May 11, 2005
Sierra Hauser-Price ran an 11.67 during the regular season and will look to place high once again at the Big Ten Conference outdoor championships and push Michigan toward back-to-back Big Ten titles. Hauser-Price's competiton will be from four other returning finalists from a year ago. Yvonne Mensah of Illinois finished in fifth place and ran an 11.71 this season while Kamilah Salaam of Penn State came in third last year and ran an 11.77 this season. Jenna Harris of Ohio State and Shuntia Lucas of Wisconsin were also finalsist a year ago and each had times at the top of the Big Ten this season. Iowa's Peaches Roach could also push for a Big Ten title in the sprint event.
The Fighting Illini are represented heavily at the top of the Big Ten in the short hurdles event. Yvonne Mensah is the favorite entering the championships after turning in a top time of 13.51 this season to follow up her fourth place finish of a year ago. Teammates Camile Robinson and Tiffany Nesfield also clocked in under 14 seconds in the hurdle event this season with times of 13.88 and 13.90, respectively. Lorian Price of Indiana and Kamilah Salaam of Penn State are back after making appearances in the finals at Purdue a year ago.
Five of last year's eight finalists in the 200 meters return to vie for a Big Ten crown. Kailah Salaam (Penn State) finished third, Cynthia Rooks (Michigan State) fourth, Sierra Hauser-Price (Michigan) fifth, Shunita Lucas (Wisconsin) sixth and Jenna Harris (Ohio State) finished seventh in 2004. All are in the top of the Big Ten entering this year's conference summit, but the favorite might be Penn State's Sara Shoaff. The junior ran the event in 23.70 to rank in the tops of the league.
Cynethia Rooks of Michigan State finished in second at the 2004 championships and will have a good shot at winning the 2005 Big Ten title in the event. The Spartan sophomore crossed the finish line this year in 53.83 to rank at the tops of the league. Penn State's Shana Cox and Dominique Blake are two other top runners in the event with regular season times of 53.28 and 53.91, respectively. Aisha Hume of Iowa, Michele Huber of Indiana and Stacey Clausing of Indiana were all finalists a year ago and were some of the top performers in the Big Ten this year.
All of last year's top five finishers return to compete in the longer hurdles event of the championships. Camile Robinson of Illinois won the Big Ten title at Purdue in 2004 and is favored to defend this year. The sophomore was the only Big Ten runner to run the 400-meter hurdles in less than a minute at 58.46. Melissa Steele of Minnesota came in second last year and ran the second fastest time in the Big Ten in 2004-05 at 1:00.00. Keri Kirk (Michigan), Kim Markel (Penn State) and Melissa Talbot (Wisconsin) finished third, fourth and fifth last year and are near the top of the Big Ten this year with times of 1:02.54, 1:00.78 and 1:00.53, respectively.
If Michigan is to defend its team championship, it will have to get great runs from its middle-distance runners. That starts with the Wolverine runners in the 800 meters. Katie Erdman, Lindsey Gallo and Nicole Edwards are the top three entries in the event with Erdman leading the way at 2:05.94 for the 2004-05 regular season. Gallo was last year's champion in the event and recorded a personal best this year of 2:07.04. Carlene Robinson of Illinois finished second in 2004 and placed in the top of the Big Ten this season at 2:08.58.
Gallo may also be considered the favorite in the 1,500 meters where she will attempt to defend her Big Ten title. The senior recorded the top time in the conference this season at 4:19.97. Fellow Maize and Blue runners Nicole Edwards and Theresa Feldkamp will attempt to follow-up Michigan's indoor track and field title with an outdoor one and will attempt to give U-M some needed points from the 1,500 meters. The duo was in the top five of the Big Ten this year in the event with times of 4:24.66 and 4:25.90, respectively.
Amber Ferner of Purdue will attempt to repeat as steeplechase champion at Ohio State. The senior is near the top of the Big Ten again in the event this season with a time of 10:40.44. Illinois's Cassie Hunt leads the way with her time of 10:19.05 and will look to improve on her third place showing a year ago. Andrea Parker of Michigan finished fifth a year ago and was second in the Big Ten this season with a time of 10:24.25. Wisconsin sophomore `A Havahla Haynes should also be in the hunt for a Big Ten title after finishing seventh in 2004 and logging a time of 10:37.78.
Another Illinois distance runner is at the tops of the league in the 5,000 meters. Jaime Turilli ran the event in 16:24.22 - the top time in the Big Ten. Katrina Rundhaug of Wisconsin is the second ranked runner in the league with her time of 16:27.36. Nicole Gleim of Ohio State came in seventh last season and is at the top of the Big Ten this year with a time of 16:43.87.
Lindsay Zinn is back looking for a Big Ten title after she finished second in 2004. This year, the Boilermaker ranks amongst the top of the Big Ten with a time of 34:50.98 in the event. Katie Kelly of Michigan State is the only other returning finalist who is ranked in the tops of the league. Kelly ran the longest event at the championships in 34:17.00. Badger sophomore Katrina Rundhaug recorded the top time in the Big Ten this season at 33:45.03.
4x100 and 4x400-Meter Relays
The same three schools rank at the top in both the relay events. In the 4x100-meter event, Iowa leads the way with a time of 45.30 with Penn State second at 45.41 and Illinois third in a time of 45.77. In the 4x400-meter relay, it is Penn State out in front of Illinois and Iowa with times of 3:37.60, 3:39.87 and 3:40.35, respectively.
Peaches Roach of Iowa is back to defend her Big Ten title in the long jump but, she may have some fierce competition this year in Minnesota freshman Liz Roehrig. Both athletes jumped 1.80 meters during the regular season to lead the Big Ten. At the indoor championships in February, Roach took home first place honors while Roehrig finished third. Jessica Stinger of Ohio State is also in the mix with her jump of 1.75 meters during the regular season. Stringer finished eighth in 2004. Theresa Giorno of Wisconsin and Heather Yednik of Penn State also finished in the top eight a year ago and both jumped 1.70 meters this season.
Andrea Smith of Minnesota was the top Big Ten performer in the pole vault this season, clearing 3.95 meters. Smith will have little competition from last year's finalists, since Megan Durraugh of Purdue and Lynn Gasparella of Michigan are the only returning finalists from a year ago. Durraigh came in second in 2004 and cleared 3.65 meters this year. Gasparella took home fifth place honors and this year cleared 3.53 meters.
Two Illinois athletes are near the top of the rankings in the long jump. Shanna Picket will be looking to improve on her seventh place performance in 2004 and did that during the regular season by logging the second longest jump in the Big Ten at 6.06 meters. Nina Henson jumped 6.00 meters to rank in the tops of the Big Ten for the Illini in the event. Rosalind Goodwin of Ohio State jumped 6.19 meters to lead the league and is the top returning finalist in the event after a second place finish in 2004. Minnesota sophomore Sarah Nelson finished fourth at Purdue last year and jumped 5.83 meters this season.
Nina Henson of Illinois logged the top triple jump distance of the 2004-05 year at 12.93 meters. The Illini junior will have to defeat Rosalind Goodwin of Ohio State though if she is to be named Big Ten champion. Goodwin won the event a year ago and this year cleared 12.35 meters. Fellow Buckeye Shayla Moore is also in the mix with her performances during the regular season, including a jump of 12.82 meters. Kristina Jones of Illinois and Taren James of Michigan State should also be in the Hunt after finishing sixth and seventh a year ago and logging attempts of 12.30 and 12.19 meters this year respectively.
Ashley Eckel is the only returning finalist from last season in the shot put event. The Michigan senior came in seventh place at Purdue a year ago and recorded a throw of 13.88 meters during the regular season. Jen Leatherman of Penn State is the top performer in the Big Ten this season after she managed a throw of 15.84 meters this year. Liz Podominick of Minnesota and Kamesha Marshall of Iowa could each vie for a conference title after throws of 15.66 and 14.88 meters in the regular season to place them in the top of the Big Ten.
The top performer in the Big Ten is Liz Podominick of Minnesota who logged a top throw this year of 53.31 meters. Penn State's Christen Clemson finished second at the 2004 outdoor championships and is one of the top athletes in the Big Ten this season. The Nittany Lion's top throw this season was 48.02 meters. Astin Steward is also high in the conference record book for this season with a throw of 49.48 meters. The Purdue sophomore finished sixth last year.
Purdue enters the championships with the two top performers in the Big Ten in the javelin event. Kara Patterson and Lindsey Blaine made throws of 52.09 and 47.61 meters this season respectively. Blaine finished third in 2004. Four more finalists from last season will be attempting to win a Big Ten title in the event with Diana Bruch, Lisa Hopey and Krisitn Eash of Penn State and Jacenta Spandl of Minnesota all rank near the top of the Big Ten this season in the javelin competition.
Penn State's Jen Leatherman will be looking for a Big Ten crown in the hammer throw event. The junior and reigning Big Ten Athlete of the Week in women's track and field logged a top throw of 60.82 meters this season. Courtney Magnuson of Purdue also cleared 60 meters on a throw with her 60.10 meter hurl early this year. The senior was seventh at Purdue last year. Nina Cotolupenco of Minnesota and Ashley Eckel of Michigan are two finalists from last year that return in an attempt to win a Big Ten title.