IU Runs Well At Open (9/3/04)
Bloomington, Ind. - After an intense offseason conditioning program, the Indiana men's and women's cross country teams opened the 2004 campaign at the Indiana Open Mixed 5K Friday evening at the IU Cross Country Course. Hoosier men's coach Robert Chapman and women's coach Judy Wilson annually use this meet as a solid early season gauge of their respective team's fitness levels.
Junior Billy Coale was IU's top finisher in 16:29. All-Americans John and Sean Jefferson were next, each at 16:35. This was John Jefferson's first competitive cross country meet in more than a year, as the junior sat out the 2003 campaign with a knee injury. Eric Redman, Tom Burns and Stephen Haas rounded out Indiana's top five.
Like John Jefferson, sophomore Jessica Gall also sat out the 2003 cross country season. However, she bounced back in indoor and outdoor track, posting the fifth-fastest outdoor track 10K time (35:14) at the Big Ten Championships. Gall was the top Indiana finisher in Friday's cross country opener, finishing the 5K course in 18:32. Nikki Peterson (19:51), Maura Ratcliff (20:09, Christina Barniak (20:23) and Allison Miller (20:27) rounded out the IU women's top five.
The Indiana women return to their home course on Sept. 10 in the Cream and Crimson Meet (5 p.m.), and then both teams head to the Indiana Intercollegiates Sept. 17 in West Lafayette. The IU men are three-time defending champions in that meet, while the women look to defend their 2003 crown as well.
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