Indiana men’s track and field competed in the Indiana Invitational over the weekend, the team’s first of two home meets this 2022 outdoor season.
The Hoosiers got off to a hot start on Friday night in the 200-meter dash, where graduate student Kenny Benton and junior Antonio Laidler took third and fourth place, respectively. Laidler finished with a time of 20.99 seconds, and Benton recorded a personal best time of 20.93 seconds.
Though individual placements in the middle distances left room for improvement on the first night of the Indiana Invitational, the Hoosiers began to find more consistent success in long-distance events. In the 1500-meter race, freshman Camden Marshall placed fourth with a personal best time of 3:42.20.
Four other Hoosiers recorded personal best times in the event, including seniors Dustin Horter and Jake Gebhardt, redshirt sophomore Austin Haskett and sophomore Gabriel Sanchez. Graduate student Kyle Mau rounded out the night by placing third in the 5000-meter race, crossing the finish line with a time of 13:54.34.
Head coach Ron Helmer said that being at home for this meet provided a great opportunity for success, but he wasn’t entirely satisfied with the results.
“We just need consistency across the board and everyone showing up intending to get something done,” Helmer said. “We just need to have everyone moving in the same direction and on the same page.”
Saturday proved to be a much better performance for the team in terms of placements. Freshman Sean Mockler continued to build on his strong rookie campaign, placing second in the hammer throw with a mark of 67.42 meters.
On the track, the 4 x 100-meter team took third place with a 41.07-second finish from the quartet of Benton, Laidler, redshirt senior Rikkoi Brathwaite and senior JaiQuan Earls. Later in the day, the 4 x 400-meter team also finished third as Benton, senior Shaton Vaughn, junior Micah Camble and redshirt sophomore Parker Raymond recorded a time of 3:11.95.
After placing second and third in the 100-meter dash prelims, Laidler and Brathwaite would go on to finish in the same spots in the final running. Brathwaite took third with a time of 10.50 seconds, and Laidler nabbed second with a personal best time of 10.43 seconds.
The Hoosiers’ pole-vaulting squad built on their momentum from previous weeks, grabbing third and fourth place finishes from freshman Tyler Carrel and junior Nathan Stone, respectively. Carrel’s clearance of 5.37 meters was a personal best for the Urbana, Illinois native.
Helmer said Carrel’s performance was one of the most pleasing surprises of the meet.
“Tyer Carrel, he hadn’t cleared higher (than that height) all year, and now he’s in the NCAA preliminary round,” Helmer said. “That’s a big jump.”
Next week, the Hoosiers travel to Philadelphia for the Penn Relays on April 28-30, the penultimate meet before championship competition.