Hoosiers Look To Take It Up A Notch (09-26-03)
Bloomington, IN - The No.16 Indiana men's cross country team came away with its third straight Indiana Intercollegiates title on Sept. 19. The Hoosiers took the top five spots and seven of the top 10 en route to a perfect 15-point score.
While Coach Robert Chapman was pleased with his team's race in Terre Haute, they have to take it up a notch to meet their big picture goals.
"We essentially tried to run a controlled effort at the Intercollegiates, and they did that pretty well," Chapman said. "Eventually, at the championship meets, the tempo is going to be much quicker on the front end. Races like the pre-NCAA's are going to be a completely different animal from a tempo standpoint than what we experienced at Intercollegiates. Our goal over the next few weeks is to keep training solid and try to gradually prepare ourselves for the quicker tempo we are going to see."
It is all part of the experience.
"Last year was a real learning year for a lot of guys," Chapman said. "We had four freshman and a sophomore in our top seven last season, so I think a big difference for this year's group is knowing what to expect from a training and a competition standpoint. On last year's team, we had personnel with a total of two NCAA Championship appearances. Right now on this years' team, we have personnel with a total of 11 NCAA Championship appearances and another six in track. It's remarkable how having that experience changes each individual's approach to preparing themselves to become elite collegiate distance runner."
Depth is the key to cross country, and Chapman believes that runners like Eric Redman, Tom Burns, and Stephen Haas are pivotal to IU's national goals.
"I think they are all three right where they need to be fitness-wise at this time of the year. They are all in pretty good position. We'll just need to see how the next few weeks play out training-wise for them," said Chapman.
Indiana does not return to action until October 4, when some of the Hoosiers compete at the Murray Keating Invitational in Bangor, Maine and others return to Terre Haute for the ISU Invite.
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