Women's Track

    Indiana Track and Field Announces 2008-09 Signing Class

    Go Hoosiers!
    Go Hoosiers!

    Go Hoosiers!

    Aug. 25, 2008

    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana track and field director and head coach Ron Helmer has announced his 2008-09 signing class. The list includes 23 freshmen and two transfers.

    Helmer is excited about getting to work with the new student-athletes and what they bring to the Hoosier program.

    "These student-athletes, plus several walk-ons on both teams, who have the potential to become permanent roster additions have created a very positive level of anticipation and excitement around our program," said Helmer. "We have veteran student-athletes who have gotten on board and become the foundation of our building program. Additionally, they have demonstrated the leadership skills necessary to help our talented and diverse group of newcomers understand and embrace the challenge of championship track and field as we envision it at Indiana University."

    Andy Bayer
    Leo, Ind. (Leo H.S.)
    2008 Indiana State 3200-meter champion
    2007 Indiana State Cross Country Meet- sixth place
    Personal Bests: 3200m (9:02.82), 1600m (4:12.51)
    Coach Helmer on Bayer: "Andy really came on his senior year culminating with a great race to win the state championship. His high school training and results indicate he should be ready to contribute sooner than later."

    Ben Bizuneh
    Indianapolis, Ind. (Pike H.S.)
    2007 Indiana State Cross Country Meet-12th
    2008 Indiana State 3200m- ninth place
    Personal Best: 2 Mile (9:24.83), Mile (4:22.3)
    Coach Helmer on Bizuneh: "Our coaching staff believes Ben possesses the tools necessary to become an outstanding collegiate distance runner. I believe consistent training will ultimately lead to some great performances, particularly in the 5K and 10K."

    Derek Drouin
    Corunna, Ontario (St. Patrick's Catholic H.S.)
    High Jump
    2007 and 2008 Canadian Junior runner-up in the high jump
    Personal Best: High Jump (6' 11")
    Coach Helmer on Drouin: "Derek is young and the sky is the limit. This summer he has become a consistent competitor and is starting to show he may have the ability to help us in other events as well. His sister is an All American heptathlete at Syracuse University."



    Zack Mayhew
    Terre Haute, Ind. (North H.S.)
    2007 Indiana State Cross Country Meet- seventh place
    2008 Indiana State 3200m- eighth place
    Personal Best: 3200m (9:24.35)
    Coach Helmer on Mayhew: "Zack has consistently improved throughout his high school career. He is exactly what we look for in a young developing distance runner. He has the ability and desire to train and with patience can and will make a big impact on our distance program."

    Derek Messmer
    Jasper, Ind. (Jasper H.S.)
    Pole Vault
    2007 Indiana State Pole Vault- fifth place
    Personal Best: Pole Vault (15' 9")
    Coach Helmer on Messmer: "Coach Jake Wiseman went out and found another southern Indiana pole vaulter who we believe will follow in the foot steps of numerous other athletes who have come to IU and developed into outstanding vaulters."

    Nate Morrow
    Auburn, Ind. (DeKalb H.S.)
    2008 Indiana State 3200m- fifth place
    Personal Best: 3200m (9:18.41), 1600m (4:21.54)
    Coach Helmer on Morrow: "Nate could be the sleeper in the group. He has only run track one year after playing basketball and baseball. He is a very good athlete who could grow very quickly into an outstanding distance runner."

    Olu Olamigoke
    Stafford, Va. (Mountain View H.S.)
    3rd in the Triple Jump at the 2008 Nike Outdoor Nationals
    Personal Best: Triple Jump (48' 10 3/4"), Long Jump (24' ½")
    Coach Helmer on Olamigoke: "Olu comes from a very good high school program that has prepared him to transition to collegiate training. We are counting on him and the other young jumpers we have recruited to carry on the great tradition of horizontal jumping we are so proud of here at IU."

    Patrick Onye
    Providence, R.I. (Classical H.S.)
    Personal Bests: 25 lb. Weight (74' 8 ½"), 35lb. Weight (58' 8 ½"), 12 lb. Hammer (197' 1"), Shot Put (54' 3 ¼")
    Coach Helmer on Onye: "Patrick has done some really good things as a high school thrower but the thing we are most excited about is his size and the potential to transition to the heavier collegiate implements. In time he can be a force on both the Big Ten and national levels."

    Daniel Novia
    Mississauga, Ontario (Phillip Pocock Catholic H.S.)
    Personal Bests: 25lb. Weight (63' 7 ½"), Discus (166' 5"), Shot Put (56' 6 ½") Coach Helmer on Novia: "At the recent Canadian Junior Championships Daniel was second in the shot put, fourth in the hammer and fifth in the discus. He has a good base of preparation in all three areas and we feel Daniel also has the size and athleticism that will allow him to become an outstanding collegiate thrower."

    Rex Parker
    Haymarket, Va. (Battlefield H.S.)
    Fourth in the long jump and fifth in the triple jump at the 2008 Nike Outdoor Nationals Personal Bests: Triple Jump (48' 5 ½"), Long Jump (23' 8")
    Coach Helmer on Parker: "Rex is very new to the level of success he enjoyed late in his senior year of high school when he became a very consistent high-level performer. He has both the body and competitive nature that when combined with some real solid, consistent sprint and jump training could lead him to some great things as a jumper at IU."

    Chris Vaughn
    Nolensville, Tenn. (Brentwood Academy)
    Anchored 4 X 100 and 4 X 400 relays to victory at the 2008 Tennessee State meet along with winning both the 400m and 200m.
    Personal Bests: 400m (48.23), 200m (21.62), 100m (10.89)
    Coach Helmer on Vaughn: "Chris is a very good athlete, a very good student and the kind of person we will look to for leadership as he matures. He has good range and the capability to develop into a great 400-meter runner."

    Drake Volz
    Bloomington, Ind. (South High School)
    Pole Vault/Multi
    Personal Bests: Pole Vault (14' 6"), High Jump (6' 6")
    Coach Helmer on Volz: "Drake developed late in his high school career and while doing so started to realize he might have the talent necessary to compete very well at the next level. Our coaches are very excited about the potential he shows in the multis and look forward to another generation of the Volz family competing at IU."

    Cedric Hudson
    Stafford, Va. (Mountain View H.S.)
    Transfer from Virginia Tech
    Personal Bests: Long Jump (24' ¼")
    Coach Helmer on Hudson: "When freshman recruit Olu Olamigoke set his high school record in the long jump at 24' ½", he broke Cedric's record which was 24' ¼". We look for Cedric to help us on our sprint relays as well as in the long jump and like the enthusiasm he brings to the challenge.

    Robert Smallman
    Hobart, Ind. (Hobart H.S.)
    Transfer from Wabash College
    Pole Vault
    Conference Indoor Champion in the Pole Vault while at Wabash
    Personal Best: Pole Vault (15' 11 ¼")
    Coach Helmer on Smallman: "Robert is another transfer who we think can bring some maturity as well as an appreciation for all IU has to offer. He made great progress last year and looks to continue his development as a Hoosier competing in the Big Ten.

    Aireonna Bailey
    Wadsworth, Ill. (Zion-Benton H.S.)
    Fifth in the Illinois state meet 100m in 2008 and fourth in the 200m as a sophomore
    Personal Bests: 200m (24.64), 100m (12.20)
    Coach Helmer on Bailey: "We feel Aireonna has the potential to develop into an outstanding sprinter and relay carry. She very much fits the mold of some of the great 400-meter runners I have had in the past. She is an outstanding student and will contribute as a freshman."

    Chelsea Blanchard
    Fort Wayne, Ind. (Carroll H.S.)
    State runner-up in both the 1600m and 3200m as a junior and state runner up in the 1600 as a senior.
    Personal Bests: 3200m (10:49.75), 1600m (4:57.69)
    Coach Helmer on Blanchard: "I'm really excited about the addition of Chelsea to our distance group. We need immediate help there and I think she has the background, maturity and desire to fill that need. Over time she has the chance to develop into an outstanding national level competitor."

    Kim Blaylock
    Haymarket, Va. (Battlefield H. S.)
    Fourth in the 55 meter dash and sixth in the 300 at the 2008 Virginia State Indoor Championships.
    Personal Bests: 55m (7.12), 60m (7.84), 100m (12.28), 300m (40.97)
    Coach Helmer on Blaylock: "Kim is an explosive sprinter whose greatest success has come at 55- and 60-meters. Coach Jeff Huntoon has a great history of refining and developing the sprint technique of similar athletes allowing them to quickly improve as well as learn to carry their speed over the longer sprint distances. We think Kim will respond very positively to this approach and will be an outstanding Big Ten level sprinter if not beyond."

    Ann-Marie Clarke
    New Haven, Conn. (Hillhouse H.S.)
    Multiple Connecticut state championships including indoors (55m hurdles and 300m plus outdoors 100m hurdles, 200m, 400m and Heptathlon in 2008.)
    Personal Bests: 100m hurdles (14.37), 400m hurdles (61.52), 400 (55.25), 300 (39.70)
    Coach Helmer on Clarke: "Ann Marie is the fourth student-athlete I have recruited from the great program at Hillhouse High School. (The first being IU assistant coach Monica Hargrove) Ann Marie has great range and our good to have problem with her is finding the events where she has the best chance of having the greatest level of success. We will enjoy the challenge. Add to her athletic achievements the fact she graduated in the top five of her class and we think we have an individual who will sooner than later help lead us to our goal of being a championship level team.

    Kaylan Comer
    Stafford, Va. (Colonial Forge H.S.)
    Top 10 finish in the Virginia state cross country meet all four years of high school.
    Personal Bests: 3200m (11:05.74), 1600m (5:05.26)
    Coach Helmer on Comer: "For four years, Kaylan was the leader of a very good Colonial Forge, Va., high school team and was mentored by an outstanding coach during the process. Kaylan has trained and competed very consistently over the years and we believe she has a lot left in the tank creating the ability to continue to improve throughout her career here at IU."

    Jackie Cottrell
    Leo, Ind. (Leo H.S.)
    Fifth in the 2008 Indiana State Outdoor Championships.
    Personal Best: High Jump (5' 6")
    Coach Helmer on Cottrell: "During Jackie's senior year, she became a very consistent jumper and one we feel will build on that consistency with some significant improvements once she becomes comfortable with collegiate level jumping and training. She is another outstanding student with strong IU ties."

    Helene Delone
    Houston, Tex. (Memorial H.S.)
    2007 Texas State Cross Country Meet-12th
    Personal Best: 3200m (11:26.55)
    Coach Helmer on Delone: "Helene is relatively inexperienced, but an athlete we believe has the ability to develop into a very good Big Ten level distance runner. We need her to help provide depth early on and leadership as she develops."

    Kelsey Duerksen
    Ann Arbor, Mich. (Pioneer H.S.)
    2007 Michigan State 1600m- second-place
    Personal Best: 1600m (5:04.85)
    Coach Helmer on Duerksen: "Kelsey had a very good junior year but battled some injury issues as a senior. She comes out of a very successful high school program and therefore understands what team and winning are all about. She brings that element initially and in time will be very good."

    Breanne Ehrman
    Carmel, Ind. (Westfield H.S.)
    Middle Distance
    Anchored Indiana State 4 X 800 Championship team in 07 & 08)
    Personal Best: 800m (2:16.07)
    Coach Helmer on Ehrman: "I truly believe Breanne has the ability to be something special. I'm not sure what her best event will be and I'm not sure how long the process will take, but I am confident there is an outstanding athlete there ready to emerge."

    Jordan Gray
    Murray Hill, N.J. (Governor Livingston H.S.)
    Middle Distance
    Was second in her group and ninth in the 2008 New Jersey Meet of Champions in the 400m.
    Personal Best: 400m (57.23)
    Coach Helmer on Gray: "I think Jordan's future is in the 800. She fits the profile of many athletes I have coached who with enough good, hard, relevant work, mixed with patience develop into very good 800-meter and middle distance runners."

    Evie Lehman
    Decatur, Ind. (Adams Central H.S.)
    A four-time state meet qualifier in the high jump including a third-place, 5'7" effort as a freshman plus a two-time scorer in the 300 hurdles.
    Personal Bests: High Jump (5' 7"), 300m hurdles (45.75)
    Coach Helmer on Lehman: "Evie has talent in several areas and may in fact have multi-event potential. She has been 5'7" in the high jump a number of times in her career and once she becomes consistent should move forward very quickly in the event."

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