Sacramento, Calif. Over the past four years, Indiana track and field athletes Rachelle Boone, Danielle Carruthers, Ira Kharun, Rose Richmond and Ara Towns have earned more than 20 indoor and outdoor All-American honors. And in addition to the all-star recognition, these five Hoosiers also grew in their approach to the sport.
One of the biggest fears of a coach is for a kid who hasnt been here, they use everything they have to get through the preliminary round and dont have anything left, Indiana womens coach Randy Heisler said. With kids like these, you dont have to worry about their focus. They know what they have to do.
Thanks to the efforts of these five athletes, Indiana has advanced to the final round in five events. Richmond, Boone, On Wednesday, Towns and Carruthers advanced to Fridays 400 meter relay final, while Boone did the same in the 100m and Kharun in the javelin. On Thursday, Carruthers qualified for the 100m hurdle finals, while Boones 22.87 performance in the 200m semifinals clinched her spot in Saturdays 10:10 p.m. EST final.
While he is pleased with his teams progress this week, Heisler is also keeping expectations in perspective.
When you get to this level, theres a fine line between having an awesome meet and finishing 20th, Heisler said. For example, look at Rachelle. She is in the finals in the 100 and 200. That could get us 15-20 points or 2-4 points. You look at the maximum scenario, but you also look at the realistic possibilities, too.
Competing in the opening heat of the 200m, Boone finished second in 23.20. While her place qualified her for the semifinals, she knew that she had to make some adjustments for the semifinal race.
I am really excited because this is the first time that I have made it to the 200 final at the outdoor nationals, Boone said. My race this morning did not go as I wanted. I didnt finish as strong as I would have liked. Coach (Ed) Beathea and I went back and looked at the tape, and I was too relaxed over the last 30 (meters).
Carruthers won her semifinal heat of the 100m hurdles in 13.04. In the other semifinal heat, defending national champion Perdita Felicien won with a time of 12.68. Felicien joins Carruthers among the four people in womens college track and field history to break 12.7 seconds for 100m hurdles.
For the men, defending national runner-up triple jumper Aarik Wilson did not advance to this years final. His best jump in Thursdays preliminary round was 49-11. John Jeffersons 1500m time of 3:52.88 did not qualify him for the final round.
Fridays schedule features the 12 p.m. EST mens hammer final, where IU senior Adam Judge looks to become the first Hoosier thrower since Brent Sullivan and Nathan Davis (1996 shot put) to earn All-American honors. The 4x100m relay is slated for 9 p.m. EST, along with the womens javelin. Kharun is the favorite to become the second womens national champion in school history and the first since current Indiana strength coach Katrin Koch won the 1992 national shot put title.
Ira is really relaxed and focused, Heisler said. She knows what her competition is. I am really pleased with her approach. She knows that the preliminary round means nothing.
Indianas Lauren Chesnut competed in the triple jump, which got underway Thursday night at 9:15 p.m. EST. Results were not available at press time.