Men's Cross Country Geared up for 2005 Season
Aug. 16, 2005
With six seniors on the 2005 roster, the Indiana men's cross country team will look to improve on its tied for 18th-place finish at the NCAA Championship this past season. The Hoosiers will be set when it comes to competing at the championship level, as IU's top-five runners have made a total of 24 NCAA appearances in cross country, indoor and outdoor track combined.
Indiana head Coach Robert Chapman anticipates great things for the Hoosiers.
"Our seniors have put in so much hard work over the years," Chapman said . "I hope their final season of cross country will be their best one yet. I am also looking forward to working with our younger guys to get them fit and ready to compete."
The expanding tradition of IU cross country will continue throughout the 2005 campaign, as two-time cross country All-American Sean Jefferson headlines the list of IU returnees. Jefferson, who was IU's best finisher in six out of its seven meets in 2004, became just the second Hoosier to earn All-American accolades at least twice in his career.
Twin brother John Jefferson has proven that his knee injury in 2003 has not slowed him down. The Delray Beach, Fla., native ran the team's second-fastest time at the NCAA Championship (32:50.8) last year, good for 122nd place overall. The Jefferson brothers will bring a tremendous amount of depth and experience to the 2005 team.
Seniors Stephen Haas, Charlie Koeppen, and Eric Redman are three other sources of leadership that Chapman is glad to have back for their final year as a Hoosier. Assuming the foursome (Redman, Haas, Koeppen, Sean Jefferson) each make it to NCAAs, it will be their fourth-straight appearance at the national meet, a remarkable accomplishment that not many cross country athletes can say they have done.
Indiana also returns a group of eight redshirt freshmen, including, Paul Coover, Bradley Dion, Ryan Dixon, Mark Fruin, Chris Honig, Charlie Keating, Brennon Plotner, and Brian Sullivan. The group has had a year to learn from the best by watching the upperclassmen succeed.
"It is going to be an important year for these guys to get substantial experience and run cross country at the collegiate distance," Chapman said. "To get prepared for not only how they can contribute this year, but certainly in the years to come when we graduate our seniors. I want to see this group make a significant step this season."
Chapman is also pleased to welcome seven incoming freshman, six of which hail from the state of Indiana.
"These guys have a lot of talent," Chapman said. "Realizing that they have a lot to adjust to as a college freshman, we'll work with them in the fall and help them create a foundation on which to build the rest of their careers on."
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