Meet Notes: NCAA Indoor National Championships

March 7, 2013


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The Basics


The Oklahoma State men’s and women’s track and field teams will travel to Fayetteville, Ark., for the NCAA Indoor National Track and Field Championships this Friday and Saturday.


Friday’s events will begin at 12:30 p.m., and Saturday’s events will get underway at 2 p.m.


Fans can follow the action via live results at, on Twitter @run4okstate or at


From Head Coach Dave Smith


On the excitement level of the team going into nationals:


“I think they’re excited and feeling pretty good about this weekend. There’s a lot of excitement surrounding the belief that we can finish in the top 10.”



On how the team has met expectations in the indoor season:


“Well, we had some injuries, and people who didn’t run as well as they could have, but it was balanced out by a lot of good surprises. It came out pretty even. Nick [Miller] qualifying in the weight throw was awesome. I’m really happy with where we are.”



On the biggest surprise going into nationals:


“If you look at biggest surprise of the season, it has to be Nick [Miller] qualifying in the weight throw, but over the last couple weeks, the distance medley running as well as it did and Girma [Mecheso] qualifying in the 5,000 meters at the last chance event were both big helps to our program and our chances at Nationals.”

OSU Entries For the NCAA Indoor Championships


Men’s Events




Raul Botezan


3,000 Meters


Tom Farrell

Kirubel Erassa


5,000 Meters


Shadrack Kipchirchir

Girma Mecheso


Weight Throw


Nick Miller


Distance Medley Relay (4 of the 6)


Kirubel Erassa

Raul Botezan

Tyler Payton

Tom Farrell

Fabian Clarkson

Lance Gray


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.


Only Oregon has had as many runners break the four-minute mark this season.


Five of the 31 sub-four minute times registered on the NCAA list belong to these Cowboys, and all five times are also in the top 25 marks 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 in which 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


No Indoor record has been safe this season 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 primary 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.


At the Alex Wilson Invitational, the men’s distance medley relay team of Erassa, Farrell, Botezan and Tyler Payton broke the school record, finishing in 9:28.38, and earned the No. 4 ranking in the nation.


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


The Oklahoma State men’s indoor distance medley relay team of Kirubel Erassa, Raul Botezan, Tyler Payton and Tom Farrell ran the relay in 9:28.38, breaking a school record and qualifying for nationals in day one of the Alex Wilson Invitational in South Bend, Ind. Even though the Cowboys finished fourth in the event, their time beat the previous top time in the NCAA by more than three seconds, guaranteeing they will run the event at the NCAA championships.


At the Columbia Final Qualifier Event in New York City, Girma Mecheso ran the 5,000 meters in 13:45.60, which was good enough for No. 17 in the NCAA, and a berth in the national meet.


Fabian Clarkson finished seventh in the mile, running a 4:00.70--just short of his personal best of 3:59.47, which he achieved when he and three other Cowboys ran sub-four minute miles at the Razorback Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark.


Tyler Payton’s 1:51.07 in the 800 meters equaled a personal best, and was good enough for 28th place in the event.



Last Time Out - Women


In South Bend, Monika Juodeskaite ran the 5,000 meters in 16:19.79 to finish fifth in the event. That time was good enough to crack the top 50 in the nation, at no. 42.



Last Year At the NCAA Indoor Championships


Natalja Piliusina notched a runner-up finish in the 800-meter final after posting a time of 2:04.48. The second-place finish matched a career high for Piliusina at an NCAA event, as she placed second in the 800 meters at the 2011 outdoor championships.


In the men’s one mile final, Raul Botezan ran a 4:02.90 to place eighth. Botezan and Piliusina were the only OSU runners to score at the national meet. Kirubel Erassa placed 10th in the mile, running a 4:04.36.


Tom Farrell placed ninth in the 3,000 meters after running a 7:55.09. Farrell improved upon his 16th-place finish in the 3,000 meters at the NCAA Indoor Championships in 2011.


In the 5,000 meter finals, a pair of Cowboys fell just short of scoring. Shadrack Kipchirchir placed ninth after running a 13:54.24, while Girma Mecheso came in 10th, posting a time of 13:57.28.


National Rankings


The OSU men’s team is ranked No. 9 in the USTFCCCA poll this week. This is the sixth straight week the Cowboys have been ranked, which is OSU’s longest stint ever in this poll, and the third time in the top 10.


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

Juodeskaite appeared at No. 19 in the 3000m, on the strength of her great run in Seattle. She also grabbed the No. 45 ranking in the 5,000 meters after running a personal-best 16:19.79 in South Bend.


The women’s distance medley relay team of Juodeskaite, Mihaela Bobos, Piliusina and Clara Nichols is ranked No. 31 in the NCAA.


Chase Ealey stayed in the top 50 in the women’s shot put, checking in at No. 43.


For the Cowboys, Botezan (No. 8), Farrell (No. 11), Erassa (No. 12), Clarkson (No. 24) and Moskowitz (No. 25) all rank in the top 25 in the mile.


The Cowboys also have four runners ranked in the 3000m. Erassa is No. 7, Farrell shows up at No. 11, Clarkson snags the No. 19 spot and Kipchirchir holds at No. 26.


The men’s distance medley relay team of Erassa, Payton, Botezan and Farrell have the No. 4 ranking in the nation after posting a school-record 9:28.38 in South Bend.


On the power of his record-breaking performance in Seattle, Kipchirchir still has the No. 3 ranking in the 5,000 meters. Girma Mecheso joins him in the top 20, landing at No. 17.

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. 15 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, and the conference champion after defeating the rest of the field in Ames by almost two meters.


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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