News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Sports

March 13, 2014

Swift, Theisen vie for NCAA indoor honors

TERRE HAUTE — Indiana State seniors Greggmar Swift and Mary Theisen are within striking distance of winning an NCAA title this weekend at the NCAA Division I indoor track and field championships.

Sophomore sprinter Katie Wise is ranked 13th going into the meet in the 60-meter dash and has her sights on an All-American finish.

Swift, fourth at last year’s NCAA indoor championships, is ranked third in the 60-meter hurdles with his time of 7.64 seconds.

Swift was seventh in the 110-meter hurdles at the 2013 NCAA outdoor championships and competed in the event for his native Barbados at the 2012 London Olympics and 2013 World Championships.

“He’s definitely been in the environemnt. Still comes down to that moment when you get on the line. Can’t let your mind go to those who are racing around you. Can’t acknowledge those around you. You concentrate on the barriers,” said ISU coach John McNichols.

Defending national champion Eddie Lovett, a Florida Gators’ senior, is among the top competitors.

“Right now, it’s a toss up. A lot of guys have similar times. It’s one of the first time it’s this close. We have a lot of tough competitors who can win the race,” Swift said this week.

Swift is also chasing ISU’s 2001 NCAA champion Aubrey Herring, who still owns the school record of 7.55.

“He’s a good fellow. He’s given me good advice. He told me ‘run to the best of your ability,’” Swift said. “I’m just using that, i’m keeping my calm nerves and he told me I”m the best hurdler technically.”

Swift credits McNichols for helping him improve over the last few years.

“It’s all due to coach McNichols. I really think he’s a great individual,” Swift said. “He is the best hurdling coach in the USA right now. He took an average hurdler and made him into an Olympic qualifier and champion. I hope to make ISU and Terre Haute proud.”

Theisen also enters the NCAA championships ranked third in the nation. Theisen’s season-best shot put is 56 feet, 9 1/4 inches.

The former Division II NCAA champion for Winona State in discus is in her third year on ISU’s campus. She sat out as a medical redshirt for both 2013 seasons.

“I was scared about this season because I took a full year off. This year, it’s been a breakout year for me, which is nice because it’s my last year doing it,” Theisen said.

Theisen has made big strides in shot put at ISU.

“She’s been top three [in the nation] pretty much all year,” coach Angie Martin said. “Hopefully she just goes out and competes and does her best. She’s just a really good competitor.”

Wise, a state champion in the 100 meters as a junior for Indian Creek, hails from Morantown, a town of about 1,000, but she’s wasted no time getting back to the big stage in her college career.

She credits hard work in the weight room for helping her elevate herself.

‘That’s made a big difference at ISU, lifting two or three days a week. Coaches have helped me get stronger,” said Wise, who has set big goals for herself. “I want to PR, I want to make it to the finals.”

 

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