Sacramento, Calif. Ira Kharuns father, Vladmimar, is one of the most accomplished javelin throwers in Soviet history. While he has been a tremendous influence on his daughters life and in her athletic career, Ira, Indianas senior javelin thrower, heeded one particular piece of advice during Fridays NCAA javelin final.
My dad has always told me that the last throw of a competition is for the coach, Kharun said. You should give it your best on your last throw to show your coach how much you respect them.
Kharun certainly made Indiana head coach Randy Heisler proud Friday night at Hornet Stadium, tossing an American college record 202-10 on her final throw to clinch the womens national javelin title. This marks just the second time in Indiana womens outdoor history that a Hoosier has won an individual title and the first since Katrin Kochs 1992 shot put crown. Kharun's victory propelled Indiana to a tie for second place in the women's team standings heading into the final day of competition.
Not to take anything away from Kharuns last throw, but Heisler was pretty content with her opening heave.
I was really relaxed after her first throw (191-9), Heisler said. She was just so focused. The 202 feet? Thats ridiculous. I mean, she is throwing 60 feet farther than when she came here as a freshman. And she was pretty good then.
Indianas 4x100m relay team of Rose Richmond, Rachelle Boone, Ara Towns and Danielle Carruthers entered Friday nights final race poised to make Hoosier history. Should the quartet finish among the top eight, it would mark just the second time ever in the program that IU has earned All-American honors in the same event for four straight years.
We mentioned during our pre-race prayer that it would be the last time that we would be running this relay together, Richmond said. Its really kind of sad. All of the teams competing in this relay have some really great athletes.
Indiana did more than solidify their status as an All-American relay, finishing fifth in a school record 43.53. This marks the second straight race that the Hoosiers have broken the magical 44 second plateau, as the original school record of 43.87 was set during Wednesdays preliminaries. According to Towns, it could not have come at a better time.
Were just happy that we put it all together for the biggest meet of the year, Towns said. It was only a matter of time, really, getting the (baton) exchanges down and everything. In a way, youre still not satisfied, because you always think you can do better. But at the same time, the competition here is unbelievable.
Heisler was especially impressed by the record time.
Thats awesome, the highest that group has ever finished at the NCAAs, he said. For those girls to do a PR, running out of lane eight, they did that on their own all the way around the track.
It was also a fitting finale for Richmond, Carruthers and Boone.
Those three seniors have changed our program, he said. Go back through the past few years, and that time (43.53) wins the meet. I know Rose was disappointed that she did not qualify for the final in the long jump, so for her to go out an All-American is really special.
Boone closed out Indianas evening with a fourth place finish in the 100m. With the new NCAA regional format, Boone knew that mental and physical and endurance was the key.
Seven down, one to go, Boone said, referring to the preliminary and final rounds of the regionals and nationals for the 4x100m relay, the 100m and the 200m. Coach (Ed) Beathea and I talked about working on my drive phase and transition, and I am satisfied with how I did. I am pretty pleased with the whole meet actually. I am pretty blessed to be running well after so many races.
In the mens hammer throw, senior Adam Judge earned All-American honors for the second straight season. His best throw in Fridays final (205-8.5) was among the top eight Americans.
Saturday is the final day of competition, as Carruthers goes for her third straight 100m hurdles All-American honor (9:00 p.m. EST), and Boone competes in the 200m final (10:10 p.m.)