Hoosiers Show Toughness at NCAA Championships
Nov. 23, 2013
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – It was a record day for the Indiana men’s and women’s cross country teams at the NCAA Championships on Saturday at the Lavern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course. The men finished in eighth-place, while the women’s team finished in 26th place.
For the men’s team it was their third top-10 finish in the last four years, making it their best four-year span since 1977-80.
For the women’s team is was their best finish since they placed 14th in the 2002 season. The men’s and women’s teams both qualified for the 2013 championship for the first time since 2004.
Colorado won the men’s team title with 148 points. The Hoosiers finished with 304 points, 32 points out of the top-five. On the women’s side Providence won the team championship.
All competitors faced difficult conditions with temperatures in the low 30s with considerable wind and rain from previous days creating wet and muddy conditions.
Junior Evan Esselink led the men’s team as he finished in 45th place overall in a time of 30:51 for the 10,000-meter course. Freshmen Jason Crist and Carl Smith were close behind as they finished in 48th and 52nd with times of 30:53 and 30:55. Sophomore Matt Schwartzer finished 81st in 31:09. Junior JR Ricker rounded out the scoring for the Hoosiers in 160th place in 31:52. Senior Robby Nierman clocked a time of 32:02 for 180th place and junior Rorey Hunter crossed the finish line in 32:28 for 211th place.
On the women’s side senior Samantha Ginther led the team with an 84th place finish as she covered the 6,000-meter course in 21:13. Next for the Hoosiers was freshman Amanda Behnke (136th, 21:33), senior Erica Ridderman (179th, 21:53), freshman Bethany Neeley (210th, 22:09), junior Brianna Johnson (227th, 22:22), junior Molly Winters (240th, 22:39) and freshman Chanli Mundy (246th, 22:53).
Next up the Hoosiers will open the indoor track season with the Hoosier Open, Dec. 13-14 at Gladstein Fieldhouse in Bloomington.
Check back soon