IU was scattered across three meets this weekend, and the results were equally scattered. The runners were at the Penn Relays, the throwers were at the Georgia Invitational and other field athletes were at the Drake Relays.
Schools from across the country sent athletes to Philadelphia. Many high school teams and professional athletes competed as well.
IU Coach Ron Helmer previously referred to the magnitude of the meet, calling it the greatest relays meet in the world.
“You’ve got to manage the chaos, you’ve got to stay composed and then you have to go out and race people who are probably much better than you and still stay composed and compete really well,” Helmer said. “And I felt like, on a number of occasions, we did a really good job of that.”
Helmer was especially proud of the men’s mile relay team — juniors Matt Schwartzer and Jason Crist and seniors Owen Skeete and Rorey Hunter — for how hard they competed against some of the top squads in the nation. Helmer said he was also pleased with sophomore middle distance runner Daniel Kuhn, whose split on the 4x800 meter relay was the fastest split in the race.
The women’s 4x1500 meter relay team — junior Olivia Hippensteel, sophomores Brenna Calder and Katherine Receveur and senior Brianna Johnson — set a new school record of 17:49.19, and finished fourth.
Senior middle distance runner Josh Roche won the steeplechase with a season-best 8:52.77 time. Sophomore middle distance runner Eric Claxton finished right behind him in second, recording a season-best time of 8:55.35.
Roche, who said hadn’t been performing to his personal standards until the Big Ten-ACC Challenge two weeks ago, said these better results are important.
“I think I can just get a lot of confidence that the training we’re doing is making me faster every week,” Roche said. “It’s giving me the ability to close hard in races, which is always what we have to do in a championship style race.”
At the Georgia Invitational, freshman Willie Morrison set a personal best and moved up to fifth in school history in the shot put with a 18.60 meter throw. Senior Laura Schroeder set a personal best in the hammer throw with a 63.85 meter throw. Morrison finished eighth and Schroeder finished fourth.
“If you look at the places, they’re not real good,” Helmer said. “But there were some professionals, and there were some very high-level people there. Laura and Willie probably had the best day of the group that was down there.”
At the Drake Relays, junior high jumper/sprinter Michelle Adeniyi set a personal best in the heptathlon. Her 4,479-point total is the 10th best mark in school history.
Senior pole vaulter Sydney Clute set a personal best with a 4.30-meter vault, which is fourth in school history. Senior Sophie Gutermuth no-heighted this weekend.
Bad weather forced the women’s pole vault and the men’s high jump to be moved inside. Clute said the move inside created a much more lively atmosphere.
“The entire facility was packed full, and it was just the two events in there,” Clute said. “The crowd was really involved. A lot of the high jumpers were starting a clap for just about every jump. That made the meet really fun.”
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