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Women's track and field both hurt and helped by wind at Louisville Invitational



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Senior middle distance runner Olivia Hippensteel competes in the 800-meter run in the IU Relays in January in Harry Gladstein Fieldhouse. Hippensteel won the event with a time of 2:08.93 and moved into 10th all time in IU history. Bobby Goddin Buy Photos

The IU women’s track and field team placed third with 122 points at the Louisville Invitational this weekend after battling tough opponents and the elements.

IU Coach Ron Helmer said the warm weather and strong winds presented distinct challenges for many events his team competed in throughout the competition.

Senior Sydney Clute continued her winning ways in the pole vault by taking first with a jump of 4.20-meters. Junior Rachel Mather secured fourth in the event with a clearance of 3.70-meters.

“The wind helped her out on the runway a little giving a bit of an extra push in her run,” Helmer said of Clute. “But the wind carried her a little further into the pit than typically, it was hitting her wrong on the way up during the jump.”

In the women’s discus, senior Nakel McClinton secured a third place finish with a throw of 51.24 meters. Freshman Leah Moran was able to claim second on the leaderboard in the triple jump. Her mark of 12.23-meters now ranks sixth in school history.

“The throwers had a really good weekend, and the jumpers all had a tail wind during their events,” Helmer said. “When you get that the chances that your performances are going to be better is much higher, and they took advantage of it."

In the women’s 800-meter run, senior Olivia Hippensteel finished in second place with a time of 2:07.74. Junior Brenna Calder was just behind in third with a time of 2:07.87. Junior Kendell Wiles took fourth with a time of 2:09.21.

“In the lap races the wind really did have a negative effect because you have a back wind, which helps, but you also have to run into the wind,” Helmer said. “Although you are with it as much as you are against it, it makes it really difficult to get into a rhythm."

Junior Katherine Receveur took first in the 1,500-meter run with a personal best time of 4:21.18. Her time is now the seventh quickest in school history. Helmer said Receveur’s performance was encouraging because it showed she can do even better in more suitable conditions.

“Those are some really good times considering the conditions,” Helmer said. “The wind should not affect the competitive effort. We just want the athletes to go out, compete hard and run as fast as they can.”

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