Indiana women’s track and field team sent select athletes up north this weekend to compete in the Alex Wilson Invitational at the University of Notre Dame. Indiana competed in five events to give specific athletes another opportunity to race before the Big Ten Championships Friday and Saturday.
“It won’t be a complete team,” Coach Helmer said last weekend, previewing the team’s lineup for the final invitational. “Just specific people who need to get specific things done.”
Indiana brought all shot put and weight throw athletes to compete in the Alex Wilson Invitational. In the women’s weight throw, freshmen Makayla Hunter finished in third place with a heave of 17.77 meters.
Senior Madison Pollard took first place in the women’s shot put with a mark of 17.07 meters, marking a new season best. Freshman Jayden Ulrich came in second place throwing 16.42 meters, and freshman Makayla Hunter rounded out the Hoosiers with a fourth-place finish with her throw of 14.48 meters. All women’s throwers qualified to move on to the Big Ten Championships.
Indiana ran one relay this weekend in order to qualify for the conference championship. The 4000-meter distance medley relay consisted of junior Bailey Hertenstein, freshman Morgan Snow and seniors Kelly Mindak and Hannah Stoffel. The DMR team took home fifth place with a time of 11:02.64, marking the fifth-best time in Indiana history. The time also qualified the Indiana A team for future championships.
Sophomore Maddie Dalton and freshmen Mikaela Ramirez competed in the one-mile run and both placed within the top six. Dalton finished in fourth place with a time of 4:54.51 — a new season best — and Ramirez finished sixth with a time of 4:56.07.
Four Hoosiers competed in the 800-meter race and all finished in the top 10 out of 30 runners total.
Freshman Maria Anderson finished in fourth place with a time of 2:07.70 and freshman Shynae Deas followed closely behind with a time of 2:09.72. Sophomores Jenna Barker and Elizabeth Stanhope finished the race neck-and-neck in eighth and ninth place. Barker finished with a time of 2:10.19 and Stanhope finished with a time of 2:10.71.
Anderson and Deas recorded new personal records in the 800-meter, locking in their qualification for the postseason. All Hoosiers who competed in the 800-meter will compete in the postseason.
With the postseason approaching next weekend, this final invitational provided finishing touches for the Hoosiers and they now look to see how that will affect their performances in the postseason.
“I think most of the work is done,” Helmer said. ”We will have to do a little bit of work, but certainly the quantity of what we do won’t be what it has been in the past.”
Looking forward, the training Indiana has put in will shift from physical to mental as the team will compete against the best of the best in the Big Ten Championships and NCAA Championships.
“(We want to manage) the emotional and mental part of it,” Helmer said. “With the right level of excitement, relaxation and confidence, and just trusting our training and seeing what happens.”
The Hoosiers will begin their postseason with the Big Ten Championships at Geneva, Ohio, next Friday and Saturday.