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IU women’s track and field set for Big Ten Indoor Championships



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Sophomore distance runner Bailey Hertenstein runs in the 3,000-meter Feb. 14 in Gladstein Fieldhouse. IU will compete in the Big Ten Indoor Championships on Friday and Saturday in Geneva, Ohio. Alex Deryn

IU women’s track and field is preparing for indoor postseason with the Big Ten Indoor Championships this weekend.

The meet will begin at 10:50 a.m. Friday at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio, and will continue at 11 a.m Saturday before concluding at 4:35 p.m.

Multiple Big Ten teams will enter the championships ranked, including No. 15 Penn State, No. 21 Iowa and No. 22 Minnesota.

IU head coach Ron Helmer said the team looks forward to this meet all year. He said winning the Big Ten is difficult, but some teams take the championships seriously and structure their teams to be as competitive as possible in the Big Ten. Other teams, however, concentrate on the NCAA Championships instead.

The team has competed against Big Ten teams at meets throughout the season, including this past weekend against Ohio State, Illinois, Michigan and rival Purdue at The University of Notre Dame’s Alex Wilson Invitational. 

Two national leaders come from Big Ten schools with Ohio State junior Anavia Battle and Wisconsin senior Alicia Monson.

Battle leads the nation in the 200-meter with a time of 22.66, while Monson's 3,000-meter time of 8:53.69 is also first in the country. Monson also holds the Big Ten record for the 3,000-meter with a time of 8:45.97 and was named 2019 Big Ten Indoor Track Athlete of the Year

Other notable athletes from the conference include Penn State senior Danae Rivers, who is fourth nationally in the 800-meter with a time of 2:04.22. She’s also third nationally in the mile with a time of 4:32.95. 

Twin sisters from Minnesota juniors Bethany and Megan Hasz both rank in the top 10 for the 5,000-meter at fifth and ninth, respectively. 

IU junior Maddy Pollard and senior Khayla Dawson are fourth and fifth nationally, respectively in the shot put. Both athletes have led the nation this season.

Helmer said the women’s team has many underclassmen athletes and has strength in the team’s field events.

“We're gonna be bunched up in that group that's solid,” Helmer said"We just need to figure out a way to come out on the top of that."

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