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IU women's track and field sends 2 athletes to the NCAA Indoor Championships



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IU sprinters race in the 800-meter Feb. 14 in Gladstein Fieldhouse. IU will compete in the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships this weekend in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Alex Deryn

Senior Khayla Dawson and junior Maddy Pollard will compete in the women’s shot put during NCAA Indoor Championships at 5 p.m. Friday at the Albuquerque Convention Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

IU head coach Ron Helmer said the championships have been on both Dawson and Pollard’s radar throughout the season after they participated in last season’s outdoor championships.

This will be Dawson's final indoor meet of her collegiate career. She also competed in last season’s NCAA indoor championships where she placed sixth with a mark of 17.19 meters.

Pollard will compete in her first NCAA indoor championships after placing eighth with a mark of 16.94 meters at last season’s outdoor championships.

“They’re talented kids who are better than they’ve ever been in their lives,” Helmer said.

Dawson started the season strong with a mark of 17.07 meters at the Indiana vs. Tennessee Duals and she held the national lead until she beat her own mark of 17.47 meters at the Vanderbilt Invitational.

Pollard briefly took the national lead with her personal best mark of 17.57 meters at the Indiana Relays from Jan. 31-Feb. 1.

Throughout the regular season, Dawson was named the Big Ten Field Athlete of the Week three times, while Pollard earned the award once after her performance at the Indiana Relays.

The two have already competed against fellow NCAA shot put qualifiers including Iowa senior Lualauga Tausaga, Ohio State sophomore Adelaide Aquilla, Minnesota senior Nayoka Clunis, Minnesota junior Devia Brown and Wisconsin sophomore Josie Schaefer.

Tausaga’s season best ranks second nationally at a mark of 17.96 meters while Aquilla stands at third nationally with a mark of 17.82 meters.

Dawson and Pollard most recently competed against their fellow Big Ten NCAA qualifiers at the Big Ten Indoor Championships at the end of February. Aquilla finished in first place at 17.82 meters and Tausaga took second with a mark of 17.37 meters. Dawson came in third at 17.31 meters, and Pollard followed behind at fourth with a mark of 17.24 meters. 

Dawson’s season best stands at 17.56 meters while Pollard’s is 17.57 meters. Their marks rank sixth and fifth in the country, respectively.

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