Indiana Daily Student

Indiana women’s track and field competes in split-meet weekend at Michigan and Vanderbilt

<p>Then-senior Joely Pinkston runs in the women’s 800-meter run during the Big Ten Indiana Invitational on April 9, 2021 at the Robert Haugh Track and Field Complex. In addition to hosting the Gladstein Invitational on Jan. 21 and 22, IU will also be hosting relays on Jan. 28 and 29. </p>

Then-senior Joely Pinkston runs in the women’s 800-meter run during the Big Ten Indiana Invitational on April 9, 2021 at the Robert Haugh Track and Field Complex. In addition to hosting the Gladstein Invitational on Jan. 21 and 22, IU will also be hosting relays on Jan. 28 and 29.

The Indiana women’s track and field team started the new year with a split-meet over the weekend. Indiana’s runners and pole vaulters competed at the Simmons-Harvey Invitational hosted by Michigan, while the field athletes were invited to the Commodore Challenge hosted by Vanderbilt University over a two-day span in Nashville, Tenn.

In the Simmons-Harvey Invitational, Indiana’s runners and pole vaulters competed alongside Michigan, Michigan State and Notre Dame. Indiana finished in last place with a final score of 85 points. However, with the split-meet, Indiana only competed or scored in nine out of fifteen events. The other teams competed or scored in at least twelve events. 

Coach Ron Helmer said the goal of the split-meet is to benefit athletes’ individual progress. 

“Our priorities [are] getting people where they need to be so we can make the progress we want to,” Helmer said. “I think it was the right thing to do as we move forward and come together.”

Indiana’s throwers did not participate in either event over the weekend.  

“Getting them back in and getting them training is hard,” Helmer said. “I felt the best thing for them to do was not open up until next weekend.”

Related: [Indiana cross country senior Arjun Jha is overcoming pressure, accumulating accolades]

Sophomore Mahogany Jenkins finished in third place in the women’s high jump Friday, clearing 1.80 meters. She also competed in the triple jump on Saturday and finished in second place with a mark of 12.22 meters. 

Sophomore Alyssa Robinson recorded a personal best time of 7.46 seconds in the prelims of the 60-meter dash, placing first. Robinson and sophomore Morgan Snow both competed in the finals. Robinson finished in second with a time of 7.46 seconds, tying a personal best mark set in the prelims. The top-three finishers in the event were separated by .02 seconds. Snow finished in eighth place with a time of 7.73 seconds.

Robinson finished in second in the 400-meter dash with a time of 57.54. She finished behind sophomore Kaylee Lane, who won the event with a time of 56.96s.

Seniors Hannah Stoffel and Bailey Herenstein placed first and second, respectively, in the 800-meter event. Stoffel finished with a time of 2:10.10 and Herenstein finished shortly behind at 2:10.19. Herenstein did not compete in the 2021 season.

Stoffel finished in second place with a personal best time of 4:42.24 in the mile run.

“It’s exciting because that’s the fastest I’ve opened in January,” Stoffel said. “It was very validating of all the hard work we’ve been putting in the past couple of months.”

Related: [Indiana men’s track and field competes in Simmons-Harvey Invitational, Commodore Challenge]

In the women’s 600-meter dash, junior Maria Anderson placed second in her heat and overall. Snow was the only Hoosier to compete in the 200-meter dash and finished with a time of 24.92.

In the 1600-meter relay, Indiana’s B team did not finish the first heat after an undisclosed runner was forced to drop the event. Indiana decided to run with three runners to give athletes more practice in a meet setting. 

“We wanna do work and intended to run those two relays, but if we didn’t run the B relay then that’s three kids that would’ve only had one race on the weekend,” Helmer said. “We had other goals, so giving them a chance to go out and run and get the extra work was important to us.”

Indiana’s A team, consisting of Anderson, Snow, Deas and Lane finished the 1600-meter relay in second place with a final time of 3:43.92. Michigan finished in first with a final time of 3:42.55.

The full Indiana team will compete at home at the Gladstein Invitational on Jan. 21-22 at Harry Gladstein Fieldhouse.

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