Indiana track and field played host to the Indiana Invitational at the Robert C. Haugh Complex over the weekend. It was the first time an outdoor meet occurred at Indiana this season, and the Hoosiers welcomed 21 schools from across the Midwest.
After Indiana’s success at the Louisville Invitational, head coach Ron Helmer said he wanted his athletes to take advantage of the home atmosphere and improve their times. He said he believes there was a lot of growth, but there’s still work to be done.
“We had some really good individual performances,” Helmer said. “(But) as many people as we had that showed up ready to compete, we also had some people who just didn’t.”
Helmer said he won’t be content with his team until they all compete at their best.
“Until we get pretty close to 100% of our people showing up, ready to compete and take advantage of things I’m probably not going to be real satisfied.” Helmer said.
Related: [Indiana men’s track and field finds footing on second day of Indiana Invitational]
The Hoosiers started the competition on Friday night with the women’s 200-meter dash. Sophomores Morgan Snow and Olivia Gee both competed in the event, and Snow finished in sixth place with a time of 24.02 seconds — .04 seconds shy of her personal best of 23.98. Gee finished in 20th place with a time of 25.11 seconds.
The next event for the Hoosiers was the women’s 400-meter hurdles. Sophomore Maria Anderson finished in first place in heat one and hit a new personal record with her time of 1:01.53. In the combined results from all the heats, Anderson finished in fourth place. It was only her second time competing in this event.
Four Hoosiers finished in the top ten in the women’s 1500-meter run. They were led by senior Bailey Hertenstein, who finished in second place with a time of 4:14.19 to lock in a season best. With that race time, Hertenstein now has the tenth best time in the country, according to the TFRRS outdoor qualifying list.
Senior Hannah Stoffel took home fifth place in the 1500-meter run with a time of 4:17.23, setting a personal record and achieving the fifth-best time in program history. Senior Sarah Schmitt was the next Hoosier to cross the finish line in eighth place with a time of 4:19.03, which marked a new personal best. Senior Jenna Barker rounded out the top ten with her tenth place finish and a time of 4:21.52.
Saturday consisted of all field events, where Indiana saw plenty of success.
Junior Paola Fernandez-Sola kicked off the field events with a victory, taking first place in the long jump with a personal record of 6.61 meters to knock down her previous personal best of 6.33 meters. Fernandez-Sola also set a program and facility record at the Robert C. Haugh Complex.
“I like taking things one step at a time, so today was just about having fun,” Fernandez-Sola said. “I knew I was going to jump far, but not this far.”
Fernandez-Sola also said she continues to look to the future and what she can accomplish there.
“Regionals first, nationals and hopefully the world championships outdoors,” Fernandez-Sola said.
In the women’s shot put, senior Madison Pollard and freshman Jayden Ulrich continued their success by finishing in first and second place, respectively. Pollard threw for 17.26 meters to mark a season-best and Ulrich set a new personal best of 17.07 meters.
In the women’s discus throw, Ulrich took home first place. Her throw of 57.21 meters set a school record.
Sophomore Mahogany Jenkins kept Indiana’s momentum going by finishing in fourth place in the women’s high jump with a height of 1.69 meters. Jenkins also competed in the triple jump and finished in fourth place with a mark of 12.63 meters.
Snow knocked down another personal record on the track in the women’s 400-meter dash with her time of 53.49 seconds, taking home second place.
In the women’s 800-meter run, senior Kelly Mindak finished in third place with a time of 2:07.28. Freshman Elizabeth Stanhope finished in fifth place with a time of 2:07.87 and sophomore Shynae Deas took 11th place with a time of 2:11.37.
In the women’s 4 x 400 meter run, Indiana ran one relay. The relay team, which consisted of Snow, Anderson, Deas and Stanhope, finished in second place with a time of 3:44.44.
Indiana will next compete in the Penn Relays in Philadelphia on April 28-30.