TERRE HAUTE —
Several Wabash Valley natives continue to shine on the national track and field scene.
Sullivan native Erica Moore, one of Indiana State’s all-time greats in the heptathlon, 400-meter hurdles and 800 meters, ran a personal best time of 2:02.51 in the 800 Saturday in the Penn State Invitational.
Her time set a track record, and the time would have been good for fourth place in the 2010 USA Indoor Track and Field Championships.
Moore is training with University of Tennessee coach J.J. Clark, whose women’s team has accounted for 11 NCAA champions in the past eight years.
In an interview on www.flotrack.org, Moore discussed her focus on middle-distance training for Knoxville Elite.
“We can say that I’m strictly a runner now,” Moore said. “No jumping, no hurdles … well maybe 400 hurdles. But just running. It’s wonderful.”
Moore ran a 400 of 52.85 in the Kentucky Invitational on Jan. 14. At the time, it was the fastest time in the United States this year.
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Four-time NCAA pole vault champion Kylie Hutson, who is sponsored by Nike, is also competing at the elite level. Her recent mark of 14-5 1/4 in the Air Force All-Comers meet is the best vault in the United States this year and eighth best height in the world.
The Terre Haute North graduate cleared 14-5 1/4 again Saturday at the National Pole Vault Summitt in Reno, Nev. Hutson had an attempt at a personal-best 14-7, but she came up just short.
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Another North track and field alumnus, Zach Mayhew, has been a part of some impressive Indiana University distance running performances.
IU’s Andy Bayer picked up the top mile time in the world with a 3:57.7 inside Gladstein Fieldhouse on Friday.
On Saturday, Ben Hubers ran a 5,000-meter time of 13:44.93, with teammate Andrew Poore at 13:45.33. The times were second and third in IU history and second and third in the world so far this year.
Mayhew ran a time of 13:58.40 for the fourth best time in IU history and fourth best time in the world in 2011.
Mayhew, who helped IU finish seventh in the NCAA Cross Country Championships in Terre Haute in November, said the Hoosiers are just building on that performance.
“Our coaching staff and athletes are very focused right now because we all know that this program is very capable of accomplishing some really cool things on the national level this year,” Mayhew wrote in an e-mail. “The level of commitment right now is astounding, and there is just a winning mentality amongst the athletes that seems to be contagious. Even though it is early in the season to be running this fast, we all know that we will continue to improve even through outdoor track, and our coaches know what they are doing so we trust them 100 percent.”
Craig Pearson can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him online at blogs.tribstar.com/craigpearson. Call after 3 p.m. at (812) 231-4357.