Aug. 27, 2014
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana men’s cross country team is ranked in the top 10 in three major national polls to begin the 2014 season as the Hoosiers are ranked No. 6 in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) National Coaches Poll and No. 7 by both FloTrack and LetsRun.com. The No. 6 ranking is highest ever in program history.
The reigning Big Ten champions finished in eighth place at last year’s NCAA Championships. The Hoosiers are poised to maintain their top 10 form in 2014 as IU has finished in the top 10 in three of the last four seasons, the program’s best four-year stretch in the national meet since 1977-80.
All five scorers from last year’s NCAA meet return for the Hoosiers in 2014. Evan Esselink paced the team at the national meet with a 45th place finish in 2013 as he was followed by teammates Jason Crist, Carl Smith, Matt Schwartzer and JR Ricker.
Also look for Rorey Hunter to play a major role in 2014. He, along with Crist, earned First Team All-Big Ten honors last season. Hunter also had a successful spring on the track last year as he was the Big Ten outdoor champion in the 1500m and qualified for the finals in the same event at the NCAA Championships.
Last year’s Big Ten title was the program’s first since 1980. Along with the first team all-conference honorees, Smith and Schwartzer placed in the top ten to earn Second Team All-Big Ten honors.
The 2014 season will get underway on Saturday, Sept. 6, when the Hoosiers host the Indiana Open at the IU Championship Cross Country Course beginning at 9:20 a.m. ET.