Indiana Daily Student

Indiana men’s track and field commands Louisville Invitational with six first-place finishes

<p>Hurdles on the IU track are pictured. Indiana was successful in track races and field events alike at the Louisville Invitational over the weekend.</p>

Hurdles on the IU track are pictured. Indiana was successful in track races and field events alike at the Louisville Invitational over the weekend.

Indiana men’s track and field traveled to Louisville, Kentucky, for the Louisville Invitational over the weekend and recorded dominant performances from start to finish. 

On Friday, the Hoosiers’ only event of the day was the hammer throw, in which freshman Sean Mockler took gold with a mark of 64.05 meters. His throw won the event by a little over five meters. 

Graduate student Jyles Ettiene kicked things off Saturday, placing third in the high jump with a height of 2.10 meters. Senior JaiQuan Earls and junior Kynton Grays continued Indiana’s momentum, finishing first and second in the long jump with marks of 7.08 meters and 7.05 meters, respectively. 

Rounding out the field events was the pole vault, where the Hoosiers swept the top three spots. Junior Nathan Stone won the event with a clearance of 5.37 meters, and senior Ryan Lipe and graduate student Adam Coulon took the subsequent two spots with respective heights of 5.27 meters and 5.12 meters. 

Related: [Indiana women's track and field dominates at Louisville Invitational]

On the track, junior Antonio Laidler began his impressive meet with a second-place finish in the 100-meter dash, recording a time of 10.51 seconds. Laidler would then go on to win the 200-meter dash, finishing with a personal best time of 20.80 seconds. 

Laidler said he was content with his performance, but he also has his sight set on postseason meets. 

“I would say I’m satisfied, but at the same time, I’m just looking forward to staying consistent and trusting my own training,” Laidler said. “For the start of the season I was always locked in since day one so I’m just carrying this momentum forward, and I’m looking forward to winning something big.”

Graduate student Kenny Benton followed up his strong performance at last week’s Tennessee Relays with a win in the 400-meter dash, crossing the line with a time of 47.41 seconds. Following was the 800-meter race, where redshirt sophomore Parker Raymond picked up a win with a time of 1:51.24. 

Head coach Ron Helmer said while the meet’s result was encouraging, some of the athletes are distracted by qualification times for the NCAA meets, and he said those distractions need to be eliminated so the team can focus on individual competitions. 

“I think when we do that things will start to come together,” Helmer said. “We have some really good athletes, we just have to put the marks on the board that we expect them to and now is the time to do that.”

To cap off the meet, the quartet of Raymond, Benton, senior Shaton Vaughn and junior Micah Camble won the 4x400-meter relay with a time of 3:09.86. Their finish was nearly nine seconds faster than the second-place Notre Dame team. 

Next week, the Hoosiers return home for the Indiana Invitational on April 22-23 at the Billy Hayes Track. Friday’s events will kick off at 5:30 p.m., and Saturday is slated to get underway at 1 p.m.

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