June 7, 2011
Student-athletes from all 10 Big Ten men's and women's outdoor track and field teams will compete in the 2011 NCAA Championships this week. The 74 conference student-athletes will travel to Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa, on Wednesday for the four-day meet.
The championships get underway at Noon CT on Wednesday. Thursday's competition begins at the same time, while Friday's action kicks off at 3 p.m., and Saturday's events begin at 11 a.m. Coverage of the championships will be provided on tape delay by CBS College Sports at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Thirty-six student-athletes will compete in the men's championships across 19 events, with seven competitors taking part in multiple events. Illinois' Stanley Azie and Iowa's Ethan Holmes both qualified for three events, while Illinois' Andrew Riley, Indiana's Andrew Poore, Iowa's Erik Sowinski, Minnesota's Harun Abda and Ohio State's Thomas Murdaugh will each compete in two.
The conference will send six men's runners to the 3,000-meter steeplechase finals and four competitors each in the shot put, 800-meter run and 5,000-meter run finals. Five student-athletes enter the championships after winning their preliminary events, as Riley (110-meter hurdles), Iowa's Troy Doris (triple jump), Michigan State's Codi Mattix (pole vault), Minnesota's Brock Spandl (pole vault) and Purdue's Geoff Davis (high jump) each posted top marks in the preliminary rounds on May 27-29.
On the women's side, 38 conference student-athletes will compete for national titles in 18 events this week. Illinois' Stephanie Morgan and Tamika Robinson, Michigan State's Beth Rohl, Minnesota's Todea-Kay Willis, Ohio State's Christina Manning, Madison McNary and Letecia Wright, and Penn State's Evonne Britton, Megan Duncan and Ijeoma Iheoma will each represent the conference in two events.
Five Big Ten throwers will compete in the discus championship, while four conference competitors seek national championships in the pole vault, 100-meter hurdles and 5,000-meter run. The Big Ten boasts five preliminary first-place finishers in Indiana's Vera Neuenswander (pole vault) and Faith Sherrill (shot put), Wright (100-meter hurdles), Penn State's Karlee McQuillen (javelin) and Purdue's Emily Breslin (high jump).
The Big Ten took home three individual national championships and 15 All-America honors at the 2010 championships. Riley (110-meter hurdles), Indiana's Derek Drouin (high jump) and Penn State's Bridget Franek (3,000-meter steeplechase) each took first in their respective events to claim titles.