AUSTIN, TexasJunior Aarik Wilson garnered his third All-American honor after taking a third-place finish in the long jump and senior Audrey Giesler advanced to the finals in the 3000-meter steeplechase during the second day of action at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at the Mike A. Myers Stadium at the University of Texas.
Wilson, who is nationally known for his performances in the triple jump, was outstanding and took everyone by surprise after he jumped a career best 7.97m (26-01.75) for his first jump in the finals. This mark puts him third overall on the IU all-time list.
Wilson said he was very glad that finally all his hard work paid off.
"I felt like this was due, said Wilson. "I have put in a lot of work this past week in my long jump because I haven’t been that good in the past few weeks. “To put in all that work and have it pay off is really encouraging.”
Associate head coach Wayne Pate was also pleased with Wilson’s performance but admits he was a little surprised with the feat.
"I expected him to score, and I expected him to place, but I really did not expect him to do as well as he did among this tough field of competitors,” said Pate. “This is great for Aarik though, I am happy to see him do this well. Now, he just needs to stay focused for the triple jump tomorrow.”
Wilson’s third-place finish got Indiana on the board with six points. As of press time (10:50 p.m.), the Hoosiers now stand in third-place after two days of competition.
Also turning in a great performance was senior Audrey Giesler who advanced to the finals of the 3000-meter steeplechase with a time of 10:24.67. Gielser looked strong from start to finish and maintained a great pace to put her12th overall in the prelims of this event. The finals for this event are scheduled for Saturday at 7:10 p.m.
Also taking place today was the prelims of the men’s 200-meter dash in which David Neville turned in his second-fastest time of the season, 20.57 to finish second in his heat. However, this would not be enough to advance to the finals as only the heat winner plus the next five times made the cut, and Neville just barely missed it, finishing sixth overall. Neville did however, run a great race and will gear up for the 400-meters tomorrow.
Sean Jefferson, who has been hindered by several nagging injuries during the past few weeks, tried to fight through the pain, but fell behind and did not advance to the finals of the men’s 1500-meters. The race got out to a fast start and Jefferson found himself behind the pack in a position where he could not catch up in the end. He finished 26th overall with a time of 3:57.48.
Competition resumes tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. The first Hoosier to compete on Friday will be Jake Wiseman in the decathlon 100-meter dash, set for 12:30. Wilson will compete in his signature event, the triple jump at 8:30 p.m. and Neville will take a stab for a title in the 400-meters at 8:35 p.m.
IU Finishers-Day Two of NCAA Championships:
Men’s Long Jump (Finals)
Aarik Wilson-3rd-7.97m (21-01.75)
Men’s 200-Meters (Prelims)
David Neville-6th- 20.57
Men’s 1500 Meter (Prelims)