Men's Cross Country

    Hoosiers a Solid Second at Indiana Intercollegiates

    Go Hoosiers!
    Go Hoosiers!

    Go Hoosiers!
    September 20, 1999

    Hoosiers a Solid Second at Indiana Intercollegiates

    Controversial finish places Indiana 27 points behind 15th ranked Butler Freshmen continue to impress.

    With the strong front running of All-American Tom Chorny (6th place overall) and a tight pack of #2 through #5 runners in the top 25, the Indiana men's cross country team finished a solid second at the 1999 Indiana Intercollegiates meet at Indiana State University. Butler University, ranked 15th in the latest national poll, officially won the meet with 55 points. Indiana totaled 82 points, while Purdue finished third with 99 points.

    "There are so many different ways that this meet came out positive for us," said IU head coach Robert Chapman, who listed several reasons why he was pleased with the Hoosier effort. Indiana improved two places on last year's finish, with only Chorny (who redshirted last season) new to the lineup thatthe Hoosiers ran. "We held out Aaron Gillen [IU's #1 runner in this meet last year], Mikko Simos [#4 last year], and all of our new freshmen," said Chapman. "Our #2 through #5 runners were all substantially faster than they were on this course in October last year, and we only did our first interval workout of the season this Tuesday."

    Taken all together, the Hoosiers gained a tremendous amount of confidence Friday, towards their ultimate season goal of qualifying for the NCAA Championships. "To be 27 points off of the #15 team in the country, with the personnel we ran and our best training to come, we all feel like we're in a great position to reach our goals in November," said Chapman. The Hoosiers asked for - and got - workman-like efforts out of seniors Tom Chorny and Tom Breckenridge, while juniors Tom Brooks and Chris Ekman, and sophmore Kevin Chandler keyed the Indiana top five. "It shows the kind of work these guys put in over the summer," said assistant coach Matt Sparks. "Each of those top five made the commitment and stayed in Bloomington to train together this summer, and their performances today were based almost entirely on the summer's base work." Remarkably, Brooks and Chandler were #10 and #11 on the depth list on last year's team (who only lost one runnerto graduation), but finished as the Hoosier's #3 and #4 runners today.

    Equally as exciting was the performance of Indiana's freshman class, who completed an 8k workout over the same course after the Intercollegiates race was completed. Led by the trio of Chris Powers, Nathan Purcell, and Chad Andrews, the top five Hoosier frosh's times in the workout would have placed them 4th overall in the meet in front of Indiana State and Ball State. "Every week my confidence in the future of our program grows," said Chapman. "I see no reason so far to deviate from our game plan of developing the freshmen for the future and redshirting this fall. But these kids are all flat out winners - it just oozes from them - and it looks like we'll put a couple in uniform next week."

    This year's Intercollegiates meet was not without controversy. The first five runners took a wrong turn after 6k, ran too long, and did not finish. Indiana's Tom Chorny knew the course, ran the correct route and was the first runner across the line - apparently leading the Hoosiers to a victory. However the meet officials decided to place the errant runners first through fifth in the race, in the positions they believed they would have finishedhad they not gone the wrong way. "Butler was clearly the best team today, but I still appealed the decision, knowing that people might think it was sour grapes," said Chapman. "The meet referee is a friend I've known for almost ten years, and I think he was trying to do what was fair - but inserting those guys one through five is really unprecedented and I didn't think that the rules give him that kind of discretion. So in that respect, I didn't think it was the right decision, and I appealed more out of curiosity as to how it would be handled than anything else." The jury of appeals upheld the decision to award the non-finishing runners the first five places in the team scoring.

    Next week Indiana hosts the Sam Bell Invitational in Bloomington. Many of the country's top teams will be on hand to preview the course to be used of the NCAA Championships. "A win over the teams from District 9, particularly Tennessee and South Florida, would really give us a leg up in terms of ranking points for an at large nationals bid," said Chapman. "However Gillen and Ekman are not 100% and our training and our focus is still based on Big Ten's and districts in November. But most of the teams coming are probably in the same boat with injuries and training, so it could be interesting."

    1999 Indiana Intercollegiates Results (1998 time on ISU course)
    6. Tom Chorny 24:39
    13. Tom Breckenridge 25:32 (25:56)
    20. Tom Brooks 25:43 (26:42)
    21. Kevin Chandler 25:44 (26:52)
    22. Chris Ekman 25:45 (26:59)
    29. Nate Jones 25:56 (26:37)
    33. Neill O'Reilly 26:08 (27:20)
    51. Trey Howell 26:36 (26:41)
    66. Jon Teipen 26:57

    Team Scoring
    Butler 55
    Indiana 82
    Purdue 99
    Indiana State 133
    Ball State 163

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