Indiana Men’s Athletics wraps up regular season in record fashion
After entering the weekend ranked No. 24 on the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association’s Ranking Index, Indiana’s men’s athletics lived up to expectations at the Alex Saturday’s Wilson Invitational in South Bend, Indiana.
The Hoosiers fielded a small group of mostly middle-distance runners and a pair of pitchers to meet. The first track event, the medley relay, kicked off a record-breaking day for many Hoosiers.
Indiana’s team in the distance medley relay consisted of freshman Camden Marshall in the 1,200-meter leg, graduate student Kenny Benton in the 400-meter leg, second-year graduate in redshirt Parker Raymond in the 800 meter stage and graduate student Ben Veatch anchoring the mile stage.
The group time for third place of 9:22.78 was the seventh fastest time in NCAA history and also set a new program and Big Ten record. Benton’s 46-second 400-meter stage and Veatch’s 3:53.9 mile were personal bests. Additionally, Benton and Veatch’s times in their respective heats exceeded University of Oregon’s previous NCAA medley relay time record set last year by a few seconds.
Veatch said his experience helps cut out the noise of outside voices when it comes to expectations.
“This is my sixth year, I’ve been around the block a few times,” Veatch said. “The momentum is definitely building and I have high expectations for myself.”
In the field events, freshman Sean Mockler continued the Hoosiers’ successful day in the shot put. Mockler’s winning mark of 21.26 meters was also a personal best and second best in program history. To conclude the field events, second Adam Strouf took fifth place in the shot put with a mark of 17.14 meters.
Head coach Ron Helmer said he was generally pleased with Indiana’s performance.
“The main goal was to qualify these two distance mixes,” Helmer said. “We did what we wanted to do here today and I think that will give us momentum for next week.”
Back on the track, senior Jake Gebhardt took first place in the mile run with a personal best 4:03.97. Senior Dustin Horter finished fourth with a time of 4:05.99.
The 800 meter race concluded Saturday’s competition. Junior Nick Couyoumjian clocked a season personal best of 1:50.27, earning him eleventh place overall in the competition.
Moving on to next week, Veatch said the Hoosiers’ workload will be relatively light.
“There’s no magic formula and there’s no magic workout,” Veatch said. “All the hay is already in the barn.”
The Hoosiers will travel to the Spire Institute in Geneva, Ohio to compete in the Big Ten Championships on Friday and Saturday. The encounter kicks off at 10:50 a.m. Friday with streaming available on Big Ten Network+.