There were a little more than nine hours in between the two most important events for the IU women’s track and field team during day one of the Big Ten Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Friday.
But it all came down to the final event of the night for the Hoosiers.
Despite not being able to catch Michigan senior Erin Finn, who broke the Robert C. Haugh Track and Field Facility record with a time of 32:45.51, juniors Katherine Receveur and Maggie Allen finished second and third in the 10,000-meter race to earn the bulk of IU’s day one points.
“What we had talked about with Katherine was, go with Finn if you can and if you get in trouble, we’re going to pull you off and just go for second,” IU Coach Ron Helmer said. “There’s no shame in that at all because that was a crazy 10k that she ran in this weather.”
Junior Nycia Ford got things rolling in the first event of the day in the hammer throw. She only needed one throw to gain control of a second-place finish, as her first toss of the preliminaries sailed 63.03 meters. Only one competitor, Minnesota junior Temi Ogunrinde who finished first with a throw 66.97 meters, would even get close to her initial throw.
However, after a string of three foul throws, Ford would toss a personal record of 64.19 meters on her sixth and final throw. Her second-place finish qualified her for NCAA prelims in Tampa, Florida, on May 24 and gave the Hoosiers a good start to the championships with eight points.
From there, the day was mostly filled with trials events where no points could be picked up. However, senior Brenna Calder, freshman Hannah Stoffel and junior Haley Harris all set themselves up for points after finishing in the top 12 spots of the 1,500-meter trials and qualifying for the finals Sunday.
On the men’s side, it took a while for the Hoosiers to score points as they had no competitors in the decathlon that took up a significant portion of the day. They finally got on the scoreboard when senior Andrew Miller notched two points with a seventh-place finish in the hammer throw.
In the trials, sophomore William Session advanced to the Sunday finals in the 400-meter hurdles, finishing seventh with a personal-best time of 51.97. Junior Treyton Harris also qualified in the 200-meter dash with a time of 21.36 and senior Joe Murphy and freshman Teddy Browning moved on in the 1500-meter race.
The men’s team ended up making its biggest statement of the day in the 10,000-meter race. Freshman Ben Veatch finished second overall.
He said he knew scoring some points in the last event of the day was going to be important heading into Saturday.
“We’re excited,” Veatch said. “We did all we needed to do today to put ourselves in a good position going into Saturday. Then we need to do the same thing tomorrow and cap it all off on Sunday.”
As Helmer and his squads head into Saturday, the women’s team currently sits third overall in the team standings with 22 points, while the men’s team is in sixth with 10 total points.
Minnesota currently leads the women's championship with 47 points while Michigan is leading on the men's side with 27 points.
Coming into the championships, Helmer stressed the importance of gaining momentum from early scoring opportunities, which he said he thought his teams accomplished Friday.
“We had a lot of really good things happen today,” Helmer said. “Hopefully those people that were here watching it can look at it and say alright, things are going to go well for me tomorrow.”
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