Feb. 21, 2006
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February 25-26 University of Wisconsin Madison, Wis. Camp Randall Memorial Sports Center
The Big Ten women's indoor track and field teams kick off their postseason this weekend as the University of Wisconsin is set to host the 2006 Big Ten Women's Indoor Track and Field Championships on Feb. 25-26. Defending indoor champion Michigan will look to claim its second-consecutive and eighth overall conference crown during the event. The Wolverines will face tough competition from Penn State and Minnesota who join U-M as being ranked in the top 25 of the latest Trackwire 25 Power Rankings.
Illinois, who finished second in last year's championships, currently ranks in the top five in nine league categories. Junior Yvonne Mensah holds the lead and three NCAA provisional marks in as many events and will look to defend her 60-meter hurdles title. Junior Cassie Hunt enters this weekend with two provisional and an automatic standard met while the 4x400-meter relay will attempt to win its second-consecutive title.
Second-team All-Big Ten selection Lorian Price returns for Indiana and ranks in the top five in the long jump this season. IU boasts two Hoosiers that have met NCAA standards in juniors Courtney Johnson and Jan. 24 Athlete of the Week Stacy Clausing.
Iowa has met five NCAA provisional standards this season and is led by All-Conference honorees Peaches Roach and Kinkeke Alexander and junior Tiffany Johnson. Roach ranks No. 1 in the high jump league standings while Johnson leads the way with her 8.33 60-meter hurdle time.
Michigan, who is tied for the most Big Ten Championships in conference history with seven will look to defend last year's league title. The Wolverines lead the conference in six categories while senior Katie Erdman has recorded three top-two finishes, including two provisional marks and has automatically qualified for the NCAA championships in the 800-meter run.
The Spartans will be led by sophomores Nicole Bush and Etienne Chaplin who boast top-five league marks and have met provisional standards as MSU enters the championships looking to move up from its sixth-place finish last year.
Minnesota heads into the championships behind the 2005 Big Ten Freshman of the Year Liz Roehrig who ranks in the top five in three categories and has NCAA provisionally qualified in two events. Freshman Heather Dorniden, the Feb. 7 Athlete of the Week, currently sits at No. 2 with an automatic qualifying mark of 2:04.30 in the 800-meters.
Junior Jenna Harris, a first-team All-Big Ten honoree, will lead the Buckeyes and attempt to defend her 60-meter dash title as she is ranked second with a provisional time of 7.42. Sophomore Janine Zylinski and freshman Ayrizanna Favours have also recorded provisional marks while Zylinski leads the conference with a 53' 7 1/2" shot put toss.
Fourteen Nittany Lions rank in the top five of nine league categories and will be led by two-time Athlete of the Week Jeannifer Leatherman and junior Shana Cox at this year's championships. Leatherman boasts an automatic qualifying mark in the weight throw with a toss of 72' 0" while Cox leads the conference in the 200- and 400-meter events.
Purdue ranks in the top three in four Big Ten categories while senior Jocelyn Lindsey and freshman Brianna Neuman are tied for second in the pole vault standings as both Boilermakers have cleared a distance of 12' 8 1/4"
The Badgers enter the 2006 championships behind second-team All-Big Ten selection Erin Schoeller, who is ranked fifth in the 600-meters and junior Blair Luethmers who leads the conference with a 13 '0 1/4" pole vault mark. UW is tield with Michigan with seven indoor team titles.