Meet Notes: Big 12 Indoor Championships

Feb. 20, 2013


Big 12 Indoor Track and Field Championships

Feb. 23-24, The Lied Recreational Center, Ames, Iowa.


The Basics

The Oklahoma State men’s and women’s track and field teams will travel to Ames, Iowa for the Big 12 Indoor Track and Field Championships this Saturday and Sunday. Saturday’s events begin at 10 a.m., and Sunday’s events get started at 11 a.m.

Fans will be able to follow the action in Ames with live results at and on Twitter, using the hashtag #Big12TF

From Head Coach Dave Smith


On the men improving on last year’s sixth-place team finish:

I hope so. We have a good group of guys. The hard thing is, when you have guys who are this good and will go on to the national meet followed by a long outdoor season, it’s about balancing how many competitions they do, and what is in their best interest at the same time, while putting together a good team performance at the conference level. There’s a balance there. You have to figure out where you have to scale guys back to help them out.”

On how to run the people who do really well in multiple events, and could impact the team score:

“Again, it’s a balancing act. For example, Tom Farrell. Not only will he run well in the indoor season, he will in the outdoor season as well, all the way through outdoor nationals. Then, he will go to England this summer and run his national trials, and hopefully be competing at the world championships in August. There’s no break for guys who are that good, so we have to be careful.”

On having success outside of distance running:

“It’s really important. We have to branch out. We’re building a facility that will field a complete team. Guys like Nick Miller, Cody Kenny and Taylor Buck will help us out. Isaiah Anderson is coming over now that he’s done with football, and sprinting for us. We’re branching out a bit and I’m excited about it.”

The “Fab Five”

Raul Botezan, Tom Farrell, Kirubel Erassa, Fabian Clarkson and Shane Moskowitz have all run sub-four minute miles this season, with the latter four doing it in the same meet on Jan. 26 at the Razorback Invitational.

No other school in the country has had more than two runners break the four-minute mark this season.

Five of the 23 sub-four minute times registered on the NCAA list (21.7 percent) belong to these Cowboys, and all five times are also in the top 18 marks ran this season.

Leading Lady

Natalja Piliusina is the nation’s No. 5 runner in the women’s 800 meters with a mark of 2:04.35, and she’s No. 4 in the mile at 4:32.26.

Piliusina is coming off a 2012 indoor season where she captured her second-straight Big 12 conference title in the 800m and was runner up in the same event at the NCAA national meet. She also hit a new personal best in the 800 meters with a school-record 2:03.46 at the Alex Wilson Invitational.

Record Breakers

Natalja Piliusina and Shadrack Kipchirchir are rewriting the indoor track and field record books at Oklahoma State.

Piliusina already had the school records in the 800m and 1,000m when she went to Seattle for the Husky Classic. In the mile, which isn’t her main event, she broke the school record, running a 4:32.26, giving her three OSU indoor records.

In the same meet, Kipchirchir ran the 5,000 meters in 13:38.57, destroying the previous school record by more than six seconds. He is now ranked No. 3 in the nation in the 5,000m.

World Ranking

Nick Miller is ranked 13th in the world in the 6kg under-20 hammer throw, according to the IAAF 2012 top list.

Miller recorded a throw of 67.56m/221-08 in Livingston, Scotland, last June at the Hammerama meet to earn a spot among the world’s best.

Miller is coming off an impressive freshman year that was highlighted by a Big 12 championship in the hammer throw. He became the first Cowboy athlete to win an outdoor conference title in the hammer throw since Wallace Thornberry in 1901. Miller also set an Oklahoma State school record when he launched a 7.26 kilogram hammer 67.56m/221-08 at the Hammerama meet in Scotland.

Last Time Out - Men

At the Husky Classic, Shadrack Kipchirchir blew past the indoor school record in the 5000 meters by more than six seconds, finishing in 13:38.57. The run was also a personal best for Kipchirchir.

Raul Botezan became the fifth OSU male to achieve a sub-four minute mile this season, running it in 3:57.79. That mark was a personal best for Botezan, and the second-fastest mile in OSU history. He finished in fifth place.

The Cowboys set seven personal bests in the 3000 meters. In the 3000m invite, Kirubel Erassa (7:50.92), Tom Farrell (7:51.77) and Fabian Clarkson (7:53.92) registered the second, third and seventh-fastest 3000m times in OSU history. They placed fourth, fifth and eleventh in the event, respectively.

In the 3000m run, Justin Vilhauer, Brian Gohlke, Neal Smith and David Osborn all set personal records. Vilhauer’s time of 8:04.39 was good enough to win the event.

At the Tyson Invitational, in the Men’s 800 meter Olympic division, junior Tyler Payton finished in fifth, with a time of 1:51.07. That mark was good enough for a personal best and the eighth-fastest 800m time in OSU history.

Last Time Out - Women

At the Husky Classic, in the women’s one mile invite, Natalja Piliusina, who already held school records in the 800m and 1000m, ran a 4:32.26 in the mile to give her another OSU record and third place in the event. That mark was good enough for fourth in the country.

Monika Juodeskaite ran a blazing 9:10.83 in the women’s 3000m, which was the second-fastest time in OSU history and crushed her previous personal best by 35 seconds. She finished in 11th.

In the women’s 400m, Clara Nichols ran the fourth-fastest time in OSU history, at 56.50. That mark landed her a fourth place finish in the event.

Last Year At the Big 12 Championships

In the men’s 5,000-meter run, Kipchirchir took first place and set the Big 12 Indoor Championship record with his time of 13:49.04. Teammate Girma Mecheso finished second in the event with a time 13:50.03, which also beat the previous meet record.

The women defended their 2011 distance medley relay title with a come-from-behind victory spurred by Piliusina. She brought the team back from eight seconds down to finish in 11:19.42. Caileigh Glenn, Mihaela Bobos and Kate Kujawa were the other members of the team.

Miller also had an impressive outing, scoring a runner-up finish in the weight throw, with a distance of 19.01m/62-4.50.

Piliusina won her second straight conference title in the 800 meters, finshing in 2:07.43.

The men placed sixth in the meet with a team score of 52 points, just one point shy of fifth-place Baylor’s 53. The sixth-place finish is the highest OSU has placed at the indoor conference meet since 1989 when it placed sixth at the Big 8 Indoor Championship.

The men were led by Farrell and Erassa, who each earned all-Big 12 recognition in the mile and 3,000 meters. Farrell placed second in the mile with a time of 4:06.47 and sixth in the 3,000 meters with a time of 8:04.14, while Erassa ran a 4:07.35 to place eighth in the mile and came in second in the 3,000 meters with a time of 8:02.98.

Botezan also earned all-Big 12 honors for his third-place performance in the 1,000-meter race. His time of 2:24.60 ranks as the third-best 1K time in OSU history.

For the Cowgirls, Glenn placed fourth in the 1,000 meters with a time of 2:49.50, which stands as the fourth-fastest 1,000 meter time at OSU. Glenn earned all-Big 12 recognition, along with Bobos, who placed sixth in the 800 meters, as well as Kujawa, who placed eighth in the mile.

National Rankings

Piliusina is the No. 5 female in the 800 meters, and No. 4 in the mile.

Juodeskaite appeared at No. 15 in the 3000m, following her great run in Seattle.

Ealey stayed in the top 50 in the women’s shot put, checking in at No. 38.

For the Cowboys, Botezan (No. 7), Farrell (No. 10), Erassa (No. 11), Clarkson (No. 17) and Moskowitz (No. 18) all rank in the top 18 in the mile.

The Cowboys also have five runners ranked in the 3000m. Erassa is No. 6, Farrell shows up at No. 9, Clarkson snags the No. 15 spot, Kipchirchir holds at No. 28, and Vilhauer checks in at No. 43.

Fresh off his record-breaking performance in Seattle, Kipchirchir has the No. 3 ranking in the 5,000 meters.

Nick Miller gives the Cowboys another top-10 ranking, landing at No. 9 in the weight throw.

The Natural

Although this is his first year to compete in the Weight Throw, Nick Miller is having a fantastic season. He is ranked No. 9 in the country with a heave of 20.97m/68-09.75, which he achieved at the Frank Sevigne Husker Invite on Feb. 1.

Miller is the only Big 12 thrower ranked in the top 50 in this event.

Qualifying Standards

For the 2012-13 indoor season, the NCAA has eliminated automatic qualifying times to the NCAA Championships meet.

Qualification to the championships is based on descending-order list for the season. For each individual event contested, the top 16 declared student-athletes will be accepted into the competition. For each relay event contested, the top 12 declared relay teams will be accepted into the competition. The stated maximums are absolute and will not be extended as a result of ties.



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