th overall..
Women's long jumper Jennifer Cobbina placed 11th overall with a leap of 5.89m (19-07.50 ).
Also in the field events,discus thrower Andrea Dalla Rosa heaved a personal best 48.05m (157-08.00) to put her 14th overall.
The final events of the night were the men's and women's 5k races. Jessica Gall represented the women's side, and finished 20th overall, clocking in a time of 17:35.04.
Stephen Haas and Chris Powers both ran a solid race in the 5k. The pair was on each other's heels in the front section of the pack through the 2400m, but Powers quickly stepped it up a notch and moved into a steady third place with three laps remaining. Haas swayed between third and fourth place for awhile, but slowly fell behind the pack into seventh as he neared the 3k mark. Powers gave a gutsy performance in the final lap as he gritted his teeth and sprinted down the straight away to finish in third and receive his automatic bid to National's. Powers ran a 14:18.09 behind Tomas Frazer of Butler (14:17.37) and Simon Bairu of Wisconsin (14:13.08). Haas finished 13th, clocking in a time of 14:49.84
Competition at the Mideast Regionals will resume tomorrow with the first event for Indiana, the men's javelin, beginning at Noon.
IU Results: Day One NCAA Mideast Regionals
Women's Pole Vault Ellison Tipton-NH
Women's 100 Meter Hurdles
Women's Discus Throw
Andrea Dalla Rosa-14th-48.05m (157-08.00)
Women's Long Jump
Jennifer Cobbina-11th-5.89m (19-07.50 ).
Women's 200 Meter Dash
Women's 5000 Meter
Men's Long Jump
Aarik Wilson-7th-7.55m (24-09.25)
Kiwan Lawson-10th-7.43m (24-04.50)