Shorthanded Hoosiers Finish Seventh at Sam Bell Invitational
September 27, 1999 Shorthanded Hoosiers Finish Seventh at Sam Bell Invitational
In the first opportunity for teams across America to preview Indiana's
"We knew this would be a good early season opportunity to get wins for at-large nationals consideration," said IU head coach Dr. Robert Chapman. "Unfortunately, we weren't able to put our A+ team on the line, but I like what our group showed today. Nate Jones had a career day, and our top five had PR's for the course - I can't ask for much more than that." Indiana's top four finishers each ran lifetime bests over their 8K home course, while fifth runner (freshman Chris Powers) made his debut in an Indiana uniform. "The two frosh we ran today [Powers and Chad Andrews] both looked tight early, but they seemed to get in the flow after a few K and ran solid," said Coach Chapman. "A pre-national type meet was really a baptism by fire for those two, but they are both really confident young athletes, and I think they'll be stronger runners going into Big Ten's for the experience."
Indiana was without the full services of three athletes who are expected to be in the Hoosiers top five during the championship meets at the end of the season. Junior Chris Ekman, who has been running as Indiana's #2 runner all season in practice, sat out the meet with a sore ankle. Aaron Gillen and Jon Teipen, co-winners of last season's Sid Robinson Most Oustanding Cross Country Runner award, are just now getting their season training on track after minor late summer injuries. "With our focus on November, we had the time now to sit these guys and get their little nagging injuries cleared up," said Coach Chapman. "We're in a good spot, and if we do our job over the next six weeks in training, we're going to be a team that could surprise people at districts. We had a great summer of training, and the guys handled the transition work well in September - but October is the key."
The Hoosiers will have the next three weeks to focus on training before
the Pre-NCAA meet in Bloomington, which will feature about two-thirds of
the top 25 ranked teams in the country. Indiana was originally scheduled
to travel their 'A' squad to the North Texas Invitational, but with three
of the South Central district's top teams (Texas, Texas A&M, and SMU)
coming to Pre-NCAA's, Indiana will skip the meet to focus on training. "The
strategy in scheduling the meet over the summer was to try and get a win
over those out-of-district teams from the South Central, but since they
are coming here for pre-nats, we can avoid racing three weekends in a row
and focus on training." Indiana will still send a 'B' squad to Chicago
next week for the Loyola Lakefront Invitational. "It's a good opportunity
for our younger guys to get experience, and we've penciled this meet into
Jon Teipen's training plans as a stepping stone for the rest of the season,"
said Coach Chapman
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