Bloomington, IN -For the third straight year, the Indiana mens cross country team is ranked among the top 25 in the nation according to MONDO Mens Cross Country Rankings. The No. 23 Hoosiers started the season at the Aug. 30 Indiana Open, placing seven runners among the top 10 overall finishers.
The Hoosiers are in the midst of a 21-day break before their next race, the Sept. 20 Indiana Intercollegiates at the IU Cross Country Course. Dr. Robert Chapman knows that this schedule can be a double edged sword.
You have to find the right balance, Chapman said. You want to stay healthy and keep them fresh, but you also want them to maintain the right focus throughout.
Fortunately for Chapman, his team has learned from its past performances.
Last year, we got a little complacent because the year before (2000), we went to the NCAAs, Tom Burns said. Last year, we ran hard early in the season, and we were fatigued later in the year. This year, we started out at the right pace, and were really logging high mileage right now.
Of course, it never hurts when the schedule plays in your favor, either.
We know that we have been given a gift in that our three big meets (Nov. 3 Big Tens at Purdue, Nov. 16 NCAA Regionals and Nov. 25 NCAAs at Terre Haute) are in Indiana, Burns said. Traveling is not conducive to running, so were lucky that those courses are close enough by so that we can run them a few times during the season to get familiar with them.
We know that if we dont work hard to reach our long term goals, then we would be giving this gift away.