Indiana Daily Student

IU track and field dominates Gladstein Invitational

<p>Senior pole vaulter Adam Coulon puts his fist in the air after a teammate jumps Jan. 24 in Gladstein Fieldhouse. Coulon earned first place with a 5.5-meter jump. </p>

Senior pole vaulter Adam Coulon puts his fist in the air after a teammate jumps Jan. 24 in Gladstein Fieldhouse. Coulon earned first place with a 5.5-meter jump.

IU returned home this weekend to compete in the Gladstein Invitational. The Hoosiers dominated their competition, taking home multiple first-place finishes.

The smaller invitational included Ball State University, Butler University, Taylor University, the University of Southern Indiana, Northwood University, Grand Valley State University and Miami University at Ohio.

“We need to get something out of everything we do. We can’t just go to the well with high-level competition every weekend,” IU head coach Ron Helmer said. “These meets allow us to get more attempts in field events because we’re going to make the finals.”

The Hoosiers won 10 different events Friday. Sophomore Arjun Jha won the men's mile with a time of 4:00.84. Sophomore Alexis Hill tied for first in the women's weight throw with a distance of 20.69 meters.

Freshmen Lauren Thomas and Grayson Rolen won their first ever events. Thomas won the 400-meter dash with a time of 57.37 seconds, and Rolen won the high jump with a mark of 2.02 meters.

“They get to see that their work is paying off,” Helmer said. “That journey from being a good high school kid, to competing at a Big Ten school at a high level, is a fairly long journey, and they need these smaller victories to keep them motivated.” 

Senior Adam Coulon continued his four-meet winning streak this weekend by clearing a mark of 5.50 meters in pole vault. 

“He’s just awesome, because he goes about his business, he works hard every single weekend, he cares about the team and the people around him,” Helmer said. “He sets a good example for everybody.”

Both men’s and women’s 4x400-meter relay teams took home first place Saturday. Redshirt senior Willie Morrison placed first in shot put with a mark of 19 meters. 

The Hoosiers also dominated the 600-meter. The women took four of five places with junior Kelly Mindak winning the race. In the men’s race, junior Cooper Williams took first and redshirt senior Adam Wallace placed second.

Helmer said the team worked hard in the preseason and have many potential All-Americans within the group.

“They’re working at a high level and enjoying themselves," Helmer said. "And when you have that, the environment pushes everyone to the top."

The team will compete in the IU Relays next weekend with teams such as Florida State University, the University of Mississippi, and the University of Alabama coming to Bloomington. 

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