|The Next Level with Mike Jay|
|This issue contains up-dates on Alex Gochenour (Logan Magnolia, LSU), Ashely Miller (Tipton, Nebraska), Brooke & Blaire Dinsdale (North Tama, Nebraska), Ellen Daughtery (Sioux City East, Nebraska) & Katie Flood (WDM Dowling, Washington). LSU Freshman Alex Gochenour, Logan Magnolia, kicked off the 2012 SEC Indoor Track & Field Championships by setting three event personal records while scoring a personal best 3,855 points en route to a sixth-place finish in the women's pentathlon during Friday's competition at the University of Kentucky.
Gochenour put the No. 2-ranked Lady Tigers on the scoreboard with three points in her SEC Indoor debut as her 3,855 points moved her into the No. 8 spot on LSU's all-time performance list in the event.Her effort featured a lifetime PR in the shot put, indoor PRs in both the long jump and 800 meters, as well as a mark in the high jump that equaled her indoor personal best set earlier this season.
Gochenour actually raised her pentathlon PR by 176 points as she made her collegiate debut with a 3,679-point performance in a sixth-place finish at the Razorback Invitational back on Jan. 27.
"I was hoping to maybe finish a little higher than that at the beginning of the season, but I've come a long way since my first pentathlon," Gochenour said. "I'm happy with how I was able to finish. I was able to be really consistent with my best marks this season. I had a PR, tied a PR or was right there. It was nice to be consistent today and to score some points for the team that we had to have."
Gochenour opened the competition by scoring 963 points in the 60-meter hurdles while running the ninth-fastest time of the day at 8.75 seconds. She came up just short of her personal best of 8.71 that was set last weekend in a fifth-place finish at the LSU Twilight held at the Carl Maddox Field House.
Next up for Gochenour was the high jump, where she added 747 points to her total by equaling her indoor PR with a first-attempt clearance at 5 feet, 3 ¼ inches to move up two spots into seventh place.
She then reeled off three personal bests in a row with a lifetime PR of 37-11 ½ on her first toss in the shot put for 633 points, an indoor PR of 18-1 ¾ in the third round of jumps in the long jump for 709 points and an indoor PR of 2 minutes, 21.53 seconds for 803 points in the 800-meter run. When the dust settled, Gochenour emerged with the nation's No. 4-ranked pentathlon performance for the 2012 season by a freshman with a total of 3,855 points through five events. Gochenour signed with the Lady Tigers as one of the top multi-event recruits in the United States for the Class of 2011 as the 2010 U.S. Junior champion in the heptathlon with a personal-best score of 5,300 points in the event in winning the national title.
"I'm really looking forward to outdoor and the heptathlon where I'll be able to do a little bit better," Gochenour said. "The pentathlon is more difficult because you have to do all of the events in one day, but the main thing for me is that my stronger events are the javelin and the 200 meters. It is a struggle indoors sometimes because I have to make up points in areas where I'm not the strongest right now."
Ashely Miller,Tipton, rewrote the Nebraska Cornhusker record books on Friday en route to winning the 2012 Big Ten 3,000 meters. Miller posted a personal-best time of 9:17.28 to edge out the first-place finish. With the time, Miller now sits in first among top 3,000 meter performances at Nebraska. The top spot was previously held by Fran ten Bensel, who notched a mark of 9:17.87 in 1992.?I know I have a lot of confidence in my finish and I just went for it,? Miller said. ?The whole crowd really pushed me. I could feel the energy pick up, I knew she was right on my tail. I didn?t want to disappoint my home crowd, which really kept me going.?
Following her stellar outing on Friday, Miller finished second in the women?s mile Saturday afternoon, just missing claiming her second Big Ten title of the weekend. Miller recorded a time of 4:40.53 en route to her runner-up finish behind Penn State?s Caitlin Lane, who notched a time of 4:39.90.
Miller came back in the 5,000 meters to etch her name yet again into the Husker record books as she posted a personal-best time of 16:22.70 for second-place. Her time ranks second all-time in the Husker records. With the performance, Miller helped the Husker women advance their lead in the team race while also contributing to what became her own impressive weekend.
On Friday, the opening day of the Big 10 Indoor Championships, former Iowa preps helped the Nebraska Cornhsukers score valuable points in the Distance Medly Relay. Brooke Dinsdale, North Tama, ran the 400 meter leg and Ellen Daughtery, Sioux City East, the 800, to led their squad to a 4th place finish in 11:18.83.
Blaire Dinsdale, North Tama, used a personal-best time of 2:08.97 to take seventh in the 800 final, to help Nebraska win it's first ever Big 10 Indoor track championship. Rebecca Addison of Michigan finished first with a time of 2:06.07.
The Cornhusker women finished the meet with a fifth-place finish in the 4x400 meter relay and a time of 3:40.72 behind the efforts of Mila Andric, Mara Weekes, Brooke Dinsdale, North Tama and Ellie Grooters. With the performance, the Husker women secured their first Big Ten Indoor Championship.
University of Washington Sophomore Katie Flood, WDM Dowling, broke her third school record in as many races this year, only this time she had help, as Flood anchored the Husky distance medley relay to the victory on day one of the MPSF Championships, in Seattle, in an NCAA-leading time of 10:55.01. Sophomore Chelsea Orr led off, passed to senior Jordan Carlson, then freshman Baylee Mires, and finally Flood took the baton in fifth-place but powered down the final stretch for a dramatic win over Oregon. Washington's win is well under the NCAA Automatic qualifying time for the DMR. Flood has already qualified in the mile run (4:28.48) and 3,000-meter run, (8:55.31) with NCAA leading marks in those events as well, so she can pick and choose what she runs in Boise. The 10:55.01 time smashed the old Dempsey Indoor record of 11:02.15, as well as the previous Washington school record of 11:05.80. Furthermore, Washington's time is the fifth-fastest time in NCAA history. It was also an MPSF Championships meet record. The top four teams all went under the old Dempsey record, indicating the strength of the field and the likelihood of these teams meeting again at NCAAs in two weeks. The Ducks were right behind the Huskies, finishing in 10:55.78, which is now the No. 2 mark this season. Oregon anchored their quartet with Anne Kesselring, the defending NCAA Champion outdoors at 800-meters, who set Oregon's school record in the mile two weeks back in the same race that Flood posted her mile mark. Kesselring took the lead from Flood around the final backstretch, but Flood was able to answer and passed Kesselring on the inside to take the victory. The distance medley relay is comprised of a 1,200-meter leg, then 400-meters, 800-meters, and finally a 1,600-meter leg, just short of a standard mile. Flood's split for the 1,600m was unofficially at 4:28.8. It's the second MPSF title for UW in the DMR, previously winning it in 2009. Still, Flood managed to critique her final leg, saying "I think I might have done it a little wrong. I went out pretty hard. I got excited since Baylee was coming in so hard. But after that I just tried to maintain, and keep moving up, and stay calm. I think it's always easier to battle like that when you have a team behind you that just worked their butts off and ran so hard, so when you cross the line you're not crossing for yourself, it's a lot easier to find that motivation."