Women's Track

    Seven Hoosiers To Compete at NCAAs in Arkansas

    Go Hoosiers! Junior Wendi Robinson
    Go Hoosiers!
    Junior Wendi Robinson
    Go Hoosiers!

    June 5, 2009

    Weekly Notes in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader | Live Results

    Seven Hoosiers head to Fayetteville, Ark., this week for the 2009 NCAA Outdoor Championships. The meet will take place over four days, starting on Wednesday, June 10, and concluding on Saturday, June 13. The IU participants will begin action on Wednesday in qualifying-round action. Indiana advances seven to the national meet for the second consecutive year. The Hoosiers will look to build upon the 2008 performance that saw two IU student-athletes earn All-America honors. The men's program took home the NCAA team title in 1932. The women have finished as high as fifth in 1989 and have placed in the top 10 six times. The women will look to score at the NCAA outdoor meet for the first time since 2003.

    For the women's team, juniors Molly Beckwith, Wendi Robinson, Vera Neuenswander and Ashley Rhoades, senior Tiffany Howard and sophomore Sarah Pease will don the cream and crimson. On the men's side, freshman Derek Drouin will look to build on his NCAA runner-up finish indoors. Beckwith enters the meet with the highest seeding, as she has the nation's third-best time this season in the 800 meters. Neuenswander has the sixth-best mark in the pole vault.

    The regional couldn't have started much better for Indiana. The first two Hoosiers to compete on day one grabbed regional crowns with school-record clearances in the high jump and pole vault. Freshman Derek Drouin added a regional championship to his rookie resume, and junior Vera Neuenswander cemented her place in IU history. Junior Wendi Robinson claimed her spot in the national meet with a fifth-place finish in the 5,000-meters.

    After scoring just three team points for 35th place at the Mideast Regional in 2008, the Indiana women scored 34.5 points for a sixth-place finish in 2009. Leading the way for the Hoosiers on Saturday was sophomore Sarah Pease who took second in the 3,000m steeplechase. Others earning NCAA bids on the day were junior Molly Beckwith, who was fifth in the 800 meters and senior Tiffany Howard, who was fifth in the shot put. Junior Ashley Rhoades tied for third in the high jump as well. The Indiana men's team was 16th with 16 points.

    Drouin recorded a new school record, tied the regional record and posted a facility record in the high jump with his clearance of 2.22m (7-3.25). Neuenswander crushed the facility record and moved past the regional and school marks as well on her way to a regional pole vault crown, jumping 4.31m (14-1.75).

    Junior Vera Neuenswander crushed the facility record and moved past the regional and school marks as well on her way to a NCAA Mideast Regional pole vault crown. Her clearance of 4.31m (14-1.75) was three inches better than the second-place vault by defending NCAA Indoor champion Kylie Hutson of Indiana State. Her height improved the Cardinal Park record by more than a foot, and the mark bettered the regional record by two inches. She heads to NCAAs as the sixth seed.

    The new IU record holder, she bettered the school mark by 2.5 inches, becoming the first Hoosier female to clear 14 feet. Neuenswander extended her season with the finish, as the mark moves her on to the NCAA Outdoor Championships and the U.S. Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore., on June 25-28. She earned 10 points for Indiana with the win as well, helping IU to a sixth-place finish.

    Neuenswander took second after tiebreakers to defending NCAA indoor champion Kylie Hutson of Indiana State at the Billy Hayes Invitational. Her clearance of 4.20m (13-9.25) is a new facility record for Gladstein Fieldhouse as lightning forced the high jump and pole vault competitions indoors. She and Hutson will share the record.

    Neuenswander also claimed a victory at the Pepsi Team Invitational on April 3-4 and All-Big Ten laurels at the Big Ten meet with a second-place finish.

    Freshman Derek Drouin recorded a new school record, tied the regional record and posted a facility record in the high jump with his clearance of 2.22m (7-3.25) at the Mideast Regional. Drouin improved his career mark by an inch, moving ahead of IU legend Dennis Adama for the top spot in the IU record book. The freshman from Corunna, Ontario bettered the Cardinal Park facility record by two centimeters and matched the regional record. The finish earned IU 10 team points and advances Drouin to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark.

    Drouin further improved his rookie campaign with a Big Ten title in the high jump. His winning height was 2.19m (7-2.25) Drouin finished the indoor season as the NCAA runner-up. His efforts garnered him Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors.

    Drouin was second in the high jump at the Pepsi Team Invitational, behind only indoor national champion Scott Sellers. Drouin won the high jump with a clearance of 2.13m (6-11.75) at the Drake Relays. He claimed the high jump crown at the Jesse Owens Classic. He won the high jump at the Billy Hayes Invite, recording a clearance of 2.15m (7-0.5).

    Sophomore Sarah Pease took second in the steeplechase at the NCAA Mideast Regional with the second-fastest time in school history. Her time of 10:12.19 is nearly three seconds faster than her previous best and moves her ahead of former IU standout Audrey Giesler. Pease was 11 seconds faster than the third-place finisher, Sarah Price of Michigan State. She was just .19 seconds slower than the `A' standard for the U.S. Track and Field Championships. The Elizabeth, Ind., native earned eight points for the Hoosier cause.

    At the Drake Relays, Pease won the women's 3,000m steeplechase. Pease ran the steeple in a career best 10:16.49 to take the Drake Relays title. She improved her regional qualification by nearly six seconds.

    Pease posted her second regional mark of the season at the Indiana Invitational. Pease was second in the 5,000m run, finishing in 16:34.21. Her time is about 18 seconds faster than the regional standard and puts her at number five in the IU record books.

    Senior Tiffany Howard will also be headed to Fayetteville, as she took fifth in the shot put at the Mideast Regional. Howard narrowly got into the final, taking the last spot of nine, but she took full advantage, as she posted a heave of 16.14m (52-11.5) to punch her ticket. The senior has a season and career best of 16.51m (54-2). Howard earned her spot in the national meet on her last two throws. Her fifth toss went 16.06m (52-8.25), and her fifth-place heave was her last. Both marks would have bettered the sixth-place mark of 16.05m (52-6.75) by Chinwe Okoro of the host Louisville Cardinals. Howard will journey to the first national meet of her career.

    Howard posted a winning heave of 16.51m (54-2) in the shot put at the Billy Hayes Invite. The mark is nearly a foot better than the U.S. Outdoor Championship `A' standard and more than 7 feet better than the regional standard. Howard is sixth on the regional list and 10th in Division I. The mark is also the second-best in school history.

    Howard won the shot put at the Pepsi Team Invitational. Her toss of 15.19m (49-10) was 3 feet and 6.75 inches better than the second place throw by Spela Hus of Utah State.

    Howard posted her second regional mark of the year at the Sea Ray Relays, this time in the discus.Howard had a heave of 47.89m (157-1). The mark is nearly five feet better than her previous career mark, and it moves her into eighth in school history. The toss was almost two feet past than the regional standard and puts her in the top five in the conference.

    Senior Wendi Robinson made history at the Mt. SAC Relays, running the second-fastest 10,000 meters in IU history. Robinson took fourth place in the first 10,000m race of her IU career.

    Robinson's time of 33:40.79 is slower than only the legendary Michelle Dekkers in IU lore. She moves past All-American Jessica Gall for second in the Indiana records. Less than three seconds separated Robinson from the race winner, Catherine White of Arkansas, in the 25-lap race. The Danville, Ind., native's time is faster than the provisional NCAA standard of 34:59.7 and should be fast enough to garner a spot at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark., as it is ninth on the NCAA list.

    Her time is also better than the `A' standard for the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. She is nearly five seconds faster than the standard, which means Robinson has a trip to Eugene, Ore., scheduled for late June. It will be her second trip to Eugene, as the Hoosiers competed at the Pepsi Team Invitational on April 4.

    Robinson was fifth in the 5k at the NCAA Mideast Regional, one of four Big Ten runners to finish in the top-five. Her time of 16:30.75 bettered the facility record, as did 10 other runners in the impressive field. Robinson's time is exactly five seconds slower than her career- and season-best mark. She earned four points for the Hoosiers and guaranteed herself a spot in the NCAA Outdoor Championships on June 10-13.

    Robinson posted her third NCAA qualifying mark of the season at the Big Ten Championships. Her time of 16:25.75 in the 5,000-meters is nearly 27 seconds faster than the regional standard and was good for fifth. She is currently No. 11 on the regional list, and her time is the fourth fastest in school history.

    Junior Molly Beckwith won the 800-meters at the Billy Hayes Invite with a time of 2:02.51, which was at the time the fastest in NCAA Division I this season. The time was the seventh best in the world at the time and was also the third fastest by an American this year. Her mark is a new Billy Hayes track record, and it puts her second all-time in the IU record books. She bettered the 2:09.80 regional standard as well as the 2:05.00 `A' standard for the US. Outdoor Championships.

    Beckwith earned her way into the national meet by taking fifth in an 800-meters field that included the top-four runners in the country at the Mideast Regional. The Worthington, Ohio, native finished in 2:04.31 to improve her time from Friday by .24 seconds. The junior will advance to the national meet for the second straight year, and her appearance in the outdoor meet will complete back-to-back seasons with both indoor and outdoor qualifications in the 800 meters. She enters the meet with the third-best seed time.

    At the Big Ten Championships, she bettered her career mark in the 400m dash twice. In the prelims she clocked a time of 54.13 seconds, which is the sixth best in school history. In the finals she took fourth with a time of 54.25.

    Beckwith also ran the fastest leg on Indiana's women's 4x400m relay at Billy Hayes. IU's team won with a time of 3:42.17. The time is the fifth fastest in school history.

    Leading the way for the Hoosiers at the Pepsi Team Invite was junior high jumper Ashley Rhoades who had the second-best clearance in IU history. Her regional qualifying mark was one of six for Indiana. Rhoades cleared 1.81m (5-11.25) for first place. She added six centimeters to her career best and put herself just a centimeter away from the IU record. The clearance is good enough for a `B' qualification for the USA Championships.

    Rhoades improved an already stellar outdoor season by adding a Big Ten Championship to the mantle. Rhoades cleared 1.78m (5-10) to better the field. Rhoades is the first Big Ten high jump champion in the history of the Indiana women's track and field program.

    Rhoades finished in a four-way tie for third place in the women's high jump at the Mideast Regional. The four jumpers entered a jump-off to decide which three would earn automatic entry into the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Rhoades lost the jump off after a total of five jumps. The junior should gain an at-large entry into the national meet with her season-best clearance of 1.81m (5-11.25).

    The Big Ten Conference announced the honorees for the annual conference awards, and six Hoosiers garnered honors. Senior Kiwan Lawson, junior Ashley Rhoades and freshman Derek Drouin earned first team All-Big Ten honors and Drouin was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year. Sophomores De'Sean Turner and Cedric Hudson and junior Vera Neuenswander earned second team All-Big Ten honors.



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