IU finished up the regular season last week and turned its focus to the Big Ten Indoor Championships on Friday and Saturday in Geneva, Ohio.
The meet will begin at 10:50 a.m. on Friday and continue Saturday morning at 11 a.m. The Hoosiers will look to win their first indoor championship since 2017.
Junior Ben Veatch said the team is going in with high expectations because the Hoosiers are the favorite to win this year, according to the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
“If you look at what's on paper, we have as good a chance of winning this week,” IU head coach Ron Helmer said. “We got to go in and execute as we’ve been taught and compete hard and let the marks come to you.”
Many Hoosiers are seeded in the top three for their respective events this weekend. Junior Cooper Williams will compete in the 800-meter and the 4x400 meter relay. He is seeded first in the 800-meter but will face tough competition because Hudson Kugel from Wisconsin will race in the event. Kugel's personal record of 1:48.94 for the season is only one second slower than Williams’ season best.
In the pole vault, IU has the top three spots in the Big Ten. Senior Adam Coulon has the top mark at 5.65 meters, followed by freshman Nathan Stone and junior Brock Mammoser.
Senior Willie Morrison is seeded third in the shot put and will face off against senior Jonathan Tharaldsen from Minnesota, who threw a distance of 20.50 meters this season, and Michigan senior Andrew Liskowitz.
In the distance events, Veatch and senior Kyle Mau look to push each other against top distance runners. Mau is seeded first in the 3,000-meter and second in the 5,000-meter behind Michigan State junior Morgan Beadlescomb.
“My goal going into this week is just to race and compete,” Veatch said. “The 3K is going to go pretty fast because the Wisconsin guys are trying to qualify for nationals, and I am just a couple seconds away. I am just trying to score points.”
Veatch and Mau have raced together for three years and want to push each other during the meet this weekend.
“Kyle is awesome — he’s an incredible athlete and an even better person,” Veatch said. “His work ethic is contagious. He’s the hardest working person I have ever been around."
Sophomore Rikkoi Brathwaite is seeded second in the 60-meter dash where he has found success during the season with a time of 6.66 seconds.
The meet is IU’s final competitive event before the NCAA Indoor Championships on March 13-14 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.